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Kabila Funds American Lobbyists with $5.6 Million Payout

06 June 2017

Dr. Denis Mukwege Advocates for Expansion and Protection of Humanitarian Work

(New York, NY) The following is a statement from Panzi Foundation USA: 

As reported by The Hill, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is paying millions of dollars to lobbyists in Washington, DC. 

Amid election strifecalls for an international investigation into the murders of UN Experts in the troubled Kasai provinces, President Kabila's government continues to shrink humanitarian and democratic spaces as reports of extrajudicial killings and mass gravescrumbling or nonexistent infrastructure, massive inflation, extreme poverty and malnutrition, an epidemic of rape, an acting with total disregard for the Constitution continue to make headlines. 

In Washington, DC and New York this week, our Founder, Dr. Denis Mukwege participated in a series of high level meetings with US Government and United Nations policymakers and diplomats about humanitarian issues faced in Congo. Our colleagues at Panzi Hospital and Panzi Foundation DRC have helped to treat more than 50,000 survivors of sexual violence since 1999. Many thousands of other patients were treated for complex obstetric or gynecological injuries. A general reference hospital, Panzi serves more than 400,000 Congolese in South Kivu province across every medical discipline. Security concerns are paramount for front line defenders. 

Dr. Denis Mukwege stated: "President Kabila claims there is no money for elections. Instead, he paid $5.6 million to lobbyists that want to persuade American lawmakers and the American people of his virtue. 

"With $5.6 MILLION, we could fund 25 health centers and heal hundreds of thousands of Congolese."

Panzi Foundation USA stands in solidarity with Dr. Denis Mukwege. We mourn our colleague and friend, Dr. Gildo Byamungu, who was assassinated in April 2017. We stand with our selfless, courageous colleagues. We stand with the countless citizens and civil society groups who are dedicated to nonviolence and the expansion of the democratic and humanitarian spaces in Congo.

For additional information on the Lobbyists, please utilize the Justice Department's website for Registered Foreign Agents:, and use the 'Quick Search' function. Alston Bird LLP, the firm for Senator Bob Dole is under s retainer agreement through Mer Security. Mer's registration number is 6423. Southfive Strategies' registration number is 6426. The Livingston Group, founded by former Congressman Bob Livingston, is registered under 6344. Alpha/Aseleus Strategies, where Trump Transtion member Adnan Jalil is a principal, is registered under 6431. More than $4,500,000 has already been paid since December 2016 according to disclosures filed with FARA.


Monusco Must Restore Protection At Panzi for Dr. Denis Mukwege

Monusco Must Restore Protection At Panzi for Dr. Denis Mukwege

11 May 2017

(Washington, DC) Yesterday, Panzi Foundation USA's Executive Director Tony Gambino responded to inaccurate statements made by Monusco officials on Twitter. "To say that Dr. Mukwege is under no threat is a terribly wrong misstatement. His close friend and colleague, Dr. Gildo Byamungu was murdered in Uvira just a few weeks ago. Sadly, the statement made by Monusco is factually incorrect. Protection was withdrawn following the departure of former SRSG Martin Kobler. This needs to be rectified as soon as possible."

Mr. Gambino is available for interviews. 

The statement below, from our colleagues at Panzi Foundation DRC, reflects the facts surrounding the withdrawal of protection. Panzi Foundation USA endorses and joins them in calling for the restoration of protection to Dr. Mukwege and Panzi Hospital. 

Statement from the Panzi Foundation DRC on the Protection MONUSCO Provides to Dr. Mukwege and Panzi Hospital

"On Tuesday, May 9, the French newspaper "La Croix" published an article stating that MONUSCO no longer provides permanent protection to Dr. Dénis Mukwege. That statement is true.

"On Wednesday, May 10, in Kinshasa, during a press conference, Charles Antoine Bambara, MONUSCO's Director of Public Information, stated that "MONUSCO always has protected Dr. Denis Mukwege. Our forces are always there to secure those who feel threatened. Some of our soldiers are even now near Panzi Hospital." That statement is inaccurate, and verifiably so.

"MONUSCO protected Panzi Hospital and Doctor Mukwege for a certain period until the departure of SRSG Martin Kobler.

"Unfortunately, MONUSCO, without giving us any explanation, no longer protects the hospital as it once did.

"The Pakistani contingent of MONUSCO, which had been based at Panzi camp, was moved last year. There are no more MONUSCO blue helmets in the vicinity of the hospital.

"Also, MONUSCO said on Twitter that "MONUSCO continues its protection to Dr. Mukwege and there is no threat to him." This statement also is inaccurate.

"The threat remains, grows, and is permanent. It is surprising that MONUSCO does not seem to understand this fundamental and urgent reality about the safety of Dr. Mukwege, the medical and administrative staff, and especially the girls and women who come to Panzi.

"MONUSCO's mandate is to protect civilians. We request that MONUSCO provide permanent, continuous protection to Dr. Mukwege and Panzi Hospital. We thank them for the escorts that continue to take place."


Contact: Elizabeth Blackney, +1541.390.1913 

Statement: Dr. Mukwege on Beni Massacres


Statement from Dr Denis Mukwege – 17 May 2016
After Beni Massacres, "peace cannot be achieved at the expense of justice."

(Bukavu, DRC) Since early May, more than 50 people have been brutally massacred in Beni, in North Kivu Province, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Since October 2014, the death toll in Beni has risen to more than 600. Photographs of these atrocities of masses are unbearable: pregnant women disemboweled, mutilated infants, human beings trussed up and their throats slit with a knife.

From the bottom of my heart, I extend my heartfelt and deepest condolences to all the families affected by this despicable barbarity, and also to all my countrymen and to all friends of the Congo who know victims of the atrocities committed in Beni, Lubero, Rutshuru, and elsewhere.

Our hearts are profoundly affected by the injuries related to the armed conflicts in the region; the crimes and barbaric atrocities occurring in the Eastern DRC for 20 years appear to be resurgent. The population feels abandoned and left to fend for themselves.

The blood of our Congolese sisters and brothers must stop flowing into the streets. Nothing can justify such cruelties, these are men and women and children, and their deaths are not simple news items. Their lives matter. 

More than 2000 kilometers from Beni, our leaders are creating a political empasse, through a false battle around the interpretation of our constitution. The apparent objective is the perpetuation of chaos in order to preserve the privileges of certain people close to those in power. Meanwhile in Beni, evil continues striking our villages leaving behind terror, chaos, blood, and houses aflame.

The Congolese are frustrated, hurt and humiliated. They are demanding more accountability and efficiency on the part of those who govern them. They are mobilizing to achieve the long-awaited, and promised, change.

Delaying tactics and an apparent intent to thwart elections occurring within the timeframe set forth in the constitution, creating a ‘glissement’ or ‘slippage.’ This is extremely dangerous and a violation of the 2277 resolution of the UN Security Council and the principles of the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. This glissement would only prolong the suffering of the Congolese people, to better secure and continue to exploit its resources without accountability.

The definitive solution to the problems plaguing the DRC requires holistic consideration of evil, and the awakening of the patriotic consciousness of the Congolese people. Then the overhaul of the State must establish and enforce laws that embrace human rights and governance oriented to the satisfaction, and in the best interest of all the people. In short, a radical change must occur. The Congolese people must be at the forefront of national sovereignty.

I appeal once again to the international community to implement its responsibility to protect civilians in the heart of the Great Lakes region, where truth and justice have been sacrificed on the altar of peace. We have waited too long, because until now we have neither peace nor justice.

As the massacres in eastern Congo illustrate, peace cannot be achieved at the expense of justice. I am reminded of the words Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in 1963, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied." Peace can only be achieved where civil and human rights, in concert with economic development and education, and justice, are recognized by our government and the international community. 

Communiqué de Presse du Dr Denis Mukwege – 17 mai 2016

En ce début de mois de mai, plus de 50 personnes ont été sauvagement massacrées dans le Territoire de Béni, dans la Province du Nord Kivu, à l’Est de la République Démocratique du Congo. Depuis octobre 2014, le bilan s’élève à plus de 600 morts ! Les images de ces atrocités de masses sont insupportables: des femmes enceintes éventrées, des bébés mutilés, des êtres humains ligotés et égorgés à l’arme blanche. 

Du fond de mon cœur, j'adresse mes condoléances les plus sincères et attristées à toutes les familles frappées par cette barbarie ignoble, et aussi à tous mes compatriotes et à tous les amis du Congo qui s'identifient aux victimes de Béni, de Lubero, de Rutshuru et d’ailleurs.

Nos cœurs sont profondément meurtris, et nos blessures liées aux conflits armés récurrents dans la région ; les crimes et barbaries qui sévissent dans l'Est de la RDC depuis 20 ans refont surface avec une nouvelle intensité. La population a le sentiment d'être abandonné et livré à elle-même. 

Le sang des Congolais doit cesser de couler. Rien ne saurait justifier de pareilles cruautés qui passent dans l’actualité comme de simples faits divers. Chaque vie compte.
Alors que nos gouvernants organisent une impasse politique et se livrent, à plus de 2000 km de Béni, à une fausse bataille d'interprétation de notre Constitution qui constitue en réalité une démarche bassement politicienne ayant pour objectif de perpétuer un chaos organisé visant la préservation des privilèges de quelques proches du pouvoir, le mal court, traverse nos villages laissant, derrière lui, terreur, chaos, sang et maisons en feu.

Les Congolais sont exaspérés, meurtris et humiliés.  Ils réclament plus de responsabilité et d'efficacité de la part de ceux qui les gouvernent. Ils se mobilisent pour parvenir au changement tant attendu.

Les manœuvres dilatoires ayant pour projet apparent d’hypothéquer l’organisation des élections dans les délais constitutionnels préparent un « glissement » extrêmement dangereux et une violation de la résolution 2277 du Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies et des principes de la Chartre Africaine de la démocratie, des élections et de la gouvernance, qui entrainerait une prolongation des souffrances du peuple congolais, en vue de mieux l'assujettir et continuer à exploiter ses ressources sans redevabilité.

La solution définitive  de la RDC requiert une prise en compte holistique du mal congolais, qui passera d'abord par l'éveil de la conscience patriotique du peuple, ensuite par la refondation de l'Etat, et enfin par l’instauration d’un état de droit respectueux des droits humains et une gouvernance orientée vers la satisfaction de l’intérêt général : en bref, un changement radical de l'actuel système. Pour y arriver, l'acteur principal reste le peuple congolais qui doit s’assumer en tant que détenteur primaire de la souveraineté nationale.

J'en appelle, une fois encore, à la communauté internationale pour mettre en œuvre sa responsabilité de protéger les populations civiles au cœur de la région des Grands Lacs, où la vérité et la justice ont été sacrifiées sur l'autel de la paix que nous attendons depuis trop longtemps, car jusqu’à ce jour nous n'avons ni la paix, ni la justice. 

Ces derniers massacres commis à l’Est du Congo illustrent à suffisance, hélas, que la paix ne saurait s'obtenir au détriment de la justice.  Je me rappelle les mots écrits en 1963 par le Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: « Une justice trop tardive est un déni de justice ». La paix ne peut être atteinte que lorsque le respect des droits humains et des libertés fondamentales, allant de pair avec un développement économique et l’accès à l’éducation et à la justice pour tous, seront reconnus par notre gouvernement et la communauté internationale.

Dr. Denis Mukwege, PhD