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Yaoundé - 18 November 2018 -
Finance

Kilimanjaro Capital: The Canadian holding pulling strings of the Cameroonian secessionist crisis?

Kilimanjaro Capital: The Canadian holding pulling strings of the Cameroonian secessionist crisis?
  • Comments   -   Sunday, 24 June 2018 00:51

(Business in Cameroon) - Apparently, the secessionist claims, born from simple corporate claims issued in October 2016, and plunged Cameroon’s South and North Western regions in crisis since 2017 have their roots outside the country. Truly, years before the Anglophone crisis started, the “Government of the Southern Cameroons”, a minor group composed of Cameroonians from the English-speaking regions and which gets its recruits in the diaspora, signed in November 2012 oil exploitation agreements with Canada-based Belizean firm, Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd. The latter, on January 30, 2013, announced it sold to Forest Gate Energy Inc 20% of its assets in planned exploitation projects in Southern Cameroons which, according to the related statement also “hold reserves of diamond, gold uranium, iron and bauxite”.

The latter, on January 30, 2013, announced it sold to Forest Gate Energy Inc 20% of its assets in planned exploitation projects in Southern Cameroons

Hence, through the agreements, the government of the Southern Cameroons, self-proclaimed to head the fake State of Ambazonia (name given by secessionists to Cameroon’s actual South Western and North Western regions), gave Kilimanjaro Capital and its partner, Forest Gate Energy Inc, 80% of rights to exploit all oil deposits situated in the country’s English-speaking regions, those of the Bakassi peninsula to be exact. Located in the South West, Bakassi is reputed as a very rich region, both in regards to oil and fishery reserves. In the past, it was at the center of a border conflict between Cameroon and Nigeria; a conflict which lasted years was finally won by Cameroon on the decision of the International Court of Justice.
So, who actually signed the agreements in the “Government of the Southern Cameroons”? That is a question that was asked Jonathan Harris Levy, legal advisor of Kilimanjaro Capital’s CEO, Zulfikar Rashid, by panafricanvisions.com. No answer was given however. M. Rashid, is a Ugandan living in Calgary, Canada.

Regardless, in a statement released by Kilimanjaro Capital Plc in June 2013, it was revealed that Ebenezer Akwanga, who would be the lawyer of the Cameroonian Secessionist Movement, was coopted in the firm’s Advisory Board.

Those who signed the agreements in the name of the Southern Cameroons are active figures of its defense, and when the time comes, they will be made known to the public,” Zulfikar Rashid declared six years ago. Six years later, it appears that the time has still not come.

Ebenezer
Ebenezer Akwanga (back view), member of the Advisory Board of Kilimanjaro Capital and Commander In Chief of the SOCADEF

Regardless, in a statement released by Kilimanjaro Capital Plc in June 2013, it was revealed that Ebenezer Akwanga, who would be the lawyer of the Cameroonian Secessionist Movement, was coopted in the firm’s Advisory Board. Maybe a gift for providing the firm such a profitable contract or nothing more than a professional occurrence?

Hidden contracts

One might wonder how much was paid to the self-acclaimed government, by Kilimanjaro Capital in the framework of the previously mentioned agreements, out of sheer curiosity, in the event the secessionists’ claims were successful. Well, the answer of Kilimanjaro Capital’s CEO in this regard is as blurry as usual. “This information is partly confidential,” he says, adding: “We cannot provide it until the Government of the Southern Cameroons releases it and this is due to the some issues with the Biya government and actions taken against the Southern Cameroons government’s members”. Rashid however indicated that “the amount is significant”.

Financial
Financial Mail, October 4, 2013.

According to Kilimanjaro Capital which has become quite fond of signing oil contracts with rebels in Africa (more details below), it secured an area of 43,000 km2 under the agreements it signed with the Government of Southern Cameroons. The firm’s CEO, in an interview with Marketwired in August 2014, subtly indicated that his firm supports the “Government of the Southern Cameroons” and finances “actions to defend human rights” in the Bakassi region.

“The administration of the aging President Biya shows signs of stress with Boko Haram’s repeated attacks in the North”

Sure thing remains that Zulfikar Rashid is quite confident that his plan concerning the oil projects will go through, quite soon. Indeed, in one its official statements, the Ugandan’s firm declared: “The administration of the aging President Biya shows signs of stress with Boko Haram’s repeated attacks in the North (the Far North especially, ed. Note)”. The statement adds that the firm plans to sign in addition to oil contracts, more agreements for forest exploitation and telecom licenses.

President
« President Akwanga »

President Akwanga is calling for referendums in the Southern Cameroons, in Bakassi and Biafra. It might not be impossible to one day see rise a Federal State regrouping these three regions with as “trusted friend” and “financial” partner Kilimanjaro Capital, the statement further indicates.

President Akwanga is calling for referendums in the Southern Cameroons, in Bakassi and Biafra. It might not be impossible to one day see rise a Federal State regrouping these three regions with as “trusted friend” and “financial” partner Kilimanjaro Capital, the statement further indicates.

In November 2015, Ngo Global Witness which works to expose the illicit exploitation of natural reserves in developing nations, said that in Cameroon, demand by secessionists for total independence would push them to ignore international community’s recommended solutions for peace.
President Akwanga is calling for referendums in the Southern Cameroons, in Bakassi and Biafra. It might not be impossible to one day see rise a Federal State regrouping these three regions with as “trusted friend” and “financial” partner Kilimanjaro Capital, the statement further indicates.

 

The hidden face of this Canadian “friend” who likes African separatists a little too much

Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd. is a private holding company based in Calgary, Canada. It invests in contested and distressed African resources. It also support legal self-determination movements, financially, in emerging countries”. That is how Zulfikar Rashid, describes the firm he heads. The question however is to know how this holding whose financial statements showed insignificant assets at end-2013 secured enough funds to finance its projects with the contribution of separatists in Africa? The answer to this question is found in an article released in October 2017 by Canadian financial newspapers StockWatch. The story revealed that Kilimanjaro Capital is suspected by the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) of manipulating stock during a fundraising by putting forward its “African assets”.

Kilimanjara 04 StockWatch

The Stock Watch financial newspaper of October 19, 2017 made its front page on the financial manipulations of Kilimanjaro

Indeed, in a notice of hearing issued by ASC and obtained by the Ecofin Agency, it is stated that six people, two US residents and four Canadians, including Zulfikar Rashid and his legal advisor, Jonathan Harry Levy, were summoned in October 2017 by the regulator to answer about some illegal financial practices. The respondents are suspected of having leveraged fake oil and gas assets in Africa and Alberta, to raise monies. ASC claims the assets were nothing but “a façade used to manipulate stock and boosts the value of Kilimanjaro Capital’s shares”, since in truth the firms “has no project, operational or at development stage”.

Through this process, Kilimanjaro Capital was able to raise C$45,000 between January and May 2013. Between February 2014 and March 2014, ASC adds, the firm sold 500 million of its shares to raise additional funds. In this framework, the company’s executives published fake activity reports and financial statements, misleading potential investors.

This firm provided to GXG Markets documents “falsely portraying a private placement in Kilimanjaro equal to C$8.116 million (about CFA3.5 billion), falsely portraying Kilimanjaro’s business operations, falsely stating the nature and value of Kilimanjaro’s assets, and falsely certifying Rashid’s managerial approvals”.

ASC revealed that between November 2012 and August 2014, this firm provided to GXG Markets documents “falsely portraying a private placement in Kilimanjaro equal to C$8.116 million (about CFA3.5 billion), falsely portraying Kilimanjaro’s business operations, falsely stating the nature and value of Kilimanjaro’s assets, and falsely certifying Rashid’s managerial approvals."

Extract
Extract of report from Alberta Securities Commission.

According to the regulator, the firm published no less than 97 false financial statements and spent $319,000 for its campaign on online platforms.

As for Cameroon, I think they are just scamming Cameroonians from the English-speaking regions of the country who live in Canada and U.S and who are just ready to believe whatever they are told. And as the conflict grows tenser, the more they steal off those credible people who are ready to invest in the so-called independence project.

After reading ASC’s report, an expert of the Geneva stock market declared: “These people are petty financial criminals. They proceed a bit like those fake mining juniors. They raise funds (in relatively small amounts) by telling people stories to people that are gullible enough to believe them. I don’t really think they wish for the independence of the Biafra, Ambazonia, or Cabinda. As for Cameroon, I think they are just scamming Cameroonians from the English-speaking regions of the country who live in Canada and U.S and who are just ready to believe whatever they are told. And as the conflict grows tenser, the more they steal off those credible people who are ready to invest in the so-called independence project".

Ands
“And as the conflict grows tenser, the more they steal off those credible people who are ready to invest in the so-called independence project.”

Cornered by the regulator, executives of Kilimanjaro Capital recently changed the firm’s name to “N1 Technologies Inc”. However, this company is also sued by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for having used false information to raise funds.

Tentacles spread to Angola, Nigeria, Somalia, Zimbabwe, and even South Africa…maybe

It appears that Kilimanjaro Capital’s footprints in Africa are as vastly spread as the eponymous mountain. At mid-2015, City Press revealed that the Canadian holding was involved in the negotiation of a deal with Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which manages pension funds in South Africa. According to the newspapers, the firm reached out to PIC to secure a 25% stake in South African projects of French Group Total.
In-depth research on this case helped discover another company also named Kilimanjaro Capital which is incorporated in California, US. The firm is a major stakeholder in South African firm Tosaco Energy which is engaged in the Black Economic Empowerment. On its website, it says it holds three oil exploration licenses in the districts of Mpumalanga and Gauteng. Beside the fact that they share the same name and operate in the same sector of activity, no link was established between the two companies. Let it however be noted that Cameroonian separatists on Facebook claim to be close to ANC leaders.
Looking beyond the two companies’ alleged or effective ties, in 2012, the Canadian-based Kilimanjaro Capital happens to have signed with Cabinda’s rebels oil contracts almost at the same time as it did with Cameroonian separatists. Cabinda, an Angolan territory situated between the Congo and DRC, had been experiencing a separatist crisis for years and financially “proclaimed its independence” in February 2011. As a result, it got itself an exiled president.
Kilimanjaro Capital was also tied to the Matabeleland Liberation Organization, a Zimbabwean Separatist movement, rebels of Biafra who have been asking for the Nigerian State’s independence for years, and a Somalian group of separatists. “These types of assets are quite cheap but very profitable in the event separatists win,” Rashid Zulfikar said. Truth is, even if separatists were to lose, it seems Kilimanjaro Capital and its partners are already gaining a lot in the process.

Report produced by Brice R. Mbodiam for Business in Cameroon and Ecofin Agency.

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