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

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Defector diplomacy

On Monday morning, the BBC World Service made official what some in the region - from army officers to diplomats - had been muttering about for several weeks: That Rwanda is providing support to the M23 mutiny. The BBC journalist had reportedly seen an internal United Nations report that summarized the debriefing of eleven Rwandan nationals who had allegedly joined the M23 rebellion only to desert on the battlefield. According to these debriefs, the Rwandan army had facilitated their recruitment, and potentially that of many others.

Within hours, the Rwandan government hit back, labeling the report as "categorically false and dangerous...rumours" in an official statement by their minister of foreign affairs. In private, Rwandan officials have been pushing counter-accusations, claiming the Congolese army has been collaborating with the FDLR.

However, in a sign of how far relations between Kinshasa and Kigali have thawed, both sides are now making an effort of toning down their rhetoric. Congolese Minister of Information Lambert Mende - not one known for understatement - demurred: "A priori we don't have any elements that could confirm these accusations." He went on to suggest that spoilers may be trying to poison relations with Rwanda on purpose. And this morning, Rwandan and Congolese delegations will be meeting once again in Gisenyi, and the mood is reportedly cordial, all things considered (during yesterdays' meeting there was reportedly a brief display of Rwandan ID cards taken from the prisoners). Both sides are now blaming the United Nations for its profligacy, recklessness, and so on.

The purpose of the meeting is to sign an agreement to set up joint verification teams that would be able to investigate allegations on both sides of the border. The Congolese have even contemplated asking for joint patrols with the Rwandan army along the Runyoni border.

In the meantime, the front line has not moved much. Every other day, fighting breaks out, and the Congolese have brought in the 103rd regiment from Kalehe in support of their Runyoni offensive. Unfortunately for them, one of the ex-CNDP battalion commanders in this regiment, Lt Col Gakufe Japhet, defected with 18-50 soldiers (reports vary) on May 28, just shortly after he arrived.

In the meantime, the Congolese army has opened up several other smaller offensives in recent weeks, attacking FDLR and APCLS positions on the Mweso-Lukweti (Masisi) axis, and hitting Mai-Mai Tsheka positions around Mpofi (Walikale).

55 comments:

Rich said...

The other truth is, if in 1998 rcd was able to attack Kinshasa from Bas-Congo, in 2009 Kinshasa negotiated peace with cndp troops (over several thousand men) at the gates of Goma, in 2012 if ever there is negotiations they will be done with m23 troops (over a couple of hundred men) on the hills of Runyori and Mbuzi…

I’d like to be optimistic and say, things are moving in DRC’s favour and that kigali’s arrogance has won discontents from many of his ex-backers. In other words, Rwandan influence in DRC shrinks every year.

However, there still long and painful balancing acts to go through before the FARDC is able to effectively eliminate parallel chains of commands within its ranks and shake off the rwandan noose from its neck…

Rich

Congoman said...

@Rich
I totally agree with you, but we shouldn't trust this fake war of world between the U.N and Rwanda ,for the last 18years both the UN and Rwanda have been working together to undermine peace and Stability in our Country and this fake public war of word ,reports and accusations is what they have been doing in order to cover up their common interest of destabilizing and keep the Eastern Region of our Country under their Control so that together they can continue plundering our minerals.

blaise said...

@ Rich,
maybe you can help me here:
- how do we explain that 300 "Spartans" are able to defy helicopters and armors vehicles?
- how come you send on the ground people who will most likely defect?
- how long will they be surprised that Rwanda will assist those rebels?
- how come people who are running the offensive are not careers soldiers? (Colonel Padiri, Generals Masunzu and Mayala)?
It's as there is an entente to drag things as long as possible.
I think JK should come clean with all this mess in the East. I believe things are not adding up. It's either a failure of leadership or high treason in my view.

Rich said...

Congoman -

You are so right that's why I said, "there still long and painful balancing acts to go through..."

I wouldn't trust the UN because I don't know where they stand on this. However, I would suggest more bilateral diplomacy between DRC and other countries both in the African region and else where in the world because in this way we can have a longer reach than rwanda.

Such bilateral diplomacy has been helpful when we are not busy fighting or disputing the elections' results. We have, for instance, the case of the Belgian army to train selected elements of the FARDC. The US has done and is ready to continue to do that, there are more and more Congolese being enrolled in US military academies... the cooperation with China has helped to balance the involvment of the US who didn't want to be left outside the DRC's door of opportunities, France with the training of DRC police and many other areas of cooperation, Angola, South Africa etc...

Slowly we should be able to build something much more robust that rwanda will struggle to do based on the on the being victim of the 1994 genocide and/or having mountain gorillas rhetoric alone.

Rich

blaise said...

How about sending some officers to the EFo? I don't think all those cooperation are the problem. We have a great problem regarding the army logistics and planing. It will be a waste of time and personal if those well formed soldiers are under the command of somebody who barely can read a map or is well versed into military maneuvers. Just check out what Mbuza Mabe did when he had 10.000 soldiers against 2000 or so from Nkunda/Mutembesi and what is done now with 7.000 against 300.

Rich said...

Blaise -

EFO works and officers are being sent there every year since 2009. Its 25th promotion came out for academic year 2009-2010 when 51 officers graduated. Academic year 2010-2011 was under way straight away, I need to find out but I am sure the 27th promotion should be ready to graduate soon...

The center also hosts a number of training programs aimed at putting selected FARDC officers back into shape and update their knowledge in various areas...

I would like to say something about Mbuja Mabe and Bukavu in 2004. I know you love the story but let me disappoint you by saying, despite the great respect I have for the man and his quality as both an officer and an instructor of elite troops, if mutebusi and his 300 men left Bukavu in June 2004, it was due to the pressure from the international community. Remeber, Louis Michel was dispatched to bukavu and the great lake's region around the same period "to save the transition" (similar to what he did just before the 'arrest' of nkunda in 2009) and mutebusi left Bukavu without a fight leaving the way free for Mbuja Mabe who in all fairness retreated just outside Bukavu, regrouped and reorganised his men and he was able to re enter Bukavu on June the 8th 2004 as mutebusi was leaving with his men going to rwanda.

So we need to be a bit careful to not over inflate this story about Mbuja mabe and Bukavu in june 2004. I would say, there was a combination of both international community pressure on kigali and kampala as well as the ability of mbuja mabe to keep his troops in fighting order despite being pushed out of the city on 2 June 2004 by mutebusi and his men...

I may comeback to your other questions later on if I have some time to spare ...

Rich

Congoman said...

@blaise
I agree with you ,we they shouldn't be sending any former Cndp to fight or command or continue to put non professional soldiers in positions of command .but in this situation i think General PADIRI and MASUNZU have been selected because of their experience and knowledge of the region ,without the help of the 90 thousand strong PADIRI's mail mai Fighters General MBUJA MABE and his FARDC of the time would'v never dislodged NKUNDA and MUTEBUSI from Bukavu.even though MBUJA MABE and the FARDC get all the credit for that offensive,most of the heavy fighting was led by general PADIRI' s mai mai freedom fighter ,and the same Mai Mai played a key role in undermining the Rwandan and Ugandan armies a total control of the south Kivu.

Vincent Harris said...

Kabila has sofar been very succesfull in using his two deadliest weapons: time and silence.

Anonymous said...

Congolese people, beware the distraction of the cat amongst the dogs! For starters, is it funny or is it pathetic to compare the victory of Israel (in 6-days war) with this defeat of the M23 outfit? The truth is this enemy of the Congolese people has been driven out of Congolese inland of Masisi and Rutshuru ,and is now clinging to dear life in 2 hilly villages of Runyoni and Mbazu that border Rwanda (supply chain). I heard them begging for a cease-fire from fire-spitting FARDC!
To be more serious, for the first time in the last 15 years of this nightmare for our people, the Congolese people and their FARDC have reached these 4 irrevocable milestones:

(1) Congolese, through the nascent and reforming FARDC, are now controlling Masisi and Rutshuru.
(2) Congo diplomats are insisting on Congo-Rwanda common border control; which will cut the supply chain and isolate the M23 militia into Congo. Then we will deadly test how much of Sparta they are.
(3) Whoever advised JK on this one is a genius. Too much pressure, spies in Congolese army and society continue to defect, showing their true colour. Refer to this article by Jason. Even, the ones behind their computer keyboards can’t hide their hatred for our motherland, Congo. Gud riddance!
(4) Because Congo is a big country like USA (in Irak and Libya) and Russia (in Georgia), the future war strategy of the FARDC should be an efficient OVERWELMING FORCE, especially devastating air power. I saw the ambassadors of the USA, Russia and China all in one week meeting Matata Ponyo on the FARDC’s air power. So Sparta, plz be patient. Congo is coming!

muanacongo

FrancoPepeKalle said...

Here is what is happening. Kagamne and his allies are trying to find a way to create a civil war in the East Congo itself with the help of the AFDL and other so-called Army groups to create war in East Congo. Hypolite Kanambe alais Joseph Kabila has done nothing to prevent this scenario from happening.

Right now we have a abscene of government in Congo itself. Congolese people are waking up but they know that Kagame will harm anyone who speaks against. Kanambe, Kagame and their friends are basically planning find a way to make a civil war within East Congo it is neighbors with Rwanda.

This notion that JK and Kagame are enemies are total BS. Plus JK used to serve Kagame's crook army. How can anyone think that Kagame and JK are enemies when in reality they are like BFFs. They are both man made assassins. They both think that they are all powerful. As I said, JK and Kagame both are not good leaders and have no qualities to be a real leader.

blaise said...

@ Rich,
I wasn't trying to overplay Mbuja mabe action. I wasn't there but from what I recall from Kinshasa:
- Mutembesi, second to Mbuja, tokk over bukavu
- Mbuja escaped to the outskirt
- Nkunda sent 2000 troops from Goma
- Louis Michel did his thing
- The renegade troop retired around Kamanyola
- Kinshasa sent reinforcement, 10000, to Mbuja.
- Mbuja entered Bukavu and pushed till Kamanyola.
- Nkunda troops split, Mutembusi and his 300 retired to Rwanda.
That my recollection. I may be wrong. I was trying to point out that a better used of forces help finish up the conflict quickly.

@ Muanacongo,
The analogy of the 6 days war was simple : what the underdog proclaimed for propaganda purpose is not necessary what actually happened. If you are familiar with that battle you will realize that it wasn't exactly a weak army that was surrounded by enemies . Hence the analogy, when Vianey say that we are 300, we are beating 7000, it's not necessary what's going on on the field. Rwanda is supplying reinforcement. Ah ah!

Expat Etiquette said...

My basic analytical framework for understanding the eastern DRC is that people like Bosco and Makenga are, first and foremost, motivated by protecting their own (mostly criminal) interests, with broader communal interests - much less ideology - a distant second. They use - and are used by - by Kigali, insofar as the relationship serves both parties. The Rwandan relationship gives Bosco et al. greater bargaining power vis-a-vis the authorities in Kinshasa, while it gives Kagame a convenient tool with which to influence the situation in the Kivus. I imagine that neither side sees it as anything more than a transactional relationship.

That said, Rwanda has the upper hand - just look at what happened to Nkunda. Kagame can to some extent replace an Nkunda with a Bosco, whereas Bosco can't truly switch allegiance to Kinshasa (e.g. turn his back on Kagama) and still hope to protect his networks in the Kivus. Yet Bosco isn't simply a creature of Rwanda - Kagame will tolerate some independent action from Bosco or other CNDP leaders as long as a) it's done to protect criminal networks which benefit those close to Kagame, b) it serves to undermine Congolese efforts to re-establish control in the Kivus, and c) it doesn't get out of hand / lead to significant international condemnation.

And then, of course, you have key political and military leaders in Kinshasa, who want to a) re-establish effective control in the east, and b) usurp and over-take revenue generating activities currently controlled by all the other groups (FDLR, mai mai, etc.) which might have started with some greater purpose in mind - protecting their community, etc. - but now mostly exist to profit from the opportunities created by a lack of state presence.

In this context, we can probably guess what happened. Kabila and the military leadership in Kinshasa thought that - due to international pressure, etc. - Kagame might be willing to sacrifice Bosco. So, they started signalling that Bosco's days were numbered, waiting to see what the reaction would be from Rwanda. (Hence why Kabila's initial statements about arresting Bosco were so vague.) When Kagame didn't say nyet, they kept pushing, hoping they could not only get rid of Bosco, but perhaps undermine the CNDP.

At which point Bosco acted on his own initiative to protect his position (better to go down swinging, etc.), without being entirely sure to what extent he could expect support from Kagame. Rwanda, for its part, was willing to sacrifice Bosco, as long as it could still retain enough control over former CNDP / PARECO elements to retain its influence in the Kivus. The rebellion picked up speed - increased defections, Makenga and M23, etc. - only when Rwanda thought that Kabila's advances risked undermining its position in the Kivus.

The current fighting is not an aberration - instead, it's simply part of the continuum of actions by which the various actors establish (or try to bolster) their bargaining positions. The problem, however, is that there's no possible long-term agreement which could satisfy the fundamental demands of the main parties involved: Kinshasa wants control of the Kivus, including lucrative economic activities; the CNDP wants to protect is control of said activities, while Kigali wants influence (which means limiting Congolese control) and economic benefits. Hence the reason that the situation fundamentally hasn't changed, even when an Nkunda is replaced by a Bosco (and then potentially replaced by a Makenga).

This makes the situation in eastern Congo different than, say George Athor's rebellion in Jonglei - it was possible to imagine a resolution wherein Athor would emerge with increased control over local resources (and / or potentially a face-saving political appointment), and Juba would get peace. Granted, it didn't end that way, but the fundamental demands of the parties weren't mutually exclusive.

Expat Etiquette said...

Overall, rebellions / insurgencies end one of three ways - the ruling government definitively defeats its adversaries (Angola, Biafra / Nigeria), the rebels definitively defeat the government (Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Rwanda), or the two sides reach a mutually beneficial or at least agreeable division of power (South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan under the CPA). Of course, sometimes it can be a combination of these, as with the US Civil War (a definitive defeat of the rebellion, followed by a political and economic agreement between the federal government and the southern elite that held until the 1950s).

Without one of these three situations occurring, however, rebellions don't end - e.g. Sudan today.

In the Congo, option three - a mutually beneficial or least acceptable division of power and resources - is only an option if Kinshasa and Kigali agree. That said, any permanent rapprochement is difficult to imagine, given that their demands are fundamentally at odds. Further, option two - the rebels win - isn't in Rwanda's interests either, as Rwanda clearly benefits from the status quo - it doesn't need to directly control the Kivus in order to get what it wants. (We can also assume that Rwanda's demands won't change as long as Kagame is in power.)

So, to follow this logic, potentially the only path to long-term peace in the Kivus is to support Kabila and the Congolese.

Which, granted, would mean supporting a corrupt, predatory state, whose armed forces commit as many atrocities as any other actor. In a perfect world, we want a democratic, prosperous, peaceful Congo. At this point, even simply a peaceful Congo would be a step in the right direction. Weak states - in the Weberian sense of having a monopoly on legitimate violence - aren't peaceful.

Further, not all strong states are democratic, but all democracies are strong states (again, in the basic sense that they exert control over their national territory). If we want to see a democratic Congo, we first need a strong Congolese government. A strong Congolese government is not a guarantee of democracy - though it might at the least provide greater security - but there is no democracy without this foundation.

People on this site know far more about Congo than I do - please disagree, and let me know where I've gone wrong.

Anonymous said...

is this the creation of the international coalition of army and rebels which was heralded to topple the regiment in ruanda

Anonymous said...

@ blaise

Trust me I can apprehend any innuendo or linguistic device. The point is, “All cross-Virunga Spartans” have come to believe their own propaganda and untested myth of invincibility. Just listen to them or read them. That is rather ominously gud for Congolese, who recognize and are working on their shortcomings. As things are trending, Sparta will realise that Congo is perhaps not Athens, but Rome.

My real concern is for the (innocent) ordinary folk who come from the same community as the “Spartans”, how do they earn trust from the other communities in the Kivus? Every 2 years, “Spartans” (Mutebisi, Nkunda, Ntanganda, Makenga and maybe the other head of M24-M25 tomorrow) proudly wage senseless wars with all the suffering for our people. Forget the dead, show me any other community including even the criminal FDLR that has caused even 1/10 of the displacements of so many millions of people in the Kivus? One day, they will run out of innocent Tutsi kids to send to senseless wars!

muanacongo

Anonymous said...

@blaise

I was in Bukavu during the Mutebusi war and this is what I saw :
As fight broke between Mutebusi men and Mbuja's soldiers around College Alfajiri, the frontline was located at Place Mulamba. The fight broke while many tutsi families were attending a religious service in the Ciné Roxy Theatre. I was with local congolese outside and I was really surprised seeing so many tutsi women and elders outside while we were looking for shelter. As I worried about their fate, my congolese friends reassured me, telling me this was a trap laid by Mutebusi to congolese and that none could fall in this one.
There was gunfire and mortar the first night. On the second day, we could hear the situation evolved, as Mutebusi men reached the Cathedral and begun to shell the areas around the place called "Feu Rouge". There reports of looting by Mutebusi men. By that day, I had managed to reach a safe place on the hills (ISDR) from where we could follow the situation. We were holled up there with many congolese who were caught up there while participating at a workshop. The nuns were so gracious as they gave us food ans shelter, and turned on their generator power supply (1 or 2 hours per day) so we could load our telephones. Congolese from Kinshasa and all over the country were gracious and would buy us "telephone units" so we could stay in touch with the world. On the third day, it was clear that Mutebusi was winning as FARDC were cornered in La Botte and controling the west shore of Lake Kivu. The on day 4, was a change. Several trucks full of young guys near the General Hospital of Bukavu. They were given military jerseys, AK 47 guns and directed south. From then on, the momenum changed. On day 5, Mutebusi men had been pushed back behind Place Mulamba and could have been defeated, had not been for the MONUC, who negotiated a cease-fire and created a buffer zone from place Mulamba. Were these exclusively Padiri's maimai? I do not think so, because they were led by Foka Mike and by that time Padiri had left Kivu for more than a year. These maimai-turned soldiers behaved very well. I was really struck by their calm and boldness. I recall one incident when we had ventured outside and heavy fight broke. We began running and passed near them. They stopped us and told me (in kiswahil) that I had to walk instead of running, as this could create unnecessary panick.
As Mbuja Mabe, MONUC and Mutebusi delagates were locked in negotiations, we were informed by MONUC that Nkunda was on the road from Goma with more than 2000 soldiers.
It was clear, from military perspective, that FARDC would not sustain the fire power which was coming. We were advised by MONUC to leave. I recall leaving the country through Rwanda border, in a MONUC jeep which was between two white MONUC tanks. We went through the buffer zone and stopped near Mutebusi men in Nguba. The mood was different. They were exhausted, tired, clearly defeated. Many of them were very young.
During these days :
- General Mbuja would give daily speaches on the radio, to reassure Bukavu people.
- He would go out to inspect his positions (until when he was cornered)
- He would hand all the tutsi families to MONUC
- Congolese people were careful not to harm any tutsi though all were blaming them for the fightings.

Overall, the congolese army, under the command of Mbuja bahaved well.
There were however many of FARDC soldiers who did not behave well, fleeing and complaining.
I recall one who came to ask for shelter, saying he did not understand why these people from East reveled in fighting. He did not feel concerned by the fight, dreaming of going back to see his family in Kin.
May be this is why Mbuja opted for local people, ready to fight and die for their land.

blaise said...

@ Anonym MAY 30, 2012 12:42 AM
Thank you very much for this eyewitness account of the events. That was well recount. Do you care to elaborate about the aftermath of the confrontation? I mean, what happened to Nkunda and his 2000. From what the papers in kinshasa reported there was a fight in Kamanyola that decided the fate of that particular insurrection.
What I was trying to convene here is that the way military matters are conducted by JK is quite strange : there is no apparent focus in action or end purpose. I have the impression that we are at the wrong side of the stick.
All it will take is to treat our military as descent as possible to have a resolute armed force. Look at north korea to understand what i mean. nobody will die for kagame if our soldiers are given the care they deserve.

Anonymous said...

DR Congo's Bosco 'Terminator' Ntaganda's anger at ICC;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18262827

TD

Anonymous said...

@ Blaise

Thank you for your reply. What I can tell you is that Bukavu people were upset as they suspected MONUC to buy time to allow Mutebusi to regroup while Nkunda was coming. He had already reached Kalehe and was comitting worst atrocities on his way to Bukavu. Local leaders urged Mbuja to stop wasting time with these MONUC negotiations and instead completely defeat Mutebusi prior to the arrival of Nkunda. I think the cease-fire did not hold too long and Mutebusi men left Nguba going South, getting help from renegades of M40 which were led by Odillon. The guy was in Bukavu prior to the battle and this was confirmed to me by very reliable sources. There was something puzzling, as this guy (of the bashi tribe) had bodyguards whom way of talking and behaving was that of people from Maniema or may be North Katanga. As reported to me by my informant, the guy would say publicly that if Kabila could negotiate with Kagame, then he felt entitled to do the same.I think there was a small battle near "Essence" and Mutebusi men were defeated and even driven South. I do not recall if they fled through Nyangezi or rather through the Rwandan border. Anyway they reached Kamanyola hoping to get help from Masunzu. But this did not occur, and the MONUC which decided to side with Mbuja Mabe and Foka Mike fire missiles at Mutebusi while FARDC were attacking. That was the final battle, with Mutebusi fleeing to Rwanda. The fact that this Odillon sided with Mutebusi was not welcome in the region. Some people of the bashi tribed compained later that they were abused and harassed in Uvira and further South because of Odillon's behaviour, though on the other hand they believed their brothers (Foka Mike and his men) were critical in the Bukavu battle. If this is true it is understandable, as people of Uvira did not have the account on what occured in Bukavu.
I think Nkunda came just after the Kamanyola battle. His firepower was so superior that Mbuja and his men did not even fight, saying that they had run out of ammuition and supply.
Nkunda story is different. Upon arriving, in Bukavu he set Kadutu market on fire after, organized large scale looting.
Since his rationale was "protecting the tutsi", it was easy to show that no tutsi was killed because all had been put in safe hands (MONUC) by Mbuja.
He had to endure heavy pressure to leave the town, allowing Mbuja to come back as a hero. After leaving Bukavu, he set his headquarters in Minova (South Kivu). Mbuja Mabe and his men were feeling so strong that they decided he had to leave South Kivu. They engaged him and easily defeated him. He fled to Masisi and stayed there, waiting his moment.
His defeat in Minova was quite stratling and credit to Mbuja who was a fearless leader.
Then he was removed by Kabila and sent to Kitona. Congolese should take time and pay tribute to that man who embodied what a congolese soldier should be : fearless, listening to people, reassuring and ready to engage the enemy. The way he treated the tutsi was so gracious, though the propaganda was saying the contrary. I feel blessed and lucky to have been in Kivu in that period, though I really feared for my life (bullets struck windows of our compound are there were casualties in the neighborhood).

blaise said...

@ anonym MAY 30, 2012 5:16 AM,
Thank you so much for this detail account of the events that took place. You have a talent for narratives( no jokes).
I have to confess that sometimes I will miss the point by lack of information or wrong information. I particularly appreciate those who are there, risking their lives to report what they witnessed. Please enrich our knowledge by participating in this blog.
Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

@blaise

Thank you so much and sorry for my bad english. I feel honored for your comments, though I do not think I deserve any praise. I root for congolese, particularly those suffering in the Eastern part of the country. The country is so lovely and people are so warm.

Anonymous said...

@ Expat Etiquette

Thanx 4 such a thought-provoking post. There r many facets and layers to it, I venture to focus on the chicken-or-egg like question of democracy versus strong state. But r these really mutually exclusive?

If u insist, I will say that, in the current context of Congo, a strong state is an immediate priority whereas democracy is a necessity that shall unfold. In fact, I believe that a “benevolent strong state” can lead to an enduring democracy (ref. gud dictator J. Rawlings ushered in Ghanaian democracy), but a “democracy for the galary” is no guaranty for stability (ref. today Mali).

However, the strong state that I advocate for Congo should rather be about strong institutions (like in China where institutions like President, Congress or Army are quasi-sacred regardless of the incumbent), but not about strong men (like Mobutu or Kagame who are almost deities, more important than their countries)

As for democracy, I first and foremost reject the self-interested clamors of the foreign democracy evangelists (NGOs and Think-tanks), who inconsistently pressure 4 democracy only in countries where leaders are perceived to be less malleable. ( It is gud 4 ex. to want democracy in Angola (Dos Santos) & Congo (JK), but how come these folks don’t pressure 4 democracies in even more dreadful places like Rwanda( Kagame) or Uganda(Museveni), they praise them instead). So, the unstoppable democratization in Congo should be not an imposed process, but an endogenous, organic or even dialectic (apparent contradictions) one, where each small step forms an irreversible watermark.

So in short, let’s all (IC) support not JK but a strong stable Congolese state (police, army, parliament, public service), the real stability and prosperity of the whole region depends on it.

muanacongo

Rich said...

Act now on Congo War criminals

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/30/act-now-congo-war-criminals?newsfeed=true

Rich

Christian said...

I was born in Zaire, yes I said Zaire as still stated on all my official documents.

Some experts, could we call them experts?, are still arguing that the problem in the eastern congo is only an internal congolese problem. Bullshit, Rwanda is the problem. I don't trust the so called media, experts etc anymore. I want to finish my military training quicky so as a son of this country and as patriot I'll be back to fight against this Rwanda mafia in the East and cleanse the country of the Rwandan presence, to kick them to their beautiful "country". With fierce, ICC will surely pursuit me, I'm not scared. I'd rather die for my ideas instead of remaining passive to an organized massacre for over 15 years.

Anonymous said...

@ rich

is anybody expected to react at the letter? Don't you think that is more an act against Kagame than a real push for justice in the region?

Little or nothing is said against Sylvestre, with his name used more like a "disclaimer" in the first part.

I'm not sure if welcome this letter or be worried that is only some more smoke in the eyes of decision-makers

andrea

Anonymous said...

@ Rich and Andrea

Yes, this may be just a letter by outraged British MPs to the plight of Kagame’s martyrs in Congo. But it is fine, the TRUTH is starting to get out. This is unprecedented in Britain, given the demonic work by Kagame’s backer former PM Tony Blair.

Mind u, Rwanda (Kagame) depends solely on the world’s pity (90% of overall budget is foreign aid). So he and his backers hustle to keep a fallaciously immaculate image of him in the int’l media.

The real question is, how to break the inexplicable anti-Congolese veil that Kagame’s backers (int’l banking and mining mafia) through their media (CNN & experts) have laid around the USA? When will American representatives (just as their British counterparts) stand 4 justice and denounce Congolese Holocaust by Kagame?

muanacongo

blaise said...

http://radiookapi.net/actualite/2012/05/31/nord-kivu-des-tutsi-fuient-une-eventuelle-attaque-du-m23-kitshanga/
It's pretty surprising. Are we witnessing history here? Maybe people from that community are starting to understand what is in stake.

Rich said...

Andrea -

You may be right but I just think anything that can help to get a message to kagame that his many attempts to hide his game will no longer wash, is something to encourage. However, I still think the message must get to people like Tony Blair and Clinton to let them know that they need to convince kagame to tell his men sent in DRC to disband otherwise, he is setting a pretty bleak future for the very people he is pretending to defend...

muanacongo -

I agree with you on more than one level

blaise -

As said earlier, I think the context is much better for DRC than it was a few years back. Provided this continues. It seems to me that this time round, DRC has got the upper hand and seems tactically more proactive than reactive hence putting rwanda on the back foot without necessarily having to clash publicly. Provided this continues...

I think the next step will be to be able to show rwanda that we can hurt them should they continue to behave in an unscrupulous way on our land ... but would the world accept that as yet? would the FARDC live up to that kind of challenge? There may be a long way to go until we are sure about this but we can buy ourselves the time to up our game like we've demonstrated so far in comparison to the events of 2004 to 2009...

Rich

Anonymous said...

@rich

Maybe the presence among the signataires of R Mugenzi, that is known for being threatened here in the UK might increase chances that the message pass. I don't how the presence of Rusesabagina will be judged instead.

I thought that by the way T Blair and S Rice as well already whispered at Kagame's ear that he has pass now.

I'll be attending this workshop at sheffield University on June 29th, and maybe I'll have a glympse at how scholars and researchers around the UK think around the problem of DRC.
http://www.yasn.group.shef.ac.uk/documents/29-June-2012-Flyer.pdf

andrea

Anonymous said...

http://www.soleildugraben.com/

Rich said...

andrea -

You are right Rusesabagina's name seems a bit odd! I was hoping to see more Labour MPs to make it a bit more a cross party issue but it seems there are only the Con-Dems and some Lords... I would have loved to see the name of people like the Right Reverend Michael Scott-Joynt, unfortunately, he has now retired... I wonder what people like John Santamu makes of the whole DRC drama ...

I bet Vava Tampa is the driving force behind that letter but I wonder if he always associates the right people or indeed gauge the perception within the community to inform his approaches...

Many thanks for the link to the flyer. I've penciled it down and provided there is no clash on my June schedule I hope to attend workshop. Perhaps we could link up from then!

Rich

FrancoPepeKalle said...

What we the Congolese people who live in Congo and aborad, we have to find a way to unite and fight to have better process of other elections so we don't end up with the ones we just had for 2011. We need to have a solution if we want to see Congo dramatically change.

blaise said...

I don't think Tony Blair, Suzan Rice or the Clinton will suddenly support Congo's cause. I think for them relation with Rwanda is more personal than anything else. The guilt for not stopping the Rwandese genocide still dictate their view of foreign policy toward this country. I don't think they will say anything to upset their great friend.
In another hand, we should welcome any parliamentary action that spread the message for all those congolese butchered in the East. I think our handicap is that the situation is complex and nobody cares enough to try to understand the whole thing. Rwanda has been successful so far to present a clear cut situation : bad hutus trying to kill good Tutsis. They are recycling the message now with the resurgence of the FDLR ( notice how Kin and the M23 accused each other of a link with FDLR, scared of Rwanda? Pathetic).
We should simplify our message and stick to it even if it's reductive. We are in a fast food world. She Okitundu was in the right path when he was minister with his "white book". That brochure helped a lot. It's a shame the government is not a credible partner ( where are my 5 billions?lol). That's help to have a credible partner to talk to.
As long as the Rwandese narrative will stick, we won't be even close to Darfour. Sometimes being right doesn't get you anywhere. Ask the palestinians.

Congoman said...

I strongly believe the relationship between Tony Blair,Bill Cliton and Kagame was financial, I don't believe in that genocide guilt because both Cliton and Blair care less about Africans, it was all about COLTAN,GOLD ...I strongly believe that both Cliton and Tony Blair made more blood money from Eastern DRC than Kagame,and Museveni.

Congoman said...

I think the potential oil and gas deposits in the Virunga is the game changer ,you can't sing oil exploration contracts in Congo with the Rwandan Government. Why do you think KAGAME is trying to concentrate all the fighting in The Virunga. He knows very well that his m23 rebels will never regain control of Ruchuru or Masisi or any ether village inside the DRC territory but he is trying to turn the Virunga into a war zone and a mine field in order to delay and if possible to stop any potential oil exploration .

Patrick said...

Expect more revelations from the 1994 genocide as the Rwanda PR machine will try to deflect attention from the recent damaging revelations about its involvement in the latest Congolese (?) rebellion as per link below
http://journal.liberation.fr/publication/liberation/943/#!/0_0
One has to question Kinshasa's military and diplomatic strategy:
- Why did they decide to suspend military operations when they clearly had the upperhand ?
- Why not use the latest revelations about Rwandan's support for M23 to further weaken Rwanda image among international donors ?
This can only increase the perception of a collusion between PK and JK about the Kivus.

Anonymous said...

Jason Stearns,you're such a propagandist!You're an American, aren't you? US legacy in Congo is well known, your CIA and the Belgians butchered Lumumba as you labelled him 'Communist'!On Rwanda, that you so enjoy character assassinating, your Country played a crucial role in veto UN Security Council in not intervening, your Country bullied other Permanent Nations that they wouldn't support any Country going to intervene, instead, your Country allowed the French army, the same army that supported Rwanda genocide regime!!! You and your Team have no shame!!!

blaise said...

@ Congoman,
I don't think Clinton and Blair personally benefited from the conflict in the East. ( I may be wrong, who knows). i think it's undeniable that they have a long friendship with the rwandese's leader, and by extension, the rwandese people. One should not underestimate the power of guilt. Maybe you will care to read this old article by C. Braeckman, it still true today.
http://mondediplo.com/1999/10/08congo
@ Patrick,
There is a lot of questions unanswered that should be investigate. Not necessary abiding to our own birthers' conspiratorial theories, one should wonder what exactly the relationship between Jk and Pk. They appear to have a common friend( James Kabahere). I won't believe that their friendship, as strong as they were, is a fruit of the past. Several rumors were spreading in Kinshasa that JK tried to toppled his father and he was put in jail for a while.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

A bit of focus and perspective are required here. We should temper any obsession with Kagame and just ignore Kagame apologists. We can’t give a hoot who’s Kagame’s friend. T. Blair is not Britain and the Clintons are not America. Our aim should be first to dispel the anti-Congolese venom that Americans have been fed in the last 15 years, and make friends. Whoever friend of Congolese, politician or activist, who can help us attain this is welcome.

If we were to play “guilt games”, America knows too well that the root cause of Congo’s problems is when they KILLED LUMUMBA (the day democracy and Congolese voice died!). But unlike Rwanda, Congo does not need the world’s pity or patronage. Our int’l cooperation should be based on mutual benefits with our friends, America, China, Russia and others.

So, our real concern is not or should not be Kagame as such or even Rwanda. It is rather “Congo’s security” because we will always be the envy of many int’l banking and mining mafia. Kagame is just a regional mercenary 4 these predators. The solution therefore is to acquire a dissuasive defense like at the height of Mobutu’s reign when Congo was the “greatest friend” and le “gendarme regional” in the cold war. But 4 now, our priority is to eradicate the Rwandan militias (M23,FDLR) in the Kivus and start rebuilding our country. The rest will follow, this is Congo.

muanacongo

Anonymous said...

I think kagame is using a system to bring a shame to MONUSCO.
The first thing the rebels did was to tell the population run away, just to bring a shame on MONUSCO. Monusco's mission was on question mark when tens of thousands people run away on the presence of so many MONUSCO troops, It was also tricky when DRC officials left their citizen to let them run to either Rwanda or Uganda than preparing for them temporary assistance.
I am thinking may be that is a system or trick by both DRC and Rwanda to do this then Monusco's mission get in trouble.
What Rwanda and DRC wanted was a success so far.
Some experts are concerned why this happened on the presence of Monusco than why Rwanda is helping the rebels;
http://allafrica.com/stories/201205311445.html

Surprisingly Rwanda is asking Roger Meece to come to Kigali and explain what Monusco want mean;
http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/UN-stirring-regional-tensions-Rwanda-20120531

There is a tension between Monusco and Rwanda, but if DRC is backing Rwanda against Monusco, no one knows what will happens next.

Why UN spokes person denounced the involvement of Rwanda in Congo conflict? why the words started changing?;
http://www.voanews.com/content/us_condemns_upsurge_massacres_violence_eastern_congo_drc/1145322.html
But still Kabila needs a good relation with Rwanda than Monusco.

Churuchuru

blaise said...

@ muanacongo,
I think you should know who are the backers of your enemy. I read somewhere that during the first encounter between DRC representatives and the Obama administration, the congolese were surprised how well informed the americans were. We don't want to end up like Palestinian with so many friends but little to show for.
When you are talking about focusing on rebuilding Congo, I think you discount the fact that our own government seems to have their personal interests in mind, all the time.
If a campaign had to take place, we should learn from what happened with the white book: we had a united government, with his back to the wall, and who actually was caring about what was happening in the East. I don't feel the actual administration has the same concern,

Anonymous said...

@blaise

Absolutely, I do agree with u that we should know our enemies’ friends. But can we turn them into our friends if they are irremediably bent on destroying us? I think we should rather find our own friends.

The American political system is particularly centered around lobbying. If no lobby stands for a cause, that cause does not exists. I don’t know many American politicians who openly champion the Palestinian issue; they would be hanged by AIPAC and other Jewish lobbies and media. Lol.

In short, having Americans as advocates of the cause and the true image of Congo in America is not only crucial for the quick end to this nightmare for our people, but it is even more important for foreign investment from American companies into Congo. How would these come and invest if every single article purposely portrays Congo as fatally the “Heart of Darkness in the Dark Continent” whose people deserves to die? Yet as u and I know, no people on earth is as vibrant, youthful, resilient and hopeful as Congolese!

As to how the Congolese administration (JK and Mende) has lost the propaganda war to Rwanda, and has dismally failed to properlly frame the Congolese voice in all this, i have even more grievances. That is why we the Congolese should do something in our small individual capacity for our people and our contry , wherever and whenever.

muanacongo

Anonymous said...

@churuchuru

You make an interesting point. I think we should not forget that Meece is former US ambassador in Kinshasa (during the wars if i'm right) , so he should know well power relations in the region and how they worked in the past. I think there are several corrents within Monusco, some coming from the field (staff and some embassies), others from other diplomacies and the SC council level-NY.
Some of them tried to emerge in the past when Alan Doss advocated for Kimia 2 against several internal concerns (within DPKO but especially UN humanitarian agencies). Others instead revealed at the times of the UN group of experts report (2008) that led to a big pressure on PK and a reshuffling on the ground. Others again came to surface at the times of the highly debated "Mapping report" that obliged Ban to fly to Kigali for a prompt negotiation and revision of the report.
Monusco itself isn't a pure entity but it is driven by its constituents.

I think the article you posted on FDLR/Raia Mutomboki is more for justifying the attacks on the UN Peacekeepers in Bunyakiri and the impossibility of troops to act promptly.

I can easily understand why Monusco has such a problem with Rwanda. It is undermining everything that the UN try to make in support of peace ... this is the actual limit of peacekeeping in proxy wars, I imagine being the same in similar situations ...

Congoman said...

@I understand your point and I don't underestimate the power of guilt but I don't think guilt played any role in that relationship. Kagame was just a tool that CLINTON and BLAIR used to plunder our Country. There was a war in Rwanda and i believe more HUTUS perished in that war than the TUTSIS. The tutsis made up 14% of the Rwandan population in 1993, they made-up 15% in 1996 and they still make up 15% of the 10 million Rwandan population in 2012. If almost a million of them perished in 1994 out of a population of 10 millions that would'v taken their population to less than 5% of the Rwandan population. Yes there was a tribal war in Rwanda and both Hutus and Tutsis perished in that war . Just like the wapons of mass destruction was used to justify the invasion of Iraq, that massacre was called a genocide to justify the long planned invasion and occupation of Eastern DRC.

Congoman said...

I was responding to Blaise

FrancoPepeKalle said...

@muanacongo

JK and Kagame are essiential allies. They are both coldblooded sucking murders. Blaise is pretty much right, JK has very little interest in developing Congo but rather having more power.

JK is a much laughable leader than LD Kabila was. Even LDK had interest somewhat helping the Congolese people but JK is less interested. All he wants is attention and wants to please all bunch whorish US cooperations who want free minerals and free coltan.

Kagame went to Iowa two weeks ago. I mean the IOWA university president has several ties to Rwanda. I find it interesting that this man has been betrayed by pro-Rwanda televisions like CNN, and others as the The HOPE OF AFRICA. This makes me barf. Kagame has slaughtered many people who have the balls to speak against him. Kagame and JK are working together to set up plans to further poision East Congo because if it becomes a sham again then Kagame will get his way and another GREAT CONGO WAR begins which is unfortunate. KAGAME is a criminal. We need to stop the KAGAMISTS and KANAMBISTS from having the ability to poison East Congo.

blaise said...

@ congoman,
you are making some good points about all those conspiracies. I'm not familiar with the genocide in Rwanda, I just know that there was a lot of Tutsi and moderate hutus ( the FPR tend to forget about that)who have been killed. I think Carla del Ponte lost her job because she was trying to investigate on the massacre by the FPR. By the way, have you ever noticed the similarity between the way people where killed in Rwanda and the massacres done in Congo? Same killers? Interesting for an CSI investigation.
That said, I don't think that Clinton or Blair have any Machiavellian plans toward Congo. I think that like the stigma of the Holocaust, the drama in Rwanda has a myopic effect on Westerners. In another hand, it's well documented that big corporations, like vulture, have been preying on Congo since his creation. You may remember that when Leopold the second appropriate for himself this land, there was an understanding between the other powers that he will fail and they will take over after him.
To keep a long story short, I believe that we focus more on the political actors while the true perpetrators are those big corporations who use lobbying to advance their agendas. They have been working in the shadow for centuries. Do you know about Umicore? It used to be called union miniere du haut Katanga. Check out hwat they are doing in present days.

blaise said...

@ Anonym JUNE 2, 2012 6:59 AM
Idk, Jk is an enigma surrounded by mysteries. The only time I remember a nationwide effort to help people from the East was under LDK. His son seems not to care about the East or even shut down any effort to built a sense of national solidarity.

http://radiookapi.net/actualite/2012/06/02/kinshasa-une-marche-de-soutien-aux-fardc-la-population-de-ete-dispersee/

Rich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rich said...

Mende adding topping up the fury of kigali -
http://telechargement.rfi.fr.edgesuite.net/rfi/francais/audio/modules/actu/201206/57_RDC_son_Lambert_Mende.mp3

The EU sending a clear message to m23
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIY6g4SCmIc&feature=youtu.be

Gen Mayala promising an attack on m23 positions within 4 days ...
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gxiRRV5OGtg4jw9StyyLPakxMwng?docId=CNG.45aa828a72fa6e04ac99ea3d19692843.771

The week starting Monday 4 June seems to promise more unrest ...

Rich

Anonymous said...

@ Blaise

Umicore is now focused exclusively on the recycling of non-ferrous metals and the manufacture of specialised metallic and non-metal products. Mining, originally the lifeblood of the company, now plays no direct part in the business
Wikipedia Umicore
dan

blaise said...

@ Dan,
they have also a joint venture with De Beers. Who knows what else they up to?

blaise said...

@ Dan,
check this one out :
http://www.afrique-express.com/archive/CENTRALE/rdcongo/rdcongoeco/243embargocoltan.htm

Anonymous said...

What happened to 2009 peace accord? Kabila tricked CNDp and rwanda into siging as he was buying time and attack helicopters? He should pay for violating the agreement.
Again, Congolese arrogance is useless. Why habour FDLR? America went to Afghanistan and Iraq to hunt for one enemy, Osama. wont it be justified if Rwanda wnt into Congo to hunt for 8,000 genocidaires? Prapaganda apart, Rwanda ha right to self defence, directly, or through proxy

Rich said...

Anon June 4, 2012 4:19 AM -

Your comment reads so pathetic.

Ref # "Kabila tricked CNDp and rwanda into siging as he was buying time and attack helicopters?"

I think the reality is also that this helped rwanda stop using aid money from its donnors into waging war in DRC. In the same way, it stopped rwanda plundering DRC resources to enrich its political elite.

Ref # "America went to Afghanistan and Iraq to hunt for one enemy, Osama. wont it be justified if Rwanda wnt into Congo to hunt for 8,000 genocidaires?..."

When Armerica goes to Afghanistan and Irak to hunt their ennemies, they do not shy away to avoid their donnors to stop any fundings... They say it as it is. rwanda plays hypocrisy by not admitting what it is up to in eastern DRC.

paul kagame should have the guts to admits that he is in DRC for the reasons you have mentioned here. Not doing that is pure COWARDICE.

Have you not noticed that paul kagame has used up his credit so quickly? You watch this space in a few years, his own close allies will turn against him.

Rich

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