A new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) alleges that mining giant AngloGold Ashanti has worked extensively with
mercenaries and warlords in order to gain access to the precious metals of the Democratic Republic of Congo, scene of a bitter
decade-long civil war. What makes these revelations particularly ironic is that AngloGold is part of the Anglo American group
who have played a leading role in advising Tony Blair's Commission for Africa (CfA) on poverty reduction.
Anglo American is chaired by Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, the G8's favourite corporate statesman, who for the last year has
sat on the Business Contact Group of the Commission for Africa. In July he will be chairing the G8 Business Summit on the
eve of the G8 in London (5-6th July). Furthermore, HRW launched its report at the beginning of June to coincide with Anglo
American's co-chairing of the Africa Economic Summit in Cape Town, South Africa. This event, partly designed to promote the
CfA findings to Africa's business community was also designed to showcase how the G8's corporations will be Africa's salvation.
These revelations have certainly gone some way to sour that myth.
AngloGold stands accused of paying protection money to the FNI armed group, based in northeastern Congo, home
to the Mongbwalu gold mines. It is also accused of lending jeeps and other vehicles to FNI leaders, and allowing its leadership
to reside in company accommodation. Not that AngloGold relied on the FNI's gun-toting child soldiers for its protection, the
company brought in mercenary company ArmorGroup (chaired by Conservative politician Malcolm Rifkind) to supply further armed
Human Rights Watch report: 'D.R. Congo: Gold Fuels Massive Human Rights Atrocities, Leading international corporations
established links to warlords', www.hrw.org/english/docs/2005/06/02/congo11041.htm
Corporate Watch report on The Commission for Africa and corporate involvement www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=1535