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A Global Witness report last month on a controversial oil deal in the Democratic Republic of Congo received wide media coverage and focused attention on how the country’s oil wealth is being managed.
The report received balanced coverage in Reuters, Bloomberg and The Independent, among others. However, there have been allegations in a few publications that Global Witness is funded by “multinationals” and is involved in a plot against Congo.
Global Witness totally rejects these accusations. We are not funded by multinationals, as a quick look on our website would show, where all our funders are declared (see page 11 of our 2011-12 financial statement). Indeed, much of our work in Congo has exposed the abuses of foreign multinationals, often listed in London; as is also the case with our work around the world.
Global Witness’ reporting on the oil deal struck by Gibraltar-registered company Nessergy was rigorous and the facts are fully referenced. Detailed questions were put to all the parties concerned before publication and their answers are fully reflected in the final report. The publications making accusations against Global Witness have not paid us a similar courtesy.
For almost 20 years, Global Witness has campaigned and reported on conflict, corruption and environmental abuses linked to the trade in natural resources. Our campaigning has led to the formation of major initiatives including the Kimberley Process and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative of which Congo is a member and which is finally putting some basic information about Congo’s mineral wealth into the public domain in the country.
We welcome debate on the issues raised by our report. While Nessergy has now given further information to journalists about the deal, key points still need clarification and the contract remains unpublished, in contravention of a 2011 Congolese transparency decree.
To read our report on the Nessergy oil deal (“Congo fails to reveal loss-making oil deal with controversial businessman’s offshore firm”) including comments from representatives of the companies concerned, please click here for English and French.
Daniel Balint-Kurti, +44 (0) 207 492 5872 and +44 (0) 7912 517 146, [email protected]
Nathaniel Dyer, +44 (0)20 7492 5855 and +44 (0)77 11 006 799, [email protected]