US picks ambassador Mike Hammer's successor in Kinshasa
After pondering over the matter for several months, the State Department has just selected Mike Hammer's replacement as US ambassador to the DR Congo, Africa Intelligence can reveal.
Since gold was discovered last year in Luhihi, near the town of Bukavu in the DR Congo, diggers have been flocking to the area. Traditional chiefs, provincial notables, military leaders, and various other officials have also joined the chaotic scramble to extract money from the site.
North Kivu activist Prince Kihangi, who recently became an MP, has been battling for years with tin mining company Alphamin. In January, however, he took his grievances to the DRC mines minister just as Moïse Katumbi, whom he supports, is forging closer relations with President Félix Tshisekedi.
Recently hit by revelations about his business ties with the ex-head of the electoral commission, the businessman Roger Abotome Bekabysia has turned his association with ex-president Joseph Kabila's political movement into a veritable business model.
The current head of ECCAS, the Congolese leader Denis Sassou Nguesso, is much exercised by the crisis in neighbouring DRC. Running for re-election early next year, Sassou is above all worried that the standoff between Tshisekedi and Kabila will upset his campaign.
French businessman Pascal Beveraggi, who recently arrived in the Katangan mining logistics market, has run into competition from the "master of Lubumbashi", Congolese politician and business magnate Moise Katumbi. Beveraggi, who is already battling with him in the courts and the media, has decided to tackle his rival, too, on his preferred battleground, the football pitch.
With his last term in office due to expire in December 2016, Joseph Kabila is maintaining the suspense surrounding his intentions and ratcheting up tensions as the presidential election approaches. Under the new electoral law, he cannot stand for re-election,