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By John Helmer, Moscow

Canadian governments are often portrayed as Dudley Do-Right, a caricature member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the 1960s television cartoon series, who was always trying to do good; never caught the villain, never got satisfaction from the girl. That was because Dudley had less brains than his horse, who did better with the girl. Since Dudley, er Justin Trudeau became prime minister of Canada a year ago, the PR gap between the caricature and the prime minister has widened; the IQ gap has contracted; the distance to the villain and the girl has stayed the same.

The villain in the new Dudley Do-Right cartoon on Canadian policy is Russia. Canadian special forces are fighting Russia on both the Ukraine and Syria war fronts. Canada has given Kiev C$400 million (US$305 million) to pay the Ukrainian army, backed by most Canadian non-government organizations (NGOs) insisting they are on Do-Right’s side. One in particular, Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) of Ottawa, the Canadian capital, leads the charge against diamonds, gold and other mineral developers, many of them Russian, who compete or threaten Canadian mining interests. PAC, it turns out, is a weapon of commercial and economic warfare. Financially, it belongs to the US State Department and US investors, George Soros and Pierre Omidyar.

Canada is the largest mining investor in the African continent’s mineral resources. According to Yves Engler, a leading Canadian critic of Canadian policy, Canadian companies control about half of all foreign mining projects in 35 African countries, worth about C$31 billion. Canadian government policy, Engler reports, “is synonymous with the interests of [Canadian] mining companies.”

Снимок Source: 90-minute lecture by Yves Engler

Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) began in 1986 as a conduit for Canadian government money for country-specific programs and regional African emergencies such as famine and war refugees. PAC received US $150 million from Ottawa in the first decade, and was a clearinghouse for funding other NGOs. When Ottawa cut the big money, PAC was redirected to focus on diamond mining in Africa and other minerals. The biggest source of its operating budget remained Canadian government agencies. But as the first decade of work on “blood diamonds” concluded, PAC appealed to fresh sources of money to do different things.

Blood diamonds weren’t good for PAC’s wellbeing, financially. Its budget sank to a low of C$365,329 in 2001, when the organization was focusing on warfare in Sierra Leone and Guinea. It has managed to quadruple its budget to around C$1.4 million since 2013. PAC’s pitch for the new money has expanded from blood diamonds, which have largely been eradicated from the global market, to money-laundering, transfer-pricing, and bribery in the diamond trade, with fresh targets in Africa as well as abroad. It has also begun to expand into gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten and other minerals crucial to North American electronics and military industries.

According to PAC, its targets now exhibit a “lack of accountability, poor governance, and human rights violations associated with conflict minerals…natural resource governance, including the certification of conflict minerals and clean supply chains.” PAC is also pitching for money to “support gender equality and women’s entrepreneurship in artisanal mining.”

According to Engler, the role of Canadian NGOs in Africa is “to pacify local opposition to the mine”; preserve unrestricted export concessions for the mining companies; block local job creation and beneficiation (processing and manufacture) of mine output; and lock local African governments into investment protection treaties allowing Canadian mine companies to sue in international courts, where legal costs and penalties are high.

The Russian suspicion, according to Sergei Goryainov, lead analyst for Moscow-based Rough & Polished, the Russian diamond industry bible, is that PAC is funded by the Canadian, US and NATO governments and businesses as a covert intelligence operation.


“PAC (as well as a British NGOs such as Global Witness) operate on information generated by the US and UK intelligence services. Much of the data contained in these NGO’s reports on the subject of the diamond industry, was not seen before in the public record. In my opinion, it could only be obtained by operational methods, which the official personnel of the PAC do not have. The flow of such information serves as a tool for PAC activity in a direction favourable to the [covert] suppliers of such information.”

“For over a decade,” PAC reports about itself on the group’s website, “we’ve been at the forefront of a global campaign to stop violence in diamond producing areas and create a responsibly managed diamond supply chain.” As the warfare surrounding diamond mining diminished in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), PAC has moved beyond blood diamonds mined in war zones.


“Conflict diamonds” are not the same issue as they used to be, according to PAC’s latest declarations. The new focus is on Brazil, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, and also on the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to PAC, its targets are now money-laundering, transfer-pricing, tax evasion, bribery, and market rigging. The diamonds have been re-classified “conflict-affected minerals”; the targeted minerals have been expanded to follow attempts since 2010 by the US Congress to widen the geography and increase the number of metals designated to gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum.

“Diamonds lend themselves so easily to funding terrorist activities” is one of PAC’s claims. Also: “Diamonds are often used to perpetuate corruption and deprive states of much needed revenues.” But in this 2014 report no evidence was presented of the terrorism link for either diamond or gold trading.

Снимок3 Canadian forces at war:
left, Canadian Lieut-Gen Charles Bouchard on Libyan war operations
Centre: Canadian special forces casualty in northern Iraq
Right: Canadian “trainer” in Ukraine

Also omitted from the report is the evidence, which surfaced after publication, that between 2012 and 2014 PAC’s “Just Gold” operation in the DRC had overlapped with mine concessions belonging to the Israeli entrepreneur Dan Gertler, and avoided putting pressure on the nearby goldminers, Anglogold Ashanti of South Africa and Loncor Resources of Canada. “Providing capacity-building and technical assistance to support transparency in the mining sector” is one of PAC’s declared goals. Canadian, French and other researchers point out that the transparency goal doesn’t extend to Canadian or US mining companies, or to the operation of US, Israeli, Swiss, and Belgian diamond markets, or to the role Israeli government agencies and miners, including Gertler, Beny Steinmetz, and Lev Leviev, play in financing regime corruption in Africa.

Russia is an obvious PAC target, Russian and Canadian sources acknowledge, because Alrosa, the state-owned diamond miner, is the world’s largest producer, and with DeBeers of South Africa, the dominant supplier of rough diamonds to the global market. US sanctions have been expanding against Russian state companies, and against Russia’s international trade. For the last report on Belgian resistance to sanctions in the diamond trade, click.

Sources in Tel Aviv report that the Russian diamond industry and the Russian government have opposed PAC’s attempts to expand its mandate, and enlarge the scope of the Kimberley Process (KP), the international certification and regulatory scheme for diamond trading, to include diamonds linked to alleged human rights abuses – thereby providing a means of targeting “anti-western” governments and their industries. Alrosa was asked how it interprets the activities of PAC, and whether it regards such US-funded “reform” campaigns in the diamond sector as a form of economic warfare. The company spokesman Andrei Ryabinnikov was non-committal. Alrosa, he said, “is closely monitoring the key developments in the diamond industry. At the same time, Alrosa does not comment on the activities of other organizations, as well as whatever else the vicissitudes of the political process produce.”

“There are only two major producers of rough diamonds – De Beers and Alrosa,”, says Goryainov. “The regular customers of these companies are the same… the US is a major consumer of the final product – diamond jewelry. And as such, given the realities of American law [the Dodd-Frank statute and other laws on ‘conflict minerals’], the United States is quite capable of changing the structure of the market most dramatically. Suffice it to ban the sale in the US of diamond jewelry with Russian diamonds, like, for example, the ban on the circulation of gold in the United States from Zimbabwe, and the rough diamond market will be radically reorganized – and not in favor of Alrosa, to be sure.”

PAC’s funding sources are all on the US and NATO side. Critics like Engler and Goryainov see one-sidedness in other ways. One of the sources for the 2014 activities, PAC reports, was the Irish Government. Ireland’s role as a tax haven for Dublin-registered oil, mining and other resource companies isn’t mentioned. PAC has not reported on its activities since then; the annual report for 2015 is missing.

Here is how PAC highlights its main supporters:
Снимок4Source: http://www.pacweb.org/images/Annual_Review/Annual%20Report%202014_EN_web.pdf

And this is the latest financial report from PAC on its sources of money:
Снимок5 Source: PAC Annual Report 2014, page 8: http://www.pacweb.org/images/Annual_Review/Annual%20Report%202014_EN_web.pdf

The most obvious change in cashflow is a dramatic one. Partnership Africa Canada is no longer Canadian, apart from a minor donation from Carleton University in Ottawa. PAC is now a US government and NATO operation, and as the Irish and Belgian governments have dropped out, they have been replaced by the Australian government.

The bottom-line deficit is also obvious. PAC has been running in the red since 2012. Without the takeover by the non-Canadian governments and business interests, PAC would have been too broke to continue.

The business funding for PAC is also American, and anti-Russian. Снимок6The biggest of these is George Soros (lead image); he has also been joined by another US business financier of anti-Russian causes, Pierre Omidyar (right). Reviewing the annual reports of PAC over the past decade, the most important of the NGOs identified as financing PAC or partnering with PAC, include Revenue Watch Institute (US). This appears now to be part of the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI). The principal sources of funding for these entities are Soros, Omidyar, and the Hewlett family. Soros’s involvement in financing the rewriting of mining concessions in Guinea has been documented here.

For more on Omidyar’s schemes, read Mark Ames here. On Omidyar’s financing for Kiev’s side in the Ukraine war, read this. Ames recently began exposing Omidyar’s west Africa operations.

Humanity United (US) started with just $5,844 in 2013, and followed with a whopping $301,425 in 2014. A Do-Right name for an organization; its website reveals it to be an Omidyar front.

Publish What You Pay Canada receives Soros funding directly from the Open Society Foundations (OSI) and indirectly through the Natural Resource Governance Institute. It is also funded by Christian evangelical missionaries of World Vision.

The Public-Private Alliance (PPA)/Resolve organization is based in Washington, DC: the personnel running it come from the US goldminer Newmont; the US Agency for International Development (USAID); from the Motorola corporation’s tantalum source and supply branch; Greenpeace; and from an individual whose career resume included a tour of duty in Kosovo, handing out microfinance (aka cash) after the NATO war against Serbia created the breakaway state.

For a fuller picture of the governments, businesses, and NGOs operating through PPA, here is PPA’s roll:

Снимок8Source: http://www.resolv.org/site-ppa/files/2012/06/PPA-Overview-06-24-131.pdf

A Canadian political analyst comments from Ottawa: “phony environmental symbolics and identity politics are all the rage here. Notice that JT’s [Prime Minister Justin Trudeau] chief advisor [Gerald] Butts is a former WWF [World Wildlife Fund] honcho. It doesn’t get more green-washed than that. What is most frustrating is that there is so little attempt made by people here to ascertain what is actually going on. So, when the official dog-whistles are blown by the corporate lap-dog media they come running.”

International diamantaires urge skepticism towards reports of transparency problems in diamond trading through bourses like the UAE, and remedies like the Kimberley Process and other certification schemes promoted by PAC. The debate is intensifying ahead of next month’s plenary session of member states in Dubai. “The KP process achieved what I believed was a successful outcome in regard to the horrors of Sierra Leone,” says one well-known European diamantaire. He adds: “A long time ago I became convinced that all the NGO’s involved in diamonds saw [KP] as a gravy train and one that provided wonderful publicity for them.”

Chaim Even Zohar (pictured below, left), an Israeli diamond analyst and publisher, warns against one-sidedness. For money-laundering through diamonds, no country market beats the US, he concludes. “The U.S. is identified as the world’s most convenient and ‘uncontrolled’ rough transfer market. The U.S. imported in 2003-2015 some 39,336,818 carats of rough and re-exported an amazingly identical amount of 39,276,076 carats.”


PAC’s chief executive, Joanne Lebert (above, right), was asked to clarify what PAC’s mission is towards Russian diamond operations worldwide, and in conflict zones. Lebert has been a lecturer at Carleton University and deputy director of Peacebuild, an NGO she describes as working to “strengthen Canadian foreign policy options and practice.” Based in Ottawa, Peacebuild is funded entirely by the Canadian Government. Through a spokesman Lebert said: ““we won’t be answering the questions you sent us.”

In Moscow Goryainov cautions against concluding that PAC stands for reform of diamond mining or marketing. He is also hesitant to call it an organ for economic warfare. “What PAC is proposing is not reform in the field of production or in the sphere of control of the movement and the pricing of diamonds and gold. Of course, this isn’t economic sabotage, but a mechanism that increases the transparency and manageability of the diamond and metal markets. Still, in the United States, as the largest consumer, there is the powerful tool of national legislation that allows the opportunity to inflict a serious economic blow on the gold and diamond mining countries. From this point of view, the implementation of PAC’s proposals can significantly enhance the speed and effectiveness of such attacks.”

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