Not taking a stand

 
Published: Wednesday 15 March 2006

Acontroversial audit report of the Office of the Compliance Advisor, an internal audit body of the World Bank (wb), has finally been released after being cleared by the B ank's president Paul Wolfowitz. The report looked into the wb- backed Dikulushi copper and silver mining project in the Democratic Republic of Congo .

The report steered clear of assigning blame for the October 2004 massacre, when the Congolese army suppressed a small-scale uprising by the Mayi-Mayi militia fighters in Kilwa, a town near the Dikulushi mine; as many as 100 people were reported to have been killed.

The incident raised questions about the role of the Australian company, Anvil Mining, in giving logistical support to the army. The report gave a mixed review of the wb's role and urged it's political risk guarantee arm the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency to follow more meticulous safeguards.

A number of advocacy and environmental groups had complained that the wb was withholding the report, for fear of being implicated for bloodshed.

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