PR: Deaths at KCC mine

Violent Deaths on Glencore’s Mining Concession in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Wednesday 26 March 2014
Bread for All (Switzerland), the Catholic Lenten Fund (Switzerland), Rights and
Accountability in Development (RAID, UK) and the Congolese human rights
organisation, Centre d’aide juridico-judiciaire (CAJJ), are calling for a full criminal
investigation into the violent death of a young man, MUTOMBO KASUYI, on the mining
concession of the Kamoto Copper Company (KCC), a subsidiary of Glencore Xstrata in
the DRC.
Mutombo Kasuyi, a 26-year-old married man with two small children, lived with his
family in Lubumbashi. He had recently travelled 240 km to Kolwezi to seek work. On 15
February 2014, after trying to find employment at SICOMINES, a nearby mine,
Mutombo and a friend on their way home took a route across KCC’s concession.
According to the friend’s statement, Mutombo Kasuyi and he were both arrested by the
security team who started to beat them. The witness managed to escape and alert
Mutombo’s family who eventually found his body at the morgue of Mwangeji Hospital.
“Mutombo’s death is clearly attributable to the violent actions of the security forces
deployed by KCC to secure its site” said Maître Nathalie Kangaji of CAJJ, a lawyer
representing the young man’s family.
According to CAJJ the investigation is in the hands of a Military Prosecutor because it
concerns serving police officers who were part of the security team on the evening the
incident occurred. Two policemen have been arrested but not the private security agents
who were also on duty at the time.
No Investigation In a Previous Case in Kolwezi
“Unfortunately the death of Mutombo Kasuyi is not an isolated incident" said Patricia
Feeney, RAID’s Executive Director. "There are other documented cases in which KCC’s
security teams have been implicated in the use of excessive force.”
In January 2013 Kalala Mbenga, a 23-year old artisanal miner was shot point blank in
the face by a policeman on guard at the entrance to the KOV open cast mine. According
to eyewitnesses interviewed by the NGOs Bread for All and RAID, the young man was
shot as he tried to leave KCC’s concession. There has been no further investigation into
this incident and the family has not received any compensation.
In the case of Mutombo the family is fearful that, as so often happens in the DRC, the
case will be shelved. "The family is still waiting for the autopsy report to be released" said
Patricia Feeney, who interviewed them on 10 March in Kolwezi.
Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
The events and investigations surrounding the deaths of Mutombo Kasuyi an Kalala
Mbenga raise questions about Glencore Xstrata's implemention of the Voluntary
Principles on Security and Human Rights.
“Under the Voluntary Principles security guards should only use force when strictly
necessary and to an extent proportionate to the threat. All allegations of human rights
abuses should be reported and investigated and the company should press for the proper
resolution of the case,” said Chantal Peyer, Bread for All's Team Leader on Business and
Human Rights. The NGOs believe that the Swiss Government should seek clarification
from Glencore Xstrata about these incidents. The Swiss Government is currently the
president of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and is chairing the
Annual Plenary Meeting of the Initiative, which opens today, 26 March, at Montreux.
The NGOs have also communicated their concerns to Glencore Xstrata. In a detailed
response the company has stated that in its view neither Glencore Xstrata nor its
subsidiary bear any responsibility. Only the government's police have been implicated in
these incidents not KCC's private security guards. Furthermore, Mutombo Kasuyi
appears to have died not as a result of injuries sustained after being beaten, but from an
illness. The family's lawyers dispute Glencore Xstrata's version of the events.
For further information please contact:
Chantal Peyer (Switzerland): + 41 79 759 39 30
Carolyn Norris (UK): + 44 7851 721744