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DR Congo 'uranium ring smashed'

Old 03-09-07, 02:19 PM
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DR Congo 'uranium ring smashed'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6432363.stm
DR Congo 'uranium ring smashed'

Enriched uranium is used for nuclear power generation and weapons
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo say they have dismantled an international network set up to illegally use uranium mined there.
Scientific Research Minister Sylvanus Mushi said DR Congo's top nuclear official and a colleague were being questioned in connection with the case.


The official, Fortunat Lumu, and the colleague were arrested on Tuesday.

The move comes amid reports that a large quantity of uranium has gone missing in recent years in DR Congo.

State prosecutor Tshimanga Mukeba earlier told the BBC that an "important quantity" of uranium was taken from the atomic energy centre in the capital, Kinshasa, without revealing any figures.

DR Congo's daily newspaper Le Phare on Wednesday reported that more than 100 bars of uranium, as well as an unknown quantity of uranium contained in helmet-shaped cases, had disappeared from the centre as part of a vast trafficking of the material going back years.

But the BBC's Kinshasa correspondent, Arnaud Zajtman, says that as of yet, no evidence has been made public to support the allegations made by the newspaper.

'Criminal network'

Mr Mushi said that "a vast network aimed at the fraudulent exploitation of DR Congo's uranium has been dismantled".

"It was a criminal network," he said, without giving any more details.

Referring to earlier reports that the two officials had been arrested on suspicion of uranium smuggling, Mr Mushi said that the prospection and exploitation of DR Congo's uranium had not yet started.

The UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has expressed concerns over the reports from DR Congo, saying it was investigating the situation.

Security concerns

Uranium is the basic raw material of both civilian and military nuclear programmes.

A mine in DR Congo's southern province of Katanga supplied the uranium that was used in the atomic bombs that were dropped by the Americans on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

To thank and reward DR Congo, the Americans funded the creation of DR Congo's nuclear centre in 1958.

It was established on the university campus and only for research purpose.

But in the late 1970s, a bar of uranium disappeared from the centre, raising concern about security at the site.

Moreover, the site of the centre is facing some erosion problems. And people fear a landslide that could lead to a wider disaster, our reporter says.

In recent years, the IAEA has visited the centre and security was believed to have improved.
Someone send Joe Wilson over there, after all he says he knows more about Africa than anyone else in the universe.

I suspect that Iran probably has some of the uranium taken. Shows how worthless the IAEA is and how worthless the UN is.
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Old 03-09-07, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bhk
Shows how worthless the IAEA is and how worthless the UN is.
Yes, I assume you know a lot about the situation in the DR Congo and about the UN involvment there (MONUC) and you aren't just spewing off your usual knee-jerk anti UN rhetoric...
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Old 03-09-07, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Yes, I assume you know a lot about the situation in the DR Congo and about the UN involvment there (MONUC) and you aren't just spewing off your usual knee-jerk anti UN rhetoric...
Let's see, the IAEA is under the UN, has visited the center and thought that the security was better? It says so in the article or did you skip over that in your haste to chastize me?
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Old 03-09-07, 02:38 PM
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Nice try. You said:

Shows how worthless the IAEA is and how worthless the UN is.
Usual knee-jerk, silly generalization. You don't want to get chastised, then avoid making such generalizations.
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Old 03-09-07, 02:41 PM
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Ah yes, the UN in the Congo---and somehow this story didn't get quite the worldwide coverage that Abu Graihb did:

http://www.boston.com/news/world/afr...ndal_in_congo/

I don't think the UN is completely useless, but I can't agree with those who want to imbue it with some sort of idyllic nobility and morality, as if it's somehow a preferred alternative to the traditional countries and governments of the liberal West.
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Old 03-09-07, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Nice try. You said:



Usual knee-jerk, silly generalization. You don't want to get chastised, then avoid making such generalizations.


I like being chastized by groupies.
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Old 03-09-07, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bhk


I like being chastized by groupies.

Cool, can I get a T-shirt?
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Old 03-09-07, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
Ah yes, the UN in the Congo---and somehow this story didn't get quite the worldwide coverage that Abu Graihb did:

http://www.boston.com/news/world/afr...ndal_in_congo/
You wouldn't like it if people judged the US armed forces solely on Abu Ghraib now would you?

I don't think the UN is completely useless, but I can't agree with those who want to imbue it with some sort of idyllic nobility and morality, as if it's somehow a preferred alternative to the traditional countries and governments of the liberal West.
Here we go with the black or white arguments again... If you don't believe the UN is useless, you must therefore believe that it's imbued with an idyllic sense of nobility and morality. Meh...
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Old 03-09-07, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
You wouldn't like it if people judged the US armed forces solely on Abu Ghraib now would you?
What do you mean "if"? You know as well as I do that if the BBC conducts a worldwide poll as to which country is the greatest, most blatant abuser of human rights, who's going to come in first and second? Israel and the US. Of course, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch---groups that actually have the statistics----wouldn't by any stretch of the imagination be able to objectively corroborate those results, but that's beside the point. The world would much prefer to see the UN in charge.
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Old 03-09-07, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
What do you mean "if"? You know as well as I do that if the BBC conducts a worldwide poll as to which country is the greatest, most blatant abuser of human rights, who's going to come in first and second? Israel and the US. Of course, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch---groups that actually have the statistics----wouldn't by any stretch of the imagination be able to objectively corroborate those results, but that's beside the point. The world would much prefer to see the UN in charge.
One, I can't be held responsible for what other people think, and two, I don't see how that answers my question which, obviously, was mean't to show that one shouldn't derive blanket generalizations about a group from the actions of a few individuals.

MONUC is the largest mission of it's kind the UN has ever undertaken. Moreover, it has teeth, which people constantly blame the UN (and rightly so) for lacking. Moreover, despite the horrible mess over in DR Congo (over 4 million dead in what is referred to as "the forgotten war"), the UN has managed to do a number of positive things there, including getting thousands of child soldiers out of the different warring factions and setting up special camps where they get psychological help, education, etc... So yeah, it sort of irks me when people just make stupid generalizations out of ignorance.
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Old 03-09-07, 03:51 PM
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Damn... aren't personal attacks not supposed to be allowed here?
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Old 03-09-07, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
Damn... aren't personal attacks not supposed to be allowed here?
I haven't seen one in this thread.
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Old 03-09-07, 04:20 PM
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I personally feel that sweet, delicious uranium is being misrepresented.
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