Skip to comments.Saddam's Shadow-The Clinton Adminitration knew about Iraq Uranium
Posted on 12/04/2005 8:21:13 AM PST by SBD1
Saddam's Shadow Africa Energy & Mining June 18, 1997
Copyright 1997 Indigo Publications Africa Energy & Mining
June 18, 1997
SECTION: MINING; DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO; N. 207 LENGTH: 787 words
HEADLINE: Saddam's Shadow
BODY: It's not only diamonds and base metals that interest big mining companies and the latter are not alone in being interested in Katanga. In the delegation that the United States sent to Kinshasa on June 2 under its ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson, the state department's African affairs department was represented by Marc Baas, director for Central Africa. (Susan Rice, director for African Affairs at the National Security Council, has just been appointed under secretary of state for African affairs in succession to George Moose). Baas was accompanied by a representative of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and several Defense Department officials. The mission also visited Lubumbashi and met with officials from Gecamines and provincial authorities.
AEM's sources claim it wasn't the small research reactor that General Electric installed in 1977 at the university of Kinshasa, and which ceased operating in 1990, that interested the NRC and the military men, but rather the Shinkolobwe uranium deposit. Its resources are negligible from a commercial viewpoint when weighed against those in Namibia and Niger and new discoveries like France's Cogema has just made in western Canada. They weren't negligible from the security standpoint, however. The Americans are concerned over a visit to Katanga by the head of the Iraqi Baath party's international relations section, Shabi Al Maliki, around a year ago. He, too, showed an interest in Katanga's uranium, and last February another high-ranking Iraqi official reportedly held talks in Kinshasa with the mines minister in the last government of the Mobutu era, Banza Mukalay. The uranium is thought to have also figured in Libya's proposals in 1995 to supply oil to Zaire in exchange for ore.
Richardson said on June 7 that president Laurent Kabila had given permission for a UN mission to come to the country to investigate the plight of Hutu refugees starting from July 7. Richardson qualified the green light as "a breakthrough on the human rights and humanitarian front." For his part, Brian Atwood, director of U.S.AID, announced in Brussels on June 11 that potential donors would shortly meet for talks on aiding the Democratic Republic of Congo. But such assistance would be conditional on Congo respecting human rights, Atwood indicated. He added that Washington wanted the Kabila government to succeed because if it did not this could result in violence spreading to other countries. He issued an appeal to all governments to use their influence to halt atrocities which various reports indicate are occurring in the eastern part of the country. He said that "organized groups and independent groups" were attempting to strengthen their positions in the eastern regions.
South Africa, for its part, is putting together a team to advise Kabila on reconstructing the country and reorganizing its finances (AEM 205). Deputy president Thabo Mbeki said last week the team would be ready to leave within days and that its members would be chosen in agreement with the Congo government "to discuss a variety of matters that impact on the socioeconomic situation."
He added that Congo's leaders had asked that it consist of officials from South Africa's "Reserve Bank, the economic ministries and people dealing with infrastructure, public administration and so on." Officials said south Africa's foreign minister, Alfred Nzo, discussed Kinshasa's needs with Congo foreign minister Bizima Karaha at the recent Organization of African Unity summit in Harare. The South African mission will be headed by deputy foreign minister Aziz Pahad.
LOAD-DATE: June 20, 1997
Thanks. IMO Bill Richardson’s involvement in this is significant, particularly in light of his long-term relationship with Wilson and others of interest.