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, April 12, 2012

Bold decisions

President Joseph Kabila held several meetings in Goma yesterday before traveling to Bukavu, with civil society as well as army officers. There have been conflicting accounts regarding his various statements , but what is clear is that he has decided to "suspend Amani Leo operations" in the Kivus. But what this means is unclear - according to some Congolese army officers, it means that the military structure of Amani Leo operations will be dismantled and the sectors and regiments will fall under the control of the 8th (North Kivu) and 10th (South Kivu) military regions. It is not clear whether military operations will end or will just fall under a different command.

Many army officers I spoke to are scratching their heads as to what this could mean. Amani Leo served to absorb many of the armed group officers who were integrated into the army in 2009, in particular the ex-CNDP and ex-PARECO commanders who are very prominent in Amani Leo. It is unclear where these officers will go if Amani Leo is dismantled, and some are worried that the malcontents may stir up trouble.

President Kabila's second decision, which made waves in the international press, is reportedly the call to arrest Bosco Ntaganda. But it is not entirely clear what exactly he said, and local journalists are currently transcribing his statement in Swahili. (The press quote is ambiguous: "I want to arrest Bosco Ntaganda because the whole population wants peace.") From what I understand, he did not call explicitly for Bosco to be arrested, but instead said that Bosco has committed many crimes and could be arrested by Congolese officials when the moment is right. I will try to post the transcript as soon as I get it.


Anonymous said...

I thought there was an army reform planned in which 4 "Zones de la Defense" would be created (encompassing the Military Regions, which would remain as administrative sectors), and the regiments would be fused into new brigades (allowing for the absorbtion of left-over officers now in the so called "Regiments Service")

This would create enough opportunities to help the ex-CNDP and ex-PARECO to some positions of importance (read: strategic deployment in mineral-rich areas, border zones or national parks) for them to continue to accept being co-opted

There will always be proliferation of (often parrallel) organizational structures and endless res-tructuring for the sake of elite rotation as long as we're in a neopatrimonial system (See Bayart 1989 on this)

Anonymous said...

This should bring some joy in between all the pain

"Joy in the Congo";videos


Anonymous said...

"Dear Mr. President, please stop pressing green and red buttons at the same time. You're causing confusion", famously said one African oppositionist to his Head of State.

Yesterday, we could not arrest Ntaganda in the name of peace. Today, we have to arrest him in the name of peace!

And again, military operations have been suspended, but Ntaganda must be the police? or will he be convinced to surrender himself?

Anyway, let's wait for the verbatim quote of the President's words, as Jason promised, to know exactly what's going on in JK's mind.


Anonymous said...

Merci Jason de relever ces ambiguïtés dans le discours de J.Kabila.
Arrêter les opérations militaires par un simple coup de tête est irresponsable au vu des détails que cela implique. Ces opérations se faisaient avec ou sans l’appui de la Monusco et le Représentant Spécial, chef de la Monusco est actuellement en mission au Nord Kivu pour tâter le terrain. Si la décision vise à arracher à Bosco le commandement du Programme Amani et la haute main sur le commandement des régiments en faisant monter un nouveau leadership militaire anti-Bosco au sein du CNDP, il est alors vrai que J. Kabila s’attend à autre chose qu’à la paix dans les Kivus. Faire monter des commandos en nombre et peut-être bientôt des chars (T72) au Nord Kivu ne relèverait pas de la simple précaution militaire.
L’autre ambiguïté : l’arrestation de Bosco puisque le peuple veut la paix ! Bien dit ! Kabila est rarement capable d'une pareille dialectique. Souvent il préfère se taire. Mais ici en réalité Bosco n’est pas qu’obstacle à la paix ; il est la personnification même de l’échec de J. Kabila de régner sur le Kivu qui est devenu, avec Bosco, un Etat parallèle.
Cependant, endeca et au-delà des dernières pressions, J Kabila ne pouvait pas se priver de capitaliser l’échec des défections massives pro-Bosco et il me semble même avoir marqué des points, en termes de communication : il se redonne l’allure du chef qui sait prendre la situation en main au bon moment et capable de rassurer ; et les medias nous vont rassasier de cette bonne impression.
En outre, rarement J Kabila n’a été un bon vendeur d’illusions (qui est en mon sens un des atouts importants pour tout chef d’Etat), car souvent, il a l’inconvénient de croire en sa propre rhétorique. D’où son inefficacité et le désamour que les congolais lui vouent cordialement.
Cette fois, il tape dans le mille et nous fait une belle promesse : arrêter Bosco (pour le juger au pays ou à la CPI), et tout le monde applaudit des deux mains. Chose qui ne lui est pas arrivee depuis sa prestation de serment !
En un mot comme en mille, J. Kabila a fait une bonne sortie en disant des choses dans lesquelles lui-même ne croit pas mais en faisant bonne impression. Pour l’instant, du moins. Attendons la suite.
Peter N. Kaodi

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

For those of you who can read German, here's a detailed analysis of recent events by Dominic Johnson in the TAZ:

He also offers a translation for JK's exact wording (from an AFP dispatch). Based on this, JK was very vague and did not explicitly call for Bosco's arrest.

The confusion with regard to JK's apparent call for Bosco's arrest, according to Johnson, stems from the fact that many anglophone news agencies do not have many/any swahili-speaking journalists and just simplified JK's message.

Anonymous said...

For those interested: Radio Okapi provides a link to the discours of Kabila in Goma on Ntaganda (in Swahili) on the following link:


Anonymous said...

It seems that Dominique Johson's German translation of the AFP dispatch is from the same excerpt as has been provided in Radio Okapi link above.


Rich said...

Thanks GM -

I saw the radio okapi report but failed to spot they had a link to the audio...

I must admit the message is not clear cut that Bosco will be arrested.

J K starts by acknowledging that Bosco is under an international arrest warrant and that in the past when asked if he is going to hand over bosco to the ICC he gave the same answer again and again.

Direct quote,

"Today there are calls for the arrest of bosco and I am going to give you a different answer although my standing regarding this issue has not changed the recent cases of indiscipline we don't even need to arrest him and hand him over to the ICC we can, on our own, arrest him and have judged here since the recent cases of indiscipline give us more than a hundred more reasons to arrest bosco and judge him here.

Some said there is pressure from the IC and this will continue, I say, I do not work for the IC I work for the DRC population in general and Nord Kivu in particular.

In relation to recent cases of indiscipline within the army, if there is any case showing the involvement of any particular army officer, they will be arrested, starting with/be it bosco ntaganda or any other officer we will do that."

My two cents...


texasinafrica said...

Hey, Jason, Okapi has the audio at the bottom of this story:

Rich said...

The link below gives the tv report shown on RTNC and the last few minutes give J Kabila's address where he is talking about what the procedure will be to deal with recent cases of indiscipline.

A discipline commission will be put in place and where there is proven cases the authors will be referred to military justice.


Anonymous said...

"bold decisions", Jason?

i fail to see how making what are in essence conditional statements- regardless of their translation- is being bold.

nor do i fail to see how Kabila, bound by his government's own ratification of the rome treaty, furthers the rule of law with his statement that basically says its just fine for the congolese to try Bosco on their own.


than what is the point of laws if you can arbitrarily not follow them? and, if he does lower the anvil of congolese justice, when and how exactly will that occur? will the other treasonous soldiers be part of that effort?

bottomline: the drc government is bound by international treaties that it willingly signed. as such, kabila needs to stop playing games and deliver bosco to the ICC as his arrest warrant calls for.

there is nothing bold, whatsoever, about kabila's latest moves. at the very least, the congolese expect him to protect them from internal and external threats so praising him for doing his job seems a little rich and entirely misplaced.

honestly, it appears the congolese have their own "romney". you honestly never know what kabila you are going to get in a given day.



Anonymous said...

and just to be clear, i am fully aware of the challenges before Kabila in apprehending Bosco.

those challenges are real and understandable but at the end of the day as Kabila himself said, he doesn't work for the international community but his people.

i'm particularly glad to hear that and so i am looking forward to apprehending bosco and his boys, doing something about the growing cholera outbreak, striking a deal with striking doctors, forming a government, releasing Etienne, paying civil servants regularly, improving the increasingly inflation-laden economy, apprehending secessionists in katanga, getting some clarity on when provincial elections will be held, reforming CENI..........

am I missing anything?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for these updates, all. I guess quite a bit can get lost in translation so to speak.


So, I can feel the frustration in your posts. Broadly, I share them and I am fairly certain Siassa readers do as well.

Now, while I will never apologize for Kabila, I do believe its important to understand his actions from his perspective. Here’s my incredibly amateurish opinion on that matter (please, others, correct any of my thinking):

There is a profound and deep sense of mistrust of, and competition for, power in the Congo. And, if this wasn't enough, years of state neglect, war, and corruption and rendered the security apparatus in the Congo weak. Kabila is severely constrained in his ability to act and the scale of the problems the nation faces make it hard to figure out where to act. He knows that his grip on power in pretty tenuous and requires extensive and unrelenting patronage. Worse still, should any of his more powerful neighbors choose to they could invade and overthrow him. The symptoms of all of this is the fear of decentralizing power, a parallel government, obscene levels of corruption, a belligerent attitude towards mining companies, a parallel security force (the Revolutionary Guards), an overwhelmingly powerful Executive that dominates the Legislative and Judicial branches, and ofcourse the things that pain us all- no rule of law, state repression of dissent, fraudulent elections, mass poverty, impunity, a weak, divided, and undemocratic opposition and civil society,etc.

Given all this, this latest turn of events is rather bold on his part. He is taking a real gamble that neutralizing Bosco-with Rwanda ever watchful- will pay dividends and begin the process of finally pacifying the volatile East. This could all unravel in a heartbeat with a potential return to violence or, god forbid, his own assassination. Faced with these incredibly difficult choices, Kabila is actually behaving fairly rationally even if his statements of late are somewhat confusing.

And, in the context of the Congo, the rational is very much the bold- hence Jason’s choice of words.

Would I like to see more tranformational and visionary leadership that respects the rule of law with Kabila? Ofcourse, but I think most observers would agree that that train long since left the station. Kabila is fundamentally unsure of himself- think Nixon here if this helps- and thus we shouldn’t be surprised he is so incredibly bad at governance and leadership.

I’m sure you know all this and I have probably left out a few things. But, with this nation, I think its important to try to see Congolese agency within the context of the confines of the nation’s severely decadent political system.

Kabila is human. For all his flaws he is human and not a monster. I have always believed that he has the nation’s best interests at heart but, like many people, often is constrained by a system he did not create nor knows how to end for the betterment of his people or posterity.

This doesn’t excuse his often venal and oppressive behavior.

But, this latest event is important for the nation and this at times particularly cynical Congolese leader. Let’s all just pray he gets it right, that no flare up in violence occurs, and that it gets the Congo to a better place.

I’ll also suggest to always have hope, Jose. The Congolese have it in spades and, as we’ve seen on the continent of late, a bright, democratic, and prosperous future awaits them.

The just wind of freedom blows every more strongly across Africa and, in time, each and every Congolese will feel it on their faces.

I hope this helps.

Senior Minister
Decatur Baptist Church
Decatur, GA

Rich said...

Bryce -

Many thanks. I agree with everything you have said here and I must say, I missed reading your comments.

Sometimes when I read comments on this page, I wonder if we are talking about the same Congo (Kinshasa) which saw me being born, grow and become a man...

It is far too easy to post affectionate or sophisticated analyses here on behalf of Congolese but trust me doing things in Congo has never been that straight forward. I worked in the Military police when mobutu was removed from power. I was coming from university and was ever so passionate to be an actor in implementing the change we all so wanted in the country; but I cannot tell you my disillusionment when it came to dealing with the situation on the ground...

As you and Mel said in other words, true change in Congo will come in small packages and very slowly.


Anonymous said...

I hear there is gun shooting in Lubumbashi tonight. Any one knows the status in Lubumbashi?

Anonymous said...

Wise words, Bryce. And I second Rich’s sentiments (and his constant clarity) in missing you! It has been some time since your last post but its clear you haven’t lost a bit of your southern grace and grit. Have you been on a mission trip to the DRC? From my recollection, you go once a year for a few months, correct?

Well, glad you can post!

And I agree entirely with your statement and share Jose’s frustrations. But time is on the side of the Congolese, I believe.

Just wanted to share with folks this great focus group survey conducted in the Congo by NDI, the National Democratic Institute. NDI is basically the foreign “arm” of the Democratic Party in America (Republicans have one too, called IRI, which is currently headed by Senator John McCain who’s wife has campaigned VERY hard on the Congo) and, for good or ill, trains political parties on grassroots organizing, electoral work, and civic education.

(apologies if folks reading this blog already know all this but one can never assume)

I got it from Dr. Theodore Trefon’s blog “Congo Masquerage”- which is a great book by the way.

Here’s the link to Dr. Trefon’s blog where you can download (as a PDF) the report.

Its in English, unfortunately.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rich and Mel.

And do know, brother Rich, that Siassa readers are fully aware of your constancy and dedication to your beloved Congo. Indeed, next to Jason's own words, yours (and Blaise, Bruno, and Bruce) provide a context for us that is both enlightens and tempers.

I have always appreciated it- particularly as the number of the Congo's foreign patriots has expanded given the conflict mineral campaigns.

After now nearly 30 years ministering to its people, I have nothing but hope for what lies ahead for them given I have witnessed where they have been.

And the future, even in these challenging moments, is a bright one....

Thanks for sharing the focus group survey, Mel.

It is filled with alot of gems, insights, hard truths, and even a bit of humor- alot like the Congolese themselves.

Senior Minister
Decatur Baptist Church
Decatur, GA

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

Surprisingly there was a warning from the Governor of North Kivu office yesterday that any one misinterpreting the President's speech particularly concerning Bosco shall face Justice.
It is an admonition to Journalists who have announced that the President wanted to Arrest Bosco - It was not the same way everyone thought before.
This is a tactic to rewind a news from AFP and REUTERS which spread all over the world.
Any way the President has got no thinking of arresting the Terminator.
For the moment what Bosco wanted is not be arrested but he doesn't mind for degrading him because he has a hell money he has made before - he will sit in his farm and enjoy.


Anonymous said...


Le gouvernement provincial du Nord-Kivu vient de publier une mise au point après le speech du President Joseph Kabila,mercredi 11 Avril 2012 afin d'éviter des interprétations particulières et dans tous les sens.L’éclairage de l’opinion sur le dossier Bosco NTAGANDA ,selon le gouvernement,le Président de la République a été plus c...lair en soulignant que la province du Nord-Kivu et l’Est de la RDC ont longtemps souffert. Que les enquêtes sont désormais ouvertes à ce sujet et que dans la mesure où Bosco NTAGANDA se rendait coupable de l’une ou l’autre infraction, la justice congolaise ne tardera pas à procéder à son arrestation sans attendre la moindre pression de la communauté internationale.
Quant aux opérations militaires,elles sont désormais sous le seul commandement de la 8eme région militaire de Goma et les opérations "Amani Leo"traduisez"la Paix Aujourd'hui" qui traquaient les groupes armés; ses structures sont suspendues afin de redonner le pouvoir aux normes classiques de l'armé.L'extrait de cette mise au point est lu par le porte-parole du gouvernement du Nord-Kivu Ernest Kyaviro.

Anonymous said...

To jose APRIL 12, 2012 11:00 AM

“…nor do i fail to see how Kabila, bound by his government's own ratification of the rome treaty, furthers the rule of law with his statement that basically says its just fine for the congolese to try Bosco on their own…”

If you were important to Congolese I could say your comment is arrogant and condescending. Because you are not important I can simply say your comment is naive.

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court PREAMBLE

“… Recalling that it is the duty of every State to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes…”

“Emphasizing that the International Criminal Court established under this Statute shall be complementary to national criminal jurisdictions …”

Read “complementary” not replacing Congolese laws …

Gomatracien mtoto wa Goma

Anonymous said...

In 2004 the Congolese government referred crimes committed in Ituri in 2002-2003 to the ICC; Bosco's indictment by the ICC is related to a specific set of charges related to that conflict.

President Kabila in his speech in Goma seems to be referring to new crimes committed in North Kivu alleged against Bosco since his integration into the FARDC - presumably any new charges would fall outside the ICC indictment.

Should the Congolese government wish to try Bosco on new charges that would be within its sovereign jurisdiction. If Bosco were convicted in a Congolese court it would be up to the government to resolve the ICC indictment issue with that body.

A conviction by a Congolese court would not give Bosco an automatic pass on the previous indictment...having referred the issue to the ICC in the first place, the Congolese government will have see the process through to some satisfactory conclusion.

Anonymous said...

@Bryce- your comments are well taken and I deeply appreciate them. thank you.

@Anon 4/13 1:42pm- my sentiments exactly and I actually planned on answering Anon 4/13 7:02 AM with similar logic. i only see a problem with double jeopardy if, and this is just an assumption, congolese law makes room for crimes against humanity.

@Anon 4/13 7:02 AM

a few quick things:

- i'm a new york jew. we tend to be a fairly aggressive species. my apologies for posting a little heavy on the side of sarcasm. it seemed to particularly irk you, and perhaps others, and that wasn't my intent.

- it is certainly true i am of no consequence to any particular congolese. i'm fairly certain you aren't as well so i guess that makes us equal right? in any event, i have been married to a congolese woman for 21 years, we have 4 lovely children who have spent numerous vacations with their family in lumumbashi, i have personally invested in tens of thousands of dollars in her family's businesses there, and have also spent more tens of thousands putting 14 of my extended kin in colleges throughout the US. the congo and its many challenges particularly concerns me and i will continue to speak out about them as i see fit for i have earned this right.

- their is nothing naive, whatsoever, about holding the regime in kinshasa accountable to its own laws. i will repeat: the DRC is a signatory to the Rome Treaty and, as such, it is duty bound to turn over Bosco and anyone else. i fully recognize we are dealing with what is in essence a banana republic, but that does not excuse the behavior of this regime when it comes to abiding by the rule of law. we, and that means all of us, must stop excusing away bad behavior from this regime. it helps noone- least of all the Congolese. i know how potentially dangerous arresting bosco would be. well, that's unfortunate and it is way past time we ask kabila to show some leadership on this and damn near everything else. you are free to call my opinion naive. and I am free to call those who refuse to demand this of kabila at best, morally bankrupt, and at worst, an enemy of the congolese nation.

- my read of "complementary" means there are laws in place in the congo to try suspects who commit crimes against humanity. i speak and read french fluently and i am also a criminal attorney admitted to the NY, NJ, and Connecticut bars. i have several copies of the mess that is the Congolese legal code and i cannot find one law or court decision that would serve as precedent in trying bosco. if you have more info on this than by all means share it and then i would be more confident that congolese justice would be served in this case. but this is not the case so, as it relates to international law, the congolese are bound by the ICC's jurisdiction- which means they must arrest Bosco. if you don't like certain treaties than by all means don't sign them. the usa rejected the Rome Treaty and I am VERY glad we did.

hope all this was crystal clear.


Anonymous said...

Actually, Jose, whether Bosco has broken Congolese law is, as far as the ICC is concerned, irrelevant.

If Kabila wants to try Bosco for breaking Congolese law I'm pretty sure he has the Congolese's blessing. I would add, however, that doing so, for this regime, would be the height of hypocrisy though one can argue less destabilizing.

But "facing Congolese justice" and "facing ICC justice" are entirely separate and unrelated things given the latter is expressly concerned with crimes against humanity to which Bosco must be delivered to justice at the ICC given the DRC is a signatory to the Rome Treaty in addition to the recent conviction of Lubanga- of which Bosco is an accomplice.

Let us try not to confuse these two things even though its becoming clear Kabila is most certainly attempting to do so for what are entirely political reasons.

Anonymous said...

Another press release from CNDP party president;

Mwangachuchu, president of CNDP appealed to the Government of Congo yesterday that FRDC must deploy its troops around masisi area asap to prevent the Tutsi population against FDLR militia.
What does this appeal mean?
I am fearing that a another deliberate mass killing of Tutsis around Masisi may happen, then there will be an excuse to start another rebellion to protect Tutsi community.
I hope all of you still remember how CNDP started?


Anonymous said...

To Jose

You talk more about yourself than you do about congo. The more you write the more arrogant you sound. being a new york jew etc. is your business and you can have a blog talking about that all day long if you wish. here we are talking about congo.

you are confusing the right for congo to try its citizens and the possibility for the ICC to try specific types of crime. if you go in congolese prisons you will find thousands of criminals lawfully convicted according to congolese laws. you have the right to say what you want about congo but that does not give you the right to create confusion or give misleading information about something you simply do not understand.


blaise said...

@ Gomatracien,
I think you misreading the whole thing about Jose. From my understanding, what the man is trying to tell you is that his background and hobbies ( sorry Jose, you didn't mention lu'shi's bar,lol,just kidding) put him in a position to give a well informed opinion.
You should read what anonym APRIL 13, 2012 8:14 PM just said to appreciate the technicality of the situation.
My question to you is simple: are you familiar with the "code penal Congolais", successor of the "code penal Zairois"? Professeur Nyabirungu 's book is the reference in that matter.
According to the Merian webster dictionnary, arrogance is an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.(
I believe it's arrogant to decide who has the right to talk about Congo or not.
I believe it's arrogant to go ad hominem instead of laying down factual arguments.
I almost fell of my chair when you said that there is a lot of convicted people in Congolese's prisons. That's far from reality since there are a lot of people who are unlawfully detained and some were unjustly convicted. You the first person I heard for a while who suggest that things are rosy in our jails.
It's great when somebody disagree with you and lay down facts and back them with texts or studies.
In the contrary, it's annoying when somebody makes assumptions and shot down anyone who disagree with him/her.

Anonymous said...

To blaise & jose

i do not pretend to be anything more than any one. i am a congolese and i am simply expressing my feelings when i read certain comments and where i am writing from there are at least 15 other congolese and although we don't always agree on things it is suprising that we feel the same when reading certain comments. things to be rosy or sad is evry person's perception and you are entitled to one. i don't think things are rosy in congolese prisons but there are criminals jailed in there as a result of congolese laws and not the icc and jailing bosco according to congolese laws can only be a good thing. i am not here to win arguments or shot down people who disagree with me if that's the case what would you call your rescue mission to jose? in fact i doubt you and jose have already been in more than two cities in congo reason why you have a very theoretical understanding of things rather than a practical one. this was my last comment.

Gomatracien mtoto wa Goma

blaise said...

@ Gomatracien,
I cannot recall his name but there is a philosopher who said that "le sentit" " ment", in other words what we feel is not necessary factual.
I don't see the relevance of me being in more than two cities in Congo had to do with facts here. I guess your experience makes you the facto expert in all congolese matters
Since you seem to be better informed than our mere theoretical knowledge, maybe you can enlighten us about the infraction under which Bosco should be prosecute in accordance with congolese's laws.
Like somebody said previously, ICC rules are complementary. My takes is that they kick in when there is no provisions in the national level. I'm not sure, I didn't do any theoretical research yet(lol).
From my understanding, the charged against Lubanga and subsequently against Bosco, are related to the use of child soldiers. In that regard, why should Kabila pursued the arrest of this man and try him in congo when He was himself using those kids in the army(kadogos).
As I said earlier, don't be blinded by your perceptions. do some research before you voice a contrary opinion.
The argument that start with " you are not here so you don't know" is a weak one. You don't know where I am and where I've been.


Rich said...

Blaise, jose and gomatracian –

Sorry for intruding…

I think the DRC has enough provision in its laws to try bosco or lubanga. However, I have my doubts about the transparency as well as the overall political outcome/gain for the local community if such trials are to take place in DRC.

I may be wrong and I need to stress that I am not trying to take side here. My understanding of the difference between lubanga and bosco is as followed.

People supporting the move to have bosco tried in DRC as opposed to the ICC can say this:

1. Lubanga did not contribute to bring peace, he was defeated and his arrest did not present the same problems as the arrest of bosco would.

2. Bosco ‘contributed’ to peace when he defected from nkunda hence weakening the cndp

3. bosco is a member of the FARDC and was promoted to the rank of general.

4. bosco was given a second chance but if he blows that chance then he can be taken care of according to Congolese laws (DRC martial laws)

5. bosco has strong ties with Rwanda and has the potential of destabilising the whole region something that lubanga did not have.

6. Arresting bosco is not like pulling a road traffic offender in the streets of LA or intercepting an armed drug dealer in the streets of London…

You can read, Loi No 024/2002 du 18 Novembre 2002 portant Code Penal Militaire, Titre V: Des crimes de genocide, des crimes contre l’humanite et des crimes de guerre. Chapters 1 and 2.

Here is the link to the DRC Military Penal code.


blaise said...

@ Rich,
thank for the insight as usual precise and at least it's not based on feelings(lol). I forgot that the law was update since the last I checked.(that was 2001,lol)
Don't get me wrong, I don't care where he should be try but my preference will be Congo not for legal reasons but for " patriotic" ( feeling) ones.
As I stated in previous threads, I don't think we should keep sending our people to the ICC while others are dragging their feet. I believe that international justice should be evenly distributed to all nations, poor or rich. In my book, there is already too many congoleses in the ICC and the court looks more and more like the Nurembeg's trial of the Nazis. As far as I can tell, they punished the puppet and not the puppet's master.
For example, why did they arrested Mbemba but not Patasse? They both responsible for what happened in RCA.
It seems to me that Africa is been bully here by rich countries in their hypocrisy.
To go back to Bosco, okay, we can try him, but again, for what?
- Bosco is wanted in relation with Lubanga's case
- Lubanga was found guilty for Crimes against Children in Armed Conflict
- to extrapolate, Bosco should be try for the same crime in Congo.
My question now is: what's the difference between what he did and the AFDL?
I'm not advocating impunity, I'm just emphasizing hypocrisies here. If we want justice, it has to be justice for all otherwise it will be a witch hunt.
That the point I was trying to bring into the gentleman attention. But obviously, he was just interested in ad hominem attacks and name calling.
Here some interesting reading if you have time but again thank you for your post.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday we got the visit of Gen. Didier Etumba in Uvira. Kabila was supposed to come but he didn't in the end.
Gen. Etumba apparently came with Tango Fort and Masunzu to dispense grades and arrange the situation of FARDC after the defection of some ex-cndp-pareco members and arrange the rest of operations.

As always rumors are going wild even if the city is now calm. The city should be under the control of the Regiment that came from katanga (good impression with the population in general). The rest is to be deploied in the Rusizi Plaine or along the litoral and it should be under the authority of Makanika, former FRF leader.

In the while MM Yak are taking positions in and around fizi town and around baraka, trying to exploit the moment. I don't know if Etumba met or not envoys from MM. The news of 25M of USD out now on Okapi is circulating since weeks in the region... MM Bwasakala are controlling the road around Mboko and Swima, taxing privates traders and Ngos as well.

I'm sad to see that in sout of SK there is again a tendency in the population to point out again banyas for what happened and protection cases are already reported.

At the auditorat militaire this afternoon there has been an "audience foraine" of 2-3 elements. This is the second or third I've seen in years and it should also be a sequel of Etumba's visit.

Last note: radio bemba reports that the group of dissidents is slowly moving north on the plateaux, heading for NK province.

Jason is it possible to have a post on new appointements in the FARDC? Thanks in advance

blaise said...

@ Rich,
how about the competence of the military court to judge him in the first place?
I don't think he was general at the time or even in the regular army.
how about his nationality, the quality of the plaintiffs? There is a lot of easy exception to derail an hypothetical trial.

Rich said...

Blaise -

Ref # "My question now is: what's the difference between what he did and the AFDL?"

"how about the competence of the military court to judge him in the first place?
I don't think he was general at the time or even in the regular army..."

I think this is very much related to the whole problem about (mis)interpreting J Kabila's recent speech and mind about the bosco case.

Although we can say that for some the mis-interpreting of what he said ("I want to arrest Bosco because the whole population want peace...") to Kivu notables was done on purpose in order to put him under further pressure to go ahead and order bosco's arrest.

That said, after listening to the audio message posted on radio okapi, my take on J Kabila's recent speech about bosco is this:

We (Congolese) were ready to move on and forgive/dismiss/minimise... what he did in the past when he was in afdl although the international community (ICC) may not want to do the same (that is not a priority for us).

However, now after we have given him a second chance forgave him, promoted him in the army and gave him the comfort etc... it seems like he has blown that second chance again. For this reason, if ever he is found (which is more likely "we have more than a hundred reasons...") to have been engaged or involved (there is a military disciplinary commission looking into that) in the recent cases of indiscipline within the army then we will arrest him and put him on trial...

So, if he is to arrest bosco, it will be more in line with the recent troubles in Kivu than with the initial ICC arrest warrant. However, it is possible that after he had arrested him, he can score another goal by handing him over (which will be hypocritical to an extent...) since people may ask why now and even then he can say, now he is no longer a bigger threat...

Sorry this is all over the place


blaise said...

@ Rich,
thank you again, that makes more sense to me the way you put it than what the gentleman from Goma was insinuating. It's more logical to try him at this regards than pursuing the ICC's justice.

Anonymous said...


we fundamentally disagree with the efficacy of trying bosco locally and i don't believe we can bridge this difference. that's ok for we can agree to disagree but i am simply going to ask you to stop the ad hominem attacks. they are beneath you given you seem to be a fine and true patriot of the Congo. if you do, i promise to be less sardonic in my comments. i appreciate and honor your sense of patriotism which seems to animate much of your verbal jabs at me but please temper your love of the Congo by engaging in respectful debate with those who disagree with you. i have many friends from around the world who harshly critique things about America they do not like. they are so my friends because they debate fairly and avoid attacks. i simply ask for the same courtesy.


ha! yes, well, i have been admitted to more Congolese bars than i care to address here! some of the best experiences of my life actually :)


thanks for the law link. its going to take me awhile to work through it but i completely forgot about military law.

also, there seems to be a subtext here- particularly among the african commentors- about the ICC and it "targeting africans". its an understandable perspective and, to a degree, i share it. but on a very real level the back and forth between me and Gomatracien is indicative of the divide between much of the world and the west.

while i cannot speak for everyone in the west (duh), the thinking behind the icc is that we are more likely to see truly aweful crimes against humanity in failed or nearly-failed states primarily because their systems of justice are either lacking or severely compromised. well, a large amount of such states are in africa and so too are a large amount of crimes committed against humanity as defined by the various geneva conventions.

but the goal here really shouldn't be what group of humanity ends up on trial.

the goal is justice, right?

if i could be convinced that trying bosco in the congo would lead to justice than i would give up the ghost as it were. and by justice, i mean that in the total sense for not only his victim's but the community and all the congo. the idea that bosco has brought "peace" is not only preposterous but simply wrong- ask all the women and men who have been raped in the east. ask the militia's who keep sprouting up like diseases to "protect" the population if there is peace and security in the east. honestly, when i hear that bosco has brought peace i want to shout back "have you seen a torn fistula fool!!!!!???"

and, i will just say, for many westerners concerned about the congo that is likely the reaction as well. i haven't polled anyone, and it may be misinformed, but that's the likely reaction.

i just don't see how an illegitmate government that either jails or knocks off its opponents (how is the Floribert investigation going?) can, in the name of justice, try bosco in its own courts.

that doesn't mean the congo shouldn't but can we honestly say true justice will be served if they do? will it deter other armed groups to stop terrorizing the congolese?

i don't have an answer to that but its fairly clear some congolese do and my western observers and policy makers do not and hence lies the challenge before us.


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