Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Saturday, March 6, 2010

News round-up: Lafontaine, corruption scandals and Nkunda

A few tidbits:
  • Africa Confidential reports this week on a Congolese parliamentary investigation into mismanagement of public funds. (subscription required) The highlights are allegations that almost half of the $50 million signing bonus from China's Sinohydro-China Railway has gone missing; that the government had not properly accounted for $84 million paid in dubious debts to a private Congolese bank; and that $25 million had been unjustifiably paid by the government to the diamond company of wealthy Israeli businessman Dan Gertler
  • One of the more important Mai-Mai leaders remaining in the bush, General Sikuli Lafontaine, showed up in Goma this week, saying that he had agreed to integrate into the national army. This is not the first time, he joined the national army once before only to defect and create a new militia.
  • A Voice of America interview with defected Rwandan General Kayumba Nyamwasa can be read here - he is now confirmed to be in South Africa. In the meantime, another Rwandan opposition figure, Deogratias Mushaidi, formerly head of the Rwandan journalists' association, was arrested in Burundi and transferred to Rwanda. The Rwandan government accuses him, too, of plotting the recent grenade attacks in Kigali.
  • Laurent Nkunda trial has once again been postponed. His lawyers appeared in front of the Supreme Court this week, but their challenge to his house arrest was once again postponed until the end of March.

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