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DR Congo - Military Spending

Africa is the region that recorded the largest increase in military spending in 2014, according to the International Research Institute for Peace in Stockholm (SIPRI) published on 13 April 2015. At the continental level the greatest increase in military expenditure was recorded in DR Congo (+ 88%).

According to the World Bank, military expenditures increased from 0.8% of GDP in 2010, 0.9% of GDP in 2011, 1.0% of GDP in 2012, and 1.3% of GDP in 2013. According to CIA, GDP (purchasing power parity) was $55.73 billion (2014 est.), $51.3 billion (2013 est.), and $47.26 billion (2012 est.).

Military expenditures data from SIPRI are derived from the NATO definition, which includes all current and capital expenditures on the armed forces, including peacekeeping forces; defense ministries and other government agencies engaged in defense projects; paramilitary forces, if these are judged to be trained and equipped for military operations; and military space activities. Such expenditures include military and civil personnel, including retirement pensions of military personnel and social services for personnel; operation and maintenance; procurement; military research and development; and military aid (in the military expenditures of the donor country).

Excluded are civil defense and current expenditures for previous military activities, such as for veterans' benefits, demobilization, conversion, and destruction of weapons. This definition cannot be applied for all countries, however, since that would require much more detailed information than is available about what is included in military budgets and off-budget military expenditure items.

While the Congolese government needs considerable help with defense restructuring and the build-up of a professional army, there is a chronic lack of international funding for such a process. In 2002, the defense budget was estimated to be USD 1 billion. In many cases, the Government of the DRC is unable to properly provide its forces with the necessary logistical support.

In June 2005, the European Union launched its Security Sector Reform Mission (EUSEC RD Congo) with the principal aim of "support[ing] the transition process in the DRC, including the creation of an integrated, restructured, and inclusive national army." A project known as 'EUSEC FIN,' which was aimed at setting-up a chain of payment system for the FARDC, was launched in December 2005. It aimed to rectify several of the key weaknesses of the FARDC: the embezzlement of a considerable part of the soldiers' salaries at various points in the chain of command, and the issue of 'ghost soldiers' on the military payroll.

Almost every branch of the administration ends up receiving significantly fewer funds than are initially budgeted. The exceptions are the presidency, Prime Ministers Office, Supreme Court, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Defense (perhaps understandably given the war in the east), and National Intelligence Agency (ANR). Every other ministry or state agency ends up with a significant shortage over budgeted funds.

Without sufficient funds, administration units by and large go dormant. Those which have the capacity to raise revenue themselves (because, say, they award licenses or collect fees) can use these funds to provide for themselves, or become self-service agencies. They thus allocate a large part of their activities to fundraising to supplement their workers incomes and for their own functioning, once again largely guaranteeing that they fall short of fulfilling their normal duties. These two trends produce Congos failed state, the ineffectiveness of its government.

The DRC is a post-conflict country in which the institutions that emerged from the 2006 elections are gradually stabilizing the countrys macroeconomic framework and are consolidating peace and security. They pursue the democratization of the country through considerable efforts to strengthen the mining sector, the main resource in its economy.

However despite these efforts, regarding the presence of FARDC military personnel in mining areas, one observes a certain resistance on the part of the military vis--vis the decisions and measures taken by the authorities, which they are, moreover, supposed to observe scrupulously.

There is ample evidence that the FARDC, including some of its top officers, are involved in criminal mining activities, including smuggling with Rwanda. They also regularly sell their weapons and equipment to local rebels. Ninety-five percent of the weapons used by the FDLR the group that ostensibly justified the deployment of the FARDC in the east were said to come from the FARDC. It is based on accusations of selling weapons to rebels that Army Chief of Staff Gen. Amisi was dismissed in November 2012.

Both Congolese and foreign armed groups and criminal elements of the FARDC exploited DRCs massive mineral resources to finance the conflict. Due to these concerns, in September 2010, DRC President Kabila banned artisanal mining in North and South Kivu and Maniema provinces. The ban was lifted in March 2011 after a multi-stakeholder set of engagements were concluded to reform the eastern DRC mining sector.

On 1 April 2011, section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act came into effect in the United States. This Act was signed into law on 21 July 2010, and includes provisions requiring companies publicly traded in the United States and purchasing gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or its neighbours to submit an annual report outlning the due diligence measures they are taking with regard to whether those minerals are from conflct areas and, if so, whether they could have directly or indirectly financed or benefited armed groups. Since its development in 2010, this United States legislation has proved an important catalyst for traceability and certification initiatives and due diligence implementation in the minerals sector regionally and internationally.

The FARDCs 85th brigade had cooperated in the marketing of cassiterite with the Bangandula Mining Group (G.M.B.) based in Goma. Their partnership generated large sums in export sales, further supplemented by illegal cash and mineral taxes extorted from the population at impromptu checkpoints on the routes in and out of Mpama/Bisiye population at impromptu checkpoints on the routes in and out of Mpama/Bisiye, as well as on the Walikale Goma road and the local airstrip, Kilambo. An unpublished provincial level police intelligence report valued this tax collection at around CFR 175.000.000 or US$ 350.000 per month.

Lack of complete of fully verifiable data makes it difficult to confirm the location of many mine sites; to establish which mines are active and which are inactive at any given time; and to comprehensively verify the armed groups or other entities that are either present at mines or have access to revenue streams emanating from them. These conditions change frequently and were complicated by heightened conflict in 2013, in particular between the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) and the M23 rebel group. FARDC units and other state security forces are deployed throughout the eastern provinces, and according to the Group of Experts and other sources, some elements of the state security forces continue to engage in illegal extortion or control of the mineral trade.

With the adoption of resolution 1493 (2003), the Security Council first imposed an arms embargo on all foreign and Congolese armed groups and militias operating in the territory of North and South Kivu and Ituri, and on groups not party to the Global and All-inclusive agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 28 July 2003. The sanctions regime was subsequently modified and strengthened with the adoption of resolutions 1533 (2004), 1596 (2005), 1649 (2005), 1698 (2006), 1768 (2007), 1771 (2007), and 1799 (2008), by which, inter alia, the Council extended the scope of the arms embargo to the entire DRC territory, imposed targeted sanctions measures (travel ban and an assets freeze), and broadened the criteria under which individuals and entities could be designated as subject to those measures.

The Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo was established on 12 March 2004 to oversee the relevant sanctions measures and to undertake the tasks set out by the Security Council in paragraph 15 of resolution 1807 (2008), paragraph 6 of resolution 1857 (2008) and paragraph 4 of resolution 1896 (2009). Since March 2008, with the adoption of resolution 1807 (2008), the arms embargo was further modified and only applies to all non-governmental entities and individuals operating in eastern DRC,

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Page last modified: 27-05-2015 19:33:12 ZULU