British-based airline fuelled Congo terror - Amnesty International calls for an inquiry
Sunday Times - British-based airline fuelled Congo terror:
REBEL groups terrorising civilians in eastern Congo, where a devastating war marked by widespread atrocities has killed nearly 4m people, are doing so with weapons and ammunition flown to Africa by a British-based airline.
United Nations officials believe the flights breach the UN ban on the shipment of arms that fuel conflict in the region.
African International Airways (AIA), whose offices in Crawley, West Sussex, are two miles from Gatwick airport, made a total of six flights from Tirana, Albania, to the Rwandan capital of Kigali in late 2002 and early 2003, carrying more than 250 tons of arms in DC8 freighter aircraft.
Documents seen by The Sunday Times show that the ultimate recipients of the cargo — more than 5m rounds of machinegun ammunition, pistol ammunition and rocket- propelled grenades — were Rwandan-backed rebel groups based over the border in conflict-ridden eastern Congo. The rebels have killed, tortured and raped and have plundered Congo’s rich natural resources...
Brian Wood, Amnesty International’s research manager on the arms and security trade, said: “The British government says its laws are designed to protect human rights worldwide. That is why we need to have a full and prompt inquiry to uncover the truth about these flights.”
Western support to Rwandan-backed rebels in Congo has fuelled vicious human-rights abuses. It's also been a propaganda gift to the extremists like Rwasa, who try to justify their attacks on ordinary Tutsi civilians in Congo and Burundi by peddling the idea of a Rwandan-led, Western-aided "Tutsi conspiracy" to dominate the region.
To support Amnesty's call for a full inquiry about British arms trafficking to the Congo, you can contact your member of parliament quickly and easily via www.faxyourmp.com.