Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Thursday, December 2, 2010

News roundup: Vital Lula, UN sanctions and Tshisekedi

  • The UN has added four people to its sanctions list for violation of its sanctions regime - Col. Innocent Zimurinda, an ex-CNDP commander, and three high-ranking FDLR commanders, including its new president Gen. Iyamuremye (aka Rumuli Michel). We shouldn't expect too much, however - the sanctions are only asset freezes and travel bans. None of the people sanctioned have known bank accounts or travel much across international borders. The same goes for over 90% of the other people on the sanctions list.
  • Etienne Tshisekedi, the veteran opposition leader, has delayed his return to Kinshasa from Brussels for logistical reasons - apparently they need to confirm their authorization for the rallies to be held when he arrives at the airport. In any case, his UDPS party has said that he will be back in time for their national congress on December 10th.
  • Below is an interview with the other big opposition candidate: Vital Kamerhe in Rome, where he was attending the consecration of the Congo' new cardinal, Laurent Monsengwo. Vital waxes lyrical (and a bit demagogic), avoiding questions about his presidential ambitions ("there is a time for everything, the Bible says that.") He calls himself "a church in the middle of the village," alluding to his talents for bridging social divides and and one point suggesting that the Congo is very much like Brazil ("there is only a tectonic plate dividing us, we have a big river and a big jungle, too) and that it needs a Lula. (Vital Lula?) The two main policy positions he takes is denouncing JP Bemba's arrest and pushing for negotiations between Rwanda and the FDLR.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I call Ya Vital a true political chameleon...Hate him or love him this guy understand the Congolese political realm. He knows that whoever will become or stay President in 2011 will need his support. He has mastered his craft pretty well, he has the ability to speak fluently the 4 most popular languages in the DRC which makes him appealling to any Congolese...In terms of substances he does present solutions that are worth having a debate over. Anybody that follows politics in the DRC knows the importance of this stud..Hey don't all the musicians call him "Le pacificateur"...Pretty soon well call him JOKER la carte qui gagne. Yea I know Maman Edith already had it but let's give it to Vital down the road in 2011.
Brother Jason I'm looking to get in touch with you..can we converse via email? Mine wadolse@yahoo.com. Add Mosengwo video plz I think its worth it 2.

james said...

Hi Jason,

I just heard today that Tshisekedi wanted to leave for Kinshasa form Brussels, but he found out that Mgr Monsengwo, who ousted him as PM in the early nineties, was travelling on the same plane. So Tshisekedi decided to catch a plane to South Africa and return form there to Kinshasa in a couple of days. The official explanation of the Tshisekedi-camp was that the Lider Maximo couldn't arrive in Ndjili during the night, because this would be too hard for the militants...

Rich said...

Despite some progress, I think the situation on the ground is still more military, if not volatile, rather than anything else. Therefore, anyone ambitious enough to take over from 2011 must start by securing the deference of the majority of high ranked and intermediate army officers who are in charge of prominent army units (which is unlikely, even through the legitimacy of an election, given current Congolese political culture).

It is the ability to project the idea of being 'the person the most militarised in the country' that has brought and has kept J Kabila in power so far.

Brief, only a genuine reform of the Army and the security sector is key to the future of Congolese democracy.

James said...

Jason,
Actually I agree with Vital Kamerhe regarding resolving the conflict in the Great Lakes with political negociations. Why has the international community asked the Congolese, the Burundians, the Sudanese and others to negotiate with their armed opposition and not require the same thing from Paul Kagame? It is well known that the majority of Rwandan Hutu rebels were not involved in the crimes of 1994. Anyway, Paul Kagame himself is accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and possible genocide.
Brief, negotiation is the only way out, other venues having failed.
Regarding the latest UN Experts Report, I think it is way much more professional than Dinesh's ( badge of shame as it is widely known now).
However, I saw a few contradictions regarding Kasiki. If you look at what they called Felicien Kanyamibwa's and RUD-Urunana's communiques, it is clear that Felicien Kanyamibwa did not seek to obstruct repatriation. Instead, he got combatants disarmed, regrouped, and the FARDC/RDF abused of the confidence and sought to kidnap if not massacre the refugees. Otherwise, why FARDC and RDF surrounded a camp full of disarmed refugees who had expressed and confirmed their intention to repatriate. I think the Kasiki process was a very good start for Paul Kagame to negotiate with the Hutu rebels. This should be what you, Jason, and other Great Lakes experts should promote.

Also, how did FDLR manage to mine Uranium. Do they have the technology to handle radioactive material? Strange, isn't it?

James.

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