Just returned from Eastern Congo

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Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby bearanddragon » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:30 am

Phew! Barely escaped being thrown in a congolese prison, after getting trapped in a walled compound in eastern DR congo where i was sitting next to russian mafia throwing a glasses against the wall with their prostitutes, and next to a de facto warlord (in a bright white adidas track suit) bragging about how he fought off rebels the other day - only to get killed by those same rebels 1 km up the road 48 hours later from an RPG.

Was there on a short assignment to track determine supply chain (for minerals) for an auditing gig and had to get to a gold mine

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/01/0 ... edType=RSS

have a journalist friend who wants me to do a piece, but thought i'd share some photos for you. i have a couple hundred - can post some nice ones when i get more time. currently by tahrir square, egypt, and should be back in the states in 3 days.

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You paying attention? I'm talking... G5, Pecker! That's how you can roll. No more frequent flyer bitch miles for my boy! Oh yeah! Playa... playa! Big dick playa!
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby coldharvest » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:49 pm

fucking superb
job well done
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby ROB » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:06 pm

Very cool. Thanks for sharing. Would love to read and see more if you have the time.
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby nowonmai » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:02 pm

Seems like you're expendable. Hope the day rate was worth it.
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:32 pm

Great fotos!
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby bearanddragon » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:54 am

nowonmai wrote:Seems like you're expendable. Hope the day rate was worth it.

haha, i do too!


as promised, here's some more pics and hopefully this paints kind of the story. i thought i'd share this because it was one of the most bizarre trips i have ever taken, and a bit exciting towards the end there

Well, so super long story short - we got in the day the allied democratic forces (ADF), a local rebel group, went on a 40 person killing spree very close to the town we were headed. But got in, and the congolese border police chief tried to get us to hire out his security for 1500/day. That wasn't happening. So for revenge, he basically had our security guy arrested - and set the "bail" at $1000. So we left his ass in jail - it seems funny in retrospect

us leaving the checkpoint where our security guy was "arrested". he's stuck in that building, and we waited 30-45 minutes for him to get out, and eventually left his ass there
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then got into the town of Beni, which is kind of like that crappy town in star wars where all the riff raff show up - in this case UN trucks with mongolian troops in it, random technicals with militia, and just a bunch of zombie looking people milling about, and then eventually found a spot, which was a walled compound / hotel that also catered to the Russian mafia, gold dealers, and congolose warlords (which is basically what they are). was trapped there with no security or guide until we could get a new one: old one arrested - second guy bailed when he found out what happened.

so in the middle of this jungle and right outside this giant shanty-town is this mansion, surrounded by nice, thick walls. each room started at $60 - not bad??
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had a beer at the pool while planning our next move. to my left at this table were a bunch of russian mafia types, with their congolese prostitutes, and they were chucking glasses at the wall and yelling at the waiter. the warlord / colonel to my right (next table) was in a white adidas track suit - this is the guy who was RPG'd to death 48 hours later.

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the colonel's "technicals". a couple land rovers with 12.7mm Dshk's on the back
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Third security guy took us to a mine eventually. But we had to bribe our way across countless checkpoints. As we got close (it was raining hard in the morning and now intermittently raining), we got to our last village before the "town" by the mine, and you could see villagers on their hands and knees, literally picking gold off the streets. that's how much gold is there - to the point where the streets run with it...

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and now about 50 miles - as the crow flies - further west. there's this little crappy town at the base of this mountain - which used to be covered in jungle, but is now stripped and half of it looks like a giant red dirt mount (i didn't get a good pic of it)
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We hiked around this mountain for a bit and came to a village. now, to see the mine operations itself, the guides i was with persuaded the village chief i was some rich american investor and i might be interested in investing in some machinery to speed up their manual operations...

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you can even see rocks with gold in it
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in my first post, you saw a 1-2 gram gold "nugget" / flake. the ground here was shiny with all the gold specs in it, and if you look hard enough you can find one of those baby nuggets every other minutes. a gram costs $40 in the US - that's how much gold is apparently here...

anyway, after i had documented all this, we tried to leave. but as we strongly suspect, our "security" guy had us held up at a checkpoint on the way back. they snagged our passports and said they would detain us until their village chief got back. had to tap into our emergency money to bribe our way out of that one, but eventually got back into Uganda.
You paying attention? I'm talking... G5, Pecker! That's how you can roll. No more frequent flyer bitch miles for my boy! Oh yeah! Playa... playa! Big dick playa!
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:44 pm

Great pics and story. Slightly more interesting than hearing about the 1 week at the all inclusive in Dominican Republic.
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby svizzerams » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:41 am

Sounds like an excellent adventure, with the added bonus of coming back alive :-) Crazy!
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby bearanddragon » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:54 am

there is apparently a pygmy tribe in the area that is sitting on a mound of diamonds. i wouldn't have believed that there was a place where the road would be littered with gold, so this pygmy diamond thing seems pretty legit ... now that would be a story!
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby south_sea_bubble » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:47 pm

Lots of recent activity around Beni. Report says January 18th the DRC Armed Forces and the UN Intervention Brigade went on the offensive against ADF and they are on the run.

http://www.janes.com/article/32672/rebe ... nes-in-drc
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby bearanddragon » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:36 pm

the timing of my trip was very bad, to say the least. we were going to be there 4 days, ended up being 2 since the coup and violence flare-up, etc.

as we were driving from the border back into kampala, uganda, we passed 4 ugandan army convoys headed west to the border, so wouldn't be surprised if they have something to do with this as well, since the ADF are based in uganda.
You paying attention? I'm talking... G5, Pecker! That's how you can roll. No more frequent flyer bitch miles for my boy! Oh yeah! Playa... playa! Big dick playa!
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby south_sea_bubble » Thu Aug 11, 2022 6:22 pm

and next to a de facto warlord (in a bright white adidas track suit) bragging about how he fought off rebels the other day - only to get killed by those same rebels 1 km up the road 48 hours later from an RPG.


I think this is the man:

https://youtu.be/De5cL_r0dQ4?t=2645
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby Ozymandias » Mon Aug 15, 2022 11:32 am

I would love to see the pictures, but they are not displaying. I am either seeing broken links or "no war" banners over the Ukrainian flag. Anyone else having that issue?
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby south_sea_bubble » Mon Aug 15, 2022 12:22 pm

The pics are gone. Too bad. An actual street of gold—amazing. It was the most memorable thread I've read on BFC. I instantly connected the dots when I saw the Al-Jazeera documentary a few days ago.
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Re: Just returned from Eastern Congo

Postby Kurt » Mon Aug 15, 2022 12:47 pm

south_sea_bubble wrote:The pics are gone. Too bad. An actual street of gold—amazing. It was the most memorable thread I've read on BFC. I instantly connected the dots when I saw the Al-Jazeera documentary a few days ago.


Imageshack. I think they moved to a payment model and trashed the free pics people had. Quite a shame.
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