Uganda Reports

WB awards illegal Financing of Army

Date: Fri Jun 23, 2000 7:46am

Citizens of the World:

Behold how British imperialist and and American Neo-colonialist ( Wabeberu)
are using their proxy ( Yoweri Museveni's Uganda) to plunder DRC's mineral


Published in Aktuelt (Denmark) Weekend 17-18 June 2000

Uganda Encouraged to Pillage Congo

Uganda resorts to extra-budgetary financing of its military by plundering
gold- and diamond mines in neighboring Congo.

The World Bank, however, claims that Uganda is living up to donor conditions
of not spending more than 2 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product
on the military.

Therefore Uganda has become the first country in the world to be nominated
for debt relief amounting to 2 billion dollars.

By Gunnar Willum og Bjørn Willum

The World Bank and Western donors are so desperate to have success with a
new debt relief program, the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)
Initiative, that they prefer to tolerate Ugandan financing of its army
through plunder in Congo rather than to present the real figures.

And the figures in the World Bank reports do indeed look good.

High economic growth rates, rising exports and almost no military
expenditure, despite the fact that Ugandan Government has occupied huge
parts of neighboring Congo and fights rebels in the northern part of the

Last month the east African country was then awarded by the World Bank and
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who promised debt relief of almost 2
billion dollars through the Highly Indebted Poor Countries intiative, which
has been praised by development organizations and scholars all over the

But the numbers lie. Uganda's military budget is in reality far larger than
stated in the official statistics.

"Uganda makes a million dollars a day pillaging gold and diamonds in Congo,"
a World Bank source , who asked not to be named, told Aktuelt.

The income associated with plunder of valuable minerals in Congo directly
benefits the military and lines the pockets of officers. It does not figure
on the state budget, says William Reno, a scholar on Africa from
Northwestern University in Chicago.

Uganda thereby circumvents the donor demand not to spend more than two
percent of its Gross Domestic Product on the military.

Gold Export

However, the pillage of Congo is not exclusively a gain for the military and
the officers profiting on the smuggling.

Gold, diamonds and other valuable minerals are shipped to Uganda from the
mines in the parts of eastern Congo controlled by the Ugandan army. The gold
is then bought by private companies and exported once more, this time from
Uganda, thereby improving the balance of payment.

Gold has become the second largest export earner after coffee bringing in
more than 100 million dollars a year, according to the latest government

Adding another good mark to Uganda's economic performance in the eyes of the

William Reno rejects the notion that the World Bank should be unaware of the
origins of the gold and where the money from the illegal trade is going.

"They should be imbeciles not to know what is going on. But they don't care.
Any geologist knows that there isn't gold in those amounts in Uganda," he

The smuggling is no secret for the government, nor for the donors or the
monetary institutions. "Gold is being smuggled into Uganda," the IMF
concluded in an official report from October last year, adding in the same
sentence that "Uganda does not produce gold."

But the World Bank deliberately chooses to ignore this "extra appropriation"
to the military in order for the books to balance and get the enormous debt
relief programme running.

"As a World Bank official I cannot discuss these things," says Anthony Gaeta
>from the Bank's HIPC Initiative division to Aktuelt.

The World Bank is more interested in making the figures on the bottom line
look good, since billions of dollars have been invested in the country,
critics say. The actual military expenditure is ignored.

"It's a technical desire achieve balance of payment," says William Reno.


Uganda has in other words been awarded for waging war in Congo despite the
official rhetoric from both the World Bank and the European Union, who have
repeatedly called for Uganda to withdraw from the Congo according to a peace
agreement reached last year between the warring parties.

"Therefore you can say that the donors and the World Bank is supporting
Uganda's war in Congo," says Reno.

The price is being paid by Congolese civilians. Not only are the resources
of their country being plundered, the human suffering is enormous. According
to Amnesty International the Ugandan occupation forces have participated in
massacres and raping of civilians.

According to a recent report released by an American relief organization the
number of deaths caused by the war has reached 1,7 million.

But according to one Western government source the World Bank desperately
needs to use Uganda as a model country and therefore refuses to face the
reality, because it wants success with the HIPC Initiative. No matter what
the price.

"The World Bank wants Uganda to be Africa's success story," the government
official says.

Gunnar Willum and Bjørn Willum are free-lance journalists...

Translations of some previously published articles can be found on

"States of Unrest" | IMF/ WB Struggles | PGA