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

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bosco misplays his cards

As President Kabila arrived in Goma yesterday, it appears that Bosco may have misplayed his hand. After asking troops loyal to his to defect from the army and to reinforce his personal guard last week, Bosco himself is reported to have to fled Goma on Friday night as Kinshasa deployed a battalion of Belgian-trained special forces to town.

Most reports place Bosco in central Masisi at the moment, between Kilolirwe and Mushaki.

At the same time, Col Innocent Kaina (aka India Queen), a close Bosco ally, briefly took control of the border town of Bunagana (located close to the junction of Rwanda, Congo and Uganda) on Sunday before being pushed out by Congolese troops under the command of Colonel Philemon Yav. Col Kaina was reportedly forced to flee to Uganda.

Tellingly, Yav was collaborating with Cpt Kennedy, formerly one of Bosco's closest supporters. As Kinshasa spends considerable efforts - and, allegedy, money - on rallying Bosco loyalists to its side, others have defected, as well, including Col Ndayisaba in Rutshuru. Col Innocent Zimurinda, who commands troops in Bosco's heartland of Masisi, is reported to be "stuck" in Goma with a small bodyguard.

The situation, however, is still volatile, with a considerable number of de-facto defectors outside of government control in South and North Kivu. But Bosco's strategy of grandstanding in order to prevent his arrest seems to have backfired for now.


Anonymous said...

It's about time that Kabila shows some leadership, His presence in Goma clearly gives the population some form of comfort. I am sure Rwanda has received strict instruction from the West not to do anything to assist Bosco. The net is fnally closing in on Bosco. the next few days will be crucial in seeing how the situation turns out.

blaise said...

@ Jason,
where can I find a descent "who's who" of all the actors in that conflict? From your story, I notice that there was an awfull amount of colonels involved here. Did they brought down the level of juniors officers?
Just my opinion: JK should have went in Goma long time ago. Just a thought.

FrancoPepeKalle said...

I think it is too late just like Blaise said. Hypolite Kanambe alais Joseph Kabila only goes to Goma knowing that Bosco situation has gotten worse. Kanambe does not have a army that is stable at all. Kanambe is just someone who is looking to stay in power for attention. Bosco is another Rwandese trying to destroy Eastern Congo much like his boss Laurent Nkunda (another Rwandese). What is happening is that Kanambe's government and the Tutsi Rwandese led army are all going down before our own eyes. This is interesting to me. As a Congolese American, I hope Kanambe if he stays in power that HE CAB ACTUALLY SHOW LEADERSHIP for once that he has not done for the last 10 years.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with Anon 4/10 12:52 AM.

From the looks of it, it appears this operation has been fairly well-thought out and that we are seeing a kind of "perfect storm" that underguides the current "successes"- namely, the amani leo, the detente with Kigali, US/Belgium/SA training of more professional troops, a weak FDLR, kinshasa seeking legitimacy, etc.

I wouldn't be surprised if Bosco is finally caught and brought to justice by the end of the month.

Now, that ofcourse doesn't resolve the myriad of others issues on the table at the moment and long term.

But it is good to see Kabila show some leadership and continue to the process of pacifying the lawless East.

I guess a question in my mind is "what happens next?" if this "succeeds" (whatever that means)?


Anonymous said...

@ Mel

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders visit to Kinshasa followed by General Carter Ham's visit are clear public signals coming from Brussels and DC. Now President Kabila, Chief of Staff Etumba and Roger Meece have arrived on scene - so there is considerable high level coordination on numerous fronts.

Still there are numerous variables in play: is the plan to peel away Bosco's support and isolate him, or has it been decided to act before he has time to consolidate his position? As long as Bosco is at large with a loyal following and a considerable cache of arms and munitions, he poses a formidable and volatile threat - at least in the short-term.

I imagine that through his contacts Jason has a much clearer picture of what the actual plan is.


Anand said...

This update is concerning in the sense that Bosco is apparently feeling cornered. I worry what his reaction might be if further pushed. Bruce, I hope you are correct that the idea is to peel away his support, and manage this as calmly as possible. As far the U.S. and Belgium working with Kinshasa to go after a smaller player like Bosco, I still have trouble with the overall message. It tacitly legitimizes and consolidates power for an illegitimate administration.

Anonymous said...

Without Rwandan help Bosco and his supporters have no ether option but to surrender, and that's the reason why they have choosed to escape through Uganda . Most of the deserters are former Rwandan soldiers who infiltrated the Congoles army through the CNDP and many of them are going back to Rwanda to rejoin the Rwandan army.president KAGAME understand that destabilizing the Kivu can not continue forever and can only lead to the end of his regime and he knows that his relationship with Kinshasa is now very important for his own survival . Bosco ,NKUNDA ....where just agents for KAGAME and the Rwandan army.and now its time for the international community to ask Rwanda to also deliver LAURENT NKUNDA so that he can face justice for the war crimes and crimes against humanity that he perpetrated on the Congoles peoples.

Anand said...

Can anyone verify the numbers of displaced mentioned in this article with other reports?

Arne said...

Well done! Are you based in Goma? I visit once in a while, could we get in touch via ?? Thanks in advance.

Marc Hofer said...

i was in talks with UNHCR some weeks ago about the numbers and thats their official statistics. They are about to open up another displaced person camp, if the Ugandan government plays ball.
But 5000 refugees is not really a lot of people...but if the heat goes up, more cold come.

Anonymous said...

@ FrancoPepeKale...
You are not hitting the nail!
Any one leaving in DRC soil and speaking Rwandan language does not mean that he/she is Rwandan - you are replicating racism.
Do you know that more than half of tribes from eastern part of Congo understand or speak fluent Kinyarwanda.
I still insist that Bosco must face Justice - But eject from your mind that those who look like Rwandan or speak Rwandan language staying in Congo land are Rwandan.
They were born,study,grown in Congo and now leaders of Congolese.
It is just like your situation - The law in USA allows you to be an American citizen but others call you Congolese American.
You rather call them Rwandan Congolese than Rwandan - how do you see?

@ Others

One thing i have understood is that Bosco will never be arrested neither by Kagame nor Kabila - as long as they are still in Power.
Bosco knows a lot of secret.
At the time he was sent to Ituri for the operation, he knows who have sent him and for which purpose. If he is arrested, Kagame will be in big trouble before ICC. Kagame gave a strong order to Kabila not to touch him.
Do not expect much from Kabila's visit in Goma.
Nothing will happen.


Anonymous said...


I take your point regarding the legitimacy issue...I'm sure it is one that is troubling to many in the Congo Siasa community.


Anand said...

@Marc - Thanks for the verification. I know 5,000 is a relatively small number when compared with larger numbers sometimes seen. And I read a report that many are actually coming back (unverified) But any displacement is an issue to me. I think the issue of IDPs sometimes finds itself on the back burner, but it is huge for creating stability and functional living for those affected. Thanks again for the response!

FrancoPepeKalle said...


You do raise some valid points. My parents are actually from Eastern Congo. Both of my parents were born in the province of Maniema. My parents came to US three years before I was born. But I do not in any shape of form hate the Rwandese. However the reality is that many Tutsis want to destroy Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. The Tutsis were the ones who played a huge role in the Rwanda genocide. Yes I know there are Tutsi Congolese but they are very small population. There is a lot of Hutu Congolese though. Yes they are Rwandan Congolese. However I am not convinced Bosco or Nkunda are that. I feel that those two are true Rwandese who grew up in Congo. I don't hate Rwandese. But this Tutsi vs. Hutu conflict will continue for years to come.

I agree with you, Hypolite Kanambe alias Joseph Kabila going to Goma is totally a PR stunt. Nothing will happen. As I said, Hypolite Kanambe alias Joseph Kabila's government as well as the Tutsi led army is all going down before our own eyes.

Anonymous said...

Bosco is a Rwandan citizen. Did you try to see the ICC arrest warant? It's state clear that is a Rwanda citizen.

Anonymous said...

@Franco Pepe kale
I don't think your parents came from MANIEMA because people from eastern Congo do not Call President KABILA ,HYPOLITE KANAMBE like you are ,only ignorant Mobutu and CHICHI supporters from the west call him that name because they read and beleave the stupidity from HONORE NGBANDA and the Zobattants, reading all your comments I can tel you are from western Congo and you know nothing about the situation in the east or in the Congo .you must be one of the debout Zairois people who stil dreaming about the return of Mobutu.
The kinyarwanda speaking people in eastern Congo make up les than 1% of the population not half the population.BOSCO NTAGANDA and LAURENT NKUNDA are former Rwandan soldiers and they are Rwandese not Congoles ,the les than 1% Kinyarwanda speaking people who live in Congo needs to start giving their loyalty to the Congoles nation and if they continue to put all their interest in RWANDA then they have no business claiming the Congoles identify and they shal just move back to Rwanda .you can only be Rwandese or Congoles but not both.

FrancoPepeKalle said...

@Anonymous 11:47 am
Sir with all the respect you are so wrong on your laughable statement. MY PARENTS ARE FROM EAST CONGO IN THE PROVINCE OF MANIEMA. My mom was a pro-Mobutu supporter but not my dad. I'm also anti-Mobutu. I am pro-Lumumba. I share a lot of Lumumba's views and I agree with a lot of his vision for what should be a great Congo. My dad was one of the few Congolese who always sided with Tshisekedi and his party UDPS.

Tshisekedi had his gaffs but he is one of the few Congolese who suffered a lot through the years. Mobutu tortured Tshisekedi in early 1990s because TSHISEKEDI SHOWED REAL LEADERSHIP. Tshisekedi has endured so much. He is the person most congolese want in power. Many Congolese of all kinds want Tshisekedi not this imposteur Hypolite Kanambe.

Mobutu is a evil man too but compare with Kanambe, Mobutu was better. This is not a Mobutu at all. I dislike Mobutu but he cared about Congo somewhat. In fact my dad had help from the Mobutu regime though they knew he never supported Mobutu. At least Mobutu had some interest in Congo. Kanambe, what has he done. I know the construction in that. That is about it.

Kanambe's 10 years have been more hell than Laurent Kabila's 4 years and Mobutu's 32 years all together. Eastern Congo will become a rape city where Tutsi will rape women. Kinshasa has become a place where there are angry people. Bandundu is more divided than ever. Kaisi is having some civil war going on socially. Hypolite Kanambe has showcased no leadership and as result, Congo is in a bigger mess.

I support the Combattants because they want Congo fixed. I don't agree with everything they do but I can indentify with them. They just want a great Congo made. That is all most of the Combattants are asking for.

You can defend Hypolite Kanambe alias Joseph Kabila all you want because I don't care. It won't work. Most Congolese have made it clear that Kanambe must go. INGETA.

Anonymous said...

@Franco Pepe kale
How can you be a LUMUMBISTE and support CHISEKEDI the man who was a high rank official in a justice department that ordered and signed the arest and execution of LUMUMBA and his allies? How Can you be a LUMUMBIST and support the Zobattants who are all former Mobutist from western Congo who are angry because a LUMUMBIST from the east (LAURENT KABILA )overthrow their 32 years destructive regime (MOBUTISME)? How many peoples from the east or MANIEMA are part of that Zobattants movement? How many people from MANIEMA,KATANGA,KIVU,PROVINCE ORIENTAL and BANDUNDU voted for CHISEKEDI? How can CHISEKEDI loose the very populated Swahili speaking eastern Congo and Bandundu and stil win the race?do your math my friend.did you know that CHISEKEDI was an arch enemy of LUMUMBA ,and he was a justice minister and interior minister of the administration that overthrow LUMUMBA ?my friend stay away from the APARECO garbage ,NGBANDA,BEMBA ,MOBUTU and CHICHI are in the sad history of the DRC not its future .

FrancoPepeKalle said...

@Anoymous 8:41 pm

Thisekedi realized he did wrong in the past and became the most Mobutu critic out of all critics. Mobutu became jealous of Tshisekedi because he had one thing: LEADERSHIP. When Tshisekedi had his power during the six months in 1990, Congo was going on the right track as everyone respected him. Tshisekedi has more leadership than Mobutu, Kabila, and Kanambe all together especially Kanambe.

The reason you want Kanambe because you have incredible benefits from Kanambe's crimes. Under your messiah Kanambe's watch, more than 8 million people have been killed. Hypolite Kanambe is a total joke.

INGETA. Tshisekedi is the president of DRC.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what leadership means to you ,because that BALUBA tribal cult (UDPS) is the most desorganised political parti in the entire african Continent and CHISEKEDI's luck of leadership had turned what was once a national opposition parti into nothing but a regional tribal cult of the BALUBAS from KASAI. After 30 years they don't even have a headquater and they stil do all their meetings at his government owned rundown House in LIMETE. I am from MANIEMA to and both president KABILA and his wife Olive's mothers are from maniema. I don't think you are from MANIEMA (hauko mutoto wa MANIEMA) that tribal cult (UDPS) and its iresponsible leader (CHICHI )will never win . as long as 99% of the Congoles natural wealth are in the Swahili speaking east(Kivus,KATANGA,MANIEMA,Province Oriental) and over 65% of the population come from that same region ,that tribal cult (UDPS)will never win .after the RAIS it's going to be an ether Swahili speaker from the east and if not the SWAHILILAND will break away like south SOUDAN. UDPS and the debout Zairois will just remain the ZOBATTANTS.

FrancoPepeKalle said...

@Anonymous 7:39 pm

Let me tell you something you Kanambist. Tshisekedi would be a way better president than this Kanambe. You know it. There are a few Maniemans who ARE ACTUALLY PART OF THE ZOBATTANTS, you call them. Hypolite Kanambe alias Joseph Kabila is not the son of Laurent Kabila. THAT IS A FACT. He is from Rwanda. In fact his actual dad was CHRISTOPHER KANAMBE. THAT IS A FACT TOO.

Most Congolese want Tshisekedi to be president not this imposteur Hypolite Kanambe alias Joseph Kabila. This man has killed over 8 million people.


BTW My dad can speak kiswahili too maybe not as well as you do. My dad can speak perfect French and Lingala too. I was born in the US. My parents were born in Maniema. ASK MY DAD, he will you everything about Congo.

I am not tribalist like you. You just hate the Mulubas because they are the Jews of Congo. They are the people who are the best doing minerals. Yes you do have stupid Mulubas. I know a few of them myself. But there are other Mulubas who are decent people. They work hard to keep there stand. In fact in my state Minnesota, a pastor who is a Muluba loves Congo and wants unite the whole Congo.

I hate to point to you, MOST CONGOLESE SPEAK FRENCH AND LINGALA. Kiswahili is of course spoken but mainly in East Congo.

Not all UDPS members are MULUBA. There are quite a few of Bakongo people, and some East Congo people too. My dad was a member of this pary. Ask him, he will tell you about it. My dad has always supported Tshisekedi from the day he formed UPDS. I am a Tshisekedist too.

You can justify Kanambe's criminality but as I said, Kanambe will pay for his criminal activies.

Anonymous said...

@Franco Pepekale
My dad,my dad,Mobutu helped my dad,my dad loves CHISEKEDI,my dad my dad,my dad, my dad,my dad,....this is too much for you boy, I would like to debate your father not a boy who knows nothing about Congo , can't you see that you are the only person who use that KANAMBE ignorance on this blog. This blog is too much for you boy, your comments and ideas are pure Congomikilli,YouTube,Apareco..and ether Zobattants sites,where little sons of former mobutits debate that HYPOLITE KANAMBE ignorance that HONOREN NGBANDA has been washing theire little brains with. Next time ask your dad to comment on your behalf I will debate him in French ,Swahili,or lingala . Do not expect an ether response from me. Thanks.

Post a Comment