top
Palestine
Palestine
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Palestine | International
Uprising in Angola targets Leviev diamond mining company
by Adalah-NY (info [at] adalahny.org)
Thursday Oct 16th, 2008 9:40 PM
Though unreported in english media, portuguese-language reports from Angola document that a rebellion last week against diamond mining companies in the Cuango municipality in northeast Angola was repressed brutally by mining companies’ private security forces, police and military, resulting in at least one death and over 100 arrests. An Angolan human rights activist informed Adalah-NY that Luminas, a company owned partly by Lev Leviev and based near the town of Luremo in Cuango municipality, was one of mining companies targeted in the rebellion.
Uprising in Angola targets Leviev diamond mining company

Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East (http://www.adalahny.org)

October 16, 2008

Though unreported in english media, portuguese-language reports from Angola document that a rebellion last week against diamond mining companies in the Cuango municipality in northeast Angola was repressed brutally by mining companies’ private security forces, police and military, resulting in at least one death and over 100 arrests. An Angolan human rights activist informed Adalah-NY that Luminas, a company owned partly by Lev Leviev and based near the town of Luremo in Cuango municipality, was one of mining companies targeted in the rebellion, though Luminas is not specifically named in the translated report below.

New York Magazine reported in 2007 that a security company contracted by Leviev “was accused… by a local human-rights monitor of participating in practices of ‘humiliation, whipping, torture, sexual abuse, and, in some cases, assassinations.’ Leviev’s formal response to the report did not directly address the abuses but touted his charitable activities in Angola.” (http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/31549/) Adalah-NY has been advocating a boycott of Leviev’s companies due to their construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land in violation of international law, their human rights abuses in Angola and Namibia, and their destructive development practices in New York City.

A translation by Adalah-NY of a report from Angola on the rebellion is immediately below, followed by an additional report on the uprising, information on Leviev, Luminas and Cuango Municipality and links to other reports with background on human rights abuses in Angola’s diamond mining sector.


AngoNoticias - News of Angola in real time

Clash in Cuango Leaves One Dead - National Police Radio Ecclesia
October 10, 2008
http://www.angonoticias.com/full_headlines_.php?id=21287

(Translation by Adalah-NY)

One dead and 120 detained, that is the National Police's tally, after attempts to contain a recent miners' uprising in the diamond-rich areas of Cuango in North Lunda province.

The incident occurred in the municipality of Cuango, in the northeast of North Lunda, according to the local police commander, Sub-Commisioner Estevao Delo, speaking to Radio Ecclesia.

According to him, everything began on October 3 after the expulsion of garimpeiros [unlicensed diamond miners] in the Luzamba area.

During the revolt, some members of the rebellion clashed with units from the ALFA-5 security company as well as with units from the police and military that had moved in to restore order.

The miners had also erected barricades, according to the Sub-Commissioner, who also pointed out the material damages of the uprising, including damaged military vehicles.

The officer also affirmed reports that the miners wore clothing associated with certain political parties. The officer did not go into detail at the time.

The confrontation resulted overall in one death and 120 arrests. The detained will be transferred from Kuango to Dundo for their court hearing.

Official Sources

The official sources in the area have argued that more people died than the number given by the police.

The president of the Social Renewal Party (PRS), Eduardo Kuangana, spoke of five deaths and more than 400 people detained. He denied that his party, which is influential in the region, had anything to do with the revolt. Kuangana attributed the origins of the uprising to the dominance of diamond mining companies in the area, as well as to their various abuses.

Kuangana demanded the country's president give attention to the situation to restore order.

According to Sapalo Mutayi, secretary-general for the Association of Social Development in Cuango (ADSC), speaking from their radio station, argued that the incident began from within the Society for Mining Development (SDM), which protects the security company, ALPHA 5.

ALPHA 5 agents had moved in against garimpeiros who refused to pay the percentage demanded by a regulator.

From Mutayi's point of view, "the problem in the diamond areas these days is this. The companies don't engage in initial exploration [of an area], but follow behind the garimpeiros and their product."



Untranslated article by Angolan political party on same events
http://fpdangolaimprensa.blogspot.com/2008/10/nota-fpd-preocupada-com-notcias-de.html


Leviev’s ownership of Luminas, from Operation Kissonde, Rafael Marques, September, 2006
http://www.reports-and-materials.org/Operation-Kissonde-Rafael-Marques-Sep-2006.pdf

Angolan researcher Rafael Marques, reports that Lev Leviev owns a major stake in Luminas. Marques explains ownership of Luminas (Sociedade Miniera Luminas) in the following manner in Operation Kissonde: “According to the contract, signed on 31 October 2002, IDAS, the project backers, holds a 51% share of the capital, Endiama 38% and Twins Ltd, 11%... As a matter of fact, the third partner of the project, Nofar Mining B.V, is a private company created by the Lev Leviev Group and which holds the capital previously reserved for IDAS Resources, according to Endiama sources.”


Cuango Development Diagnostic and Feasibility Assessment, USAID, February 26, 2008
http://www.usaid.gov/ao/cuango_assnt_eng.pdf

Cuango municipality incorporates a geographic area in excess of 4,000 square kilometers in the province of Lunda Norte. There are three major towns in the municipality, located along the Cuango River Valley: Cuango Sede, Cafunfo, and Luremo. The town of Cuango Sede, the seat of the municipal administration, is estimated to have a population of approximately 24,000 persons, with Cafunfo estimated at 100,000 and Luremo at 16,800…

Luremo, the seat of Cuango Municipality’s only Comuna12 government, is located about 30 kilometers north of Cafunfo (80 kilometers north of Cuango Sede). There is little commercial activity in Luremo. A relatively new alluvial diamond mining operation, Luminas, is located a short distance from Luremo…

The two concessions of SDM and ITM (located immediately to the north of the SDM concession) occupy the Cuango River Valley between Cuango Sede and Cafunfo. With the third concession of Luminas, these diamond mining concessions dominate economic activities in Cuango Municipality. Their concession areas (3000 km2 each) occupy a vast proportion of the available land within the Cuango Municipality; thus, these are restricted areas, in keeping with the 1994 Act. This places restrictions on the movement of people, goods, and economic activity (see Annex 1 chapter 5), and the team saw checkpoints for restricting access to concession areas. However, public roads exist outside the concession areas and many residents are engaged in subsistence agriculture, with an unknown percentage of males engaged in small scale, illicit diamond mining.


Additional reports on human rights abuses in Angola’s diamond mining sector:

Rinsing the Blood from Angola’s Diamonds, Rafael Marques, January, 2007
http://198.170.85.29/Marques-lecture-Rinsing-Blood-from-Angola-Diamonds-26-Jan-2007.doc

The New Blood Diamonds, Rafael Marques, November, 2006
http://www.reports-and-materials.org/Marques-speech-Angola-The-New-Blood-Diamonds-28-Nov-2006.doc

Republic of Angola 2007: Diamond Industry Annual Review, Partnership Africa Canada
http://www.pacweb.org/e/images/stories/documents/angola-ar2007-eng.pdf

Leviev and diamonds in Angola, Adalah-NY
http://adalahny.org/index.php/boycott-against-land-developers-leviev?start=4

We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

Donate

donate now

$ 97.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.

Publish

Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network