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

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fears of wide-spread violence as Bosco stand-off continues

The situation in the Kivus remains tense as the personal future of one military commander, Bosco Ntaganda, has escalated latent tensions within the poorly integrated Congolese army.

The stand-off appears to have begun last week, with Bosco Ntaganda publishing a memorandum and mobilizing civilians members of the local Tutsi community in Goma to meet with the United Nations, the Rwandan government. They also read a statement condemning Bosco's indictment by the ICC on various local radio stations. All of this, in turn, appears to have been triggered by sabre-rattling by the ICC and donors regarding Bosco, as well as by the departure of five ex-CNDP officers to a seminar in Kinshasa.

Bosco felt under pressure and took the offensive, telling Col. Felix Mugabo, the deputy commander (and his former chief bodyguard) of the 804th regiment based just to the north of Goma to reinforce his protection unit in Goma, and to send the rest of his troops further north to Katale. At the same time, ex-CNDP troops far to the west in the forests of Pinga withdrew to the highlands of Masisi, consolidating their strong position in ex-CNDP heartland.

This escalation in turn seems to have triggered a strong reaction from Kinshasa, although more so in South Kivu than around Goma. On Sunday, Congolese army troops confronted several ex-PARECO (a former majority Hutu armed group that integrated at the same time as the CNDP in 2009) commanders who are suspected to be close to Bosco. While circumstances are still murky, Congolese army troops appear to have attacked Col. Burimasu in in Lulimba (Fizi territory) and Col. Kifaru in Kabamba (Kalehe). There are reports that Col. Saddam and Col. Bernard Byamungu, who are also suspected to be close to Bosco, were attacked around Uvira yesterday and fled.

Other defections (as comments in the previous post suggest) have taken place from ex-CNDP units in Baraka and Uvira. 

In Kinshasa, some security officials appear to be chomping at the bit and feel that "enough is enough." Today, part of a battalion of special forces arrived in Goma from their training camp in Kindu (where the Belgian army had been training them). No one suggests, however, that Bosco is to be arrested, and the army spokesman in the East keep insisting that the troubles are over. The commander of the land force, Gen. Amisi, has been on a tour of the East, but it is unclear whether he is there to escalate or defuse tensions.

The ex-CNDP and ex-PARECO, for their part, insist this has nothing to do with Bosco, but rather with salaries and ranks - they say they are marginalized in the army, an allegation many other officers scoff at, given the prominence of these rwandophone officers in the current operations. 

That is unlikely at the moment. When I spoke with a Congolese colonel in Goma this afternoon he was worried that Bosco's troops in Masisi could attack Goma or Sake "to make a point." In any case, Bosco does not seem to control many of the ex-CNDP commanders, especially those like Col. Gahizi and Col. Kabundi who went to the Kinshasa seminar, and would be unlikely to succeed in a full-fledged rebellion. At the same time, he has been able to stitch together a formidable, if shaky, alliance of ex-PARECO and ex-CNDP commanders through co-option and intimidation over the past years, and he personally has a lot to lose.


FrancoPepeKalle said...

What I conclude is that the Rwandese government, Congolese government, united nations, and ICC are all being exposed for the problems they have been cuasing for years. The army does not even exist. It is a utterly pro-Kanambe army that is made out of street boys with no values.

Bosco is just like a Laurent Nkunda. Another criminal set to lead a lagging dead army. Bosco is setting up trouble because he wants to destroy Congo just like Nkunda attempted to do when he too tried to ruin Congo. Goma is just the beginning place for the Bosco forces (like Nkunda forces) to eventually destroy the whole Congo.

My solution is to get Bosco arrested as more army people who plan to ruin Eastern Congo.

Jason Stearns, can you tell me more who this Bosco guy is?

texasinafrica said...

Hi, Jason,

Wondering if you've heard anything about the alleged (temporary?) defections and whether Bosco gave the orders for them?

Jason Stearns said...

@TIA Well, if you can call them defections - some parts of the 804th regiment have indeed defected, but some of those troops then returned. The ex-CNDP troops in Pinga disobeyed the orders of their hierarchy in Goma, but then again that is not a huge anomaly for ex-CNDP troops in general. What is the definition of defection when the army does not control many of the units very well in the first place?

Rich said...

Since the elections + the follow up bargaining for legitimacy; and most certainly since Thomas Lubanga was found guilty at the ICC, pressure from the international community has been mounting on authorities in Kinshasa to make sure Bosco Ntaganda is arrested and transferred to The Hague. The last person to have conveyed the message to Kinshasa was Didier Reinders the Belgian deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs during his recent and controversial visit to Kinshasa.

So far it looks to me that this situation is not being handled very well by all the actors involved and the bad thing is the heavy price will be paid by the vulnerable yet peaceful Congolese living near the centre of gravity of this confrontation.
Bosco has made the mistake of showing off that he can resist the arrest hence ordered his followers to abandon their positions and duty within the FARDC and go to reinforce his protection (enlarging and manning check points and perimeter of his residences).

The international community was wrong by pushing too hard for his arrest not only at a time that may not be convenient; but also by failing to encourage a possibility of having these issues settled at a local why not regional level in a kind of peace and reconciliation process. This will probably cost less (to Westerners tax payers) than going to the ICC.

The authorities in Kinshasa were also wrong by showing as if they are no longer going to keep to their promise made to bosco that he will not be extradited to the ICC. Last week, in relation to Didier Reinders message, She Okitundu a member of the J Kabila’s inner circle and his ex. diplomatic adviser told people close to the Belgian minister’s delegation the following, quote, “one day or another, Bosco ntaganda will be arrested because the crimes he has committed cannot rightfully be taken away and running away is just impossible. But it is up for the president and in the highest interest of the nation to make that call. The situation in the Kivu is explosive and the priority is to avoid a new war…”

There must be a better way to solve this than to invite war back to Kivu. I struggle to make sense of a justice made many many miles away from the victims. This is totally disconnected and probably designed to reward certain NGOs than the actual victims.


Anand said...

So, there is pressure from Western donors and the ICC to deal with Bosco. And this has launched a series of defections, "undefections", deployments, reinforcing of positions, etc. And donors think that a positive outcome could come from pushing a fraudulent government and a fractured, ineffectual, and sometimes corrupt army to "deal with" a semi integrated, half ally/half troublesome rogue? Not to mention more shifting alliances, personal beefs, and disgruntled soldiers, than can be listed here. And this should be done at the expense of possibly reintroducing large scale conflict to probably the most troubled region on earth in the last 15 years? I am dumbfounded. I would very much like to hear what the West imagines will be the outcome of this pressure to "get Bosco." I am not focusing on the obvious role of Kinshasa and Kigali in Kivu/Congolese matters; I am considering the position of donors; which is what exactly? I am forced to ask the same questions Rich is asking? Why now? Why a military solution? Just how misinformed are the key diplomats who deal with such matters? Based on the post election rhetoric and hearings, I can say that I have little confidence in Yamamato, Entwistle, and Clinton. Is it that they don't understand or just don't care what the outcomes could be to such pressure on Kinshasa? Is anyone considering what is in the best interest of the Congolese people, especially those in the Kivus? What is Belgium's motivation? Maybe I shouldn't be shocked at this point, considering the attitude of Western governments regarding Congolese affairs. But I guess the hard and true fact is that governments do what is in their interest, almost always without exception.

Rich - I am very much with you about the idea of justice being made many miles away from victims. Anyone, at any level, who advocates for the DRC, or any government or NGO, must not stray from the philosophy that what you are doing is not about YOU, it is about the people you are advocating for and jointly with. That is the prime directive of advocacy.

Anonymous said...

I guess I’m not entirely clear why there seems to be the view taking hold on this thread that arresting Bosco is tantamount to the potential of open conflict.

I realize this makes sense considering past behavior but honestly folks this really isn’t 2008.

Here’s my two cents....

I’m fairly certain, though I can’t be sure (and I gather neither can Stearns) that the O Administration and its allies have gamed out best and worst case scenarios if Bosco is arrested.

And I’m even more certain that a part of this gaming out has likely been a very strong warning to the good folks in Kampala and Kigali that any meddling will be harshly punished.

Why this certainty? We have 100 military advisors in the region, an increasingly aware constituency about the region’s problems (thanks to Kony2012), and, most critical, the growing awareness that the region may likely be home to huge oil and gas deposits given the recent Kenya find in Turkana. And, ofcourse, it is an election year in most of the donor nations. Finally, nearly EVERY donor fully recognizes that they have Kabila in a corner and its becoming clear that they are going to squeeze every ounce of leverage out of him so as to remain in the “good graces” of the IC.

Again, I can’t be sure, but looking at these variable as a collective whole it does appear there is some logic behind this push by donors and that the relevant back dealing none of us are privy to will likely not lead to a resumption of war but rather a (short term) intensification of conflict stemming from a potential Bosco arrest and the inevitable power vacuum that will mean.

I realize that all we can do is speculate given, again, we are all not privy to conversations among the elites in these respective nations.

But let’s not go down a path of pure reactionary type of thinking in this moment- as hard as that is given the potential for brutal violence in this region and our righteous concern for our brothers and sisters in the Congo.

I think this is a moment for all of us to put on our strategy caps- not our analyst ones- and, perhaps, a little hope. :)

Just sayin’


Monique B. said...

Rich & Anand,

"Arrest Bosco" is not an invention of the Western NGOs. Dozens of civil society leaders in the Kivus have been calling for his arrest for years. They recognize that it is simply unsustainable and unjust to allow a war criminal to operate his own private fiefdom in the Kivus. They also recognize the difference between peace and "fragile calm." Bosco has not brought peace to the Kivus. He is personally terrorizing remote communities in Masisi, hindering progress towards comprehensive SSR, has personally ordered and directed massacres in Rutshuru, and his high standard of living in Goma is a continuous wad of saliva in the faces of his living victims.

Kivu-based civil society leaders have been ratcheting up the pressure in the past few weeks, sensing that there is finally support from the donor and diplomats.

Here are a few examples:,11563

The fact that this debacle over Bosco's future has been dragged out long enough to allow him to beef up his personal security contingent, encourage defections from the FARDC, and issue death threats against courageous human rights defenders should speak primarily to the utter incompetence of the Kabila administration and the feckless donor community who do not dare to offend the dictators that they personally bankroll.

Anonymous said...

Anand, since when have Western governments' interests included wellbeing of Congolese as an end? It is naive to think any rhetoric along these lines is genuine. Stability of the region, sure. Why? Resources. I don't mean to simplify the incredibly complex situation in eastern DRC, but in regarding action or non action or call to action on the part of the West, let's not be silly. It's clear that it is always a selfish endeavor.

Rich said...

Mel -

You may be right to take what I say as going down, "... a path of pure reactionary type of thinking..." but to me this is more a concern than anything else and I did suggest something.

I've experienced war this is why I would suggest that people use any peaceful means to avoid one. We can call it "fragile calm" or war in waiting but as long as my fellow Congolese life expectancy is not threatened by an armed confrontation, I'd rather build sustainable peace from a "fragile calm" than from a potential "fragile war" or "short term intensification of conflict..." and I am sure many Congolese in Kivu would prefere the same than contemplating the prospect of running for their lives again leaving behind the small things they hold precious, seeing kids as young as 6 if not less having to walk bear feet for miles in the quest of a place where there will be no sound of gunshots or whistling bullets...

Monique -

"Kivu-based civil society leaders..." are not representative of Kivu people and surely the people affected by the conflict or to be affected by a potential armed conflict are not the property of "Kivu-based civil society leaders..." I know how many of the so called civil society operate and I don't think it is right to assume that they somehow have the mandate to invite armed conflict in the country or to think that they somehow care more about Congolese than anyone else. This is potentially a national problem and the Congolese nation is not limited to civil societies or NGOs.

There are many PEACEFUL ways of settling problems in the Kivus, how many of them have we tried, for how long, at what cost?

Bosco is a criminal and he must be stopped one day or another but my hope is this will be done in a way that will not have a negative effect on innocents because he is not worth it.


Anand said...

@Monique - Thanks for the response. I am not implying that arresting Bosco is solely an Western or NGO invention. The idea of arresting him is inherently tied to the ICC and Western powers however, because I don't think anyone involved is confident that Kinshasa will get the job done. Most Congolese are acutely aware of Bosco's history and the danger he poses. I am not, however, overly optimistic about civil society members' influence on Kinshasa or Western governments. The elections should be ample evidence of this. This is not to say that many courageous people don't do much valuable work and advocacy.

Congogirl - I don't think I said anything that contradicts, directly, what you are saying. I am looking for the complicated version of Western influence is all. I want to know what specific diplomats positions and thinking is, how they justify it, and how this feeds the larger agenda. I think it is important to know how this works, in order to know how to best construct advocacy efforts.

Mel - I appreciate the analysis. I would have to say that I am not nearly as confident that the situation is being gamed out by anyone, in the DRC or in the U.S. I am further not very confident that awareness is growing enough to affect the US government's foreign policy agenda. I hope very much that you are right, and this is all much ado about nothing. But I don't have anything tangible that tells me any over arching logic is being applied in this latest push.

Rich - "There are many PEACEFUL ways of settling problems in the Kivus, how many of them have we tried, for how long, at what cost?" I agree with this statement completely.

Anonymous said...

I don't thin Bosco is as powerful as many here are starting, the CNDP,RCD GOMA was just cover names for the Rwandan army. The CNDP under LAURENT NKUNDA was almost defeated by the FARDC under General MBUZA MABE and they where driven out of BUKAVU in les than a week and chased all the way to RUCHURU until the Rwandan army and MONUC came to theire rescue .the new CNDP is just some Bosco fanatics and with the now friendly relationship between Kinshasa and Kigali I don't know where is Bosco and his CNDP going to get reinforcements that can unable them to start a new war . If Kigali and now Monusco get out of the way ,there are thousands of well trained and equipped FARDC battalions in KATANGA and KINSHASA ...who can be surged in the Kivu and stabilize that situation.but for some reason it looks like the Government in Kinshasa just does not want to see peace and stability returned to the KIVUS.

Pierre said...

Hi Jason! I live in Lubumbashi and I should fly to Goma today at 13.00, to go on holiday in Rwanda. Can you tell me if it is dangerous, and if I should cancel these vacations?
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

just a few quick things:

@mel- i mostly, though not entirely, agree with your broad point. none of us have a line to Foggy Bottom or Langley for that matter and until that happens all of us are engaged in pure speculation and we could all be very wrong. we will all simply have to wait and see.

@rich- your concern for the Congolese is clear and deeply appreciated and, ofcourse, shared by us all. i would caution against, however, the efforts of civil society in the kivu’s and their operational abilities. it took nearly 50 years for civil society groups in the US to effectively pressure the US government to deal with slavery- culminating in a truly nasty civil war and the assassination of a President unfortunately- and another century for African American civil society groups to end formal segregation. it is MISSION CRITICAL, no matter how weak they are, for the Congolese to “work” their democracy by forming said groups to hold their government accountable. they will not grow strong unless they engage and while they have no “mandate” they have the right and responsibility to pressure their government and we should applaud their efforts. congolese democracy will not grow strong unless they do nor will the state apparatus. finally, we longed tried the “local approach” in the congo. well, how has this been working out? i’d be fine with a more local, restorative justice approach a la the South African model but that presumes a legal system and committed elites to such approaches. we have neither in the Congo and the “Butcher” still roams free.

@anand- i’m mostly agreeing with you but, again, none of us have the ear of anyone at State or the CIA. Not one of us. and while we could sit here and complain about much of american foreign policy under Lady Clinton (didn’t like her as my First Lady, didn’t like her as my Senator, didn’t vote for her against Obama, and was pretty upset when she became SOS because I hate all things Clinton) i think its IS significant this bargain has been struck with Kinshasa. at the very least, it assumes (though we cannot know) that a measure of coordination amongst donors has occurred which further assumes some “gaming out”- to use Mel’s terms and it is likely that coordination has meant calls to Kigali. i am glad to see this level of coordination amongst donors vis a vis Kinshasa and this central demand even though i do recognize the potentially disruptive nature of arresting Bosco.

@congogirl and Monique- praise to you both for your raw honestly and speaking truth to power.

kinshasa is broke and virtually noone in the international community with any real power wants anything to do with it. when the so-called “brics” are able to substantially move the international system than, perhaps, i will take them seriously. until then there support for this regime means as much to me as the New York Mets- which, for this Yankee, is basically nothing.

we have Kabila by his neck so let’s see how this all plays out, do what we can to ensure civilians are protected from all sides, and try not to overreact here.


Anonymous said...

Jason thanks on the point on uvira. In fact too many runmors are covering what happened and it is very difficult to know who started what. It is unclear it the initiative of leaving has been taken by Byamungu himself or has been a consequence of an attack. Apparently somebody tried to loot the national bank during the same night fact that might confirm that desertors were trying to bring resources with them.

For sure a couple of NGOs compounds have been looted in baraka the same night. Yesterday clashes have also been reported between "loyalist" FARDC and "desertors", near Uvira's port. Radio Bemba reported that desertors received the order to go Masisi.

Very interesting what you said about the coalition ex-cndp/ex-Pareco. Not all CNDP here are following desertors. Interesting to see what happens then in sout SK as there were discussions in cour with several other groups MM Yak and the few elements FRF réfractaire. Wait and see. Interesting indeed that the reponse from FARDC has been immediate and consistent. People felt pretty safe in uvira. Strong contribution made also with UN patrols.

Anonymous said...

Gen. Bosco Ntaganda Arrestation

What is the real about the arrestation of Gen. Bosco Ntaganda ? First all Bosco Ntaganda as well Laurent Nkunda, General Amisi and Hypolite Kanambe so called " Joseph Kabila DRC president of DRCongo " are all tutsi and are all rwandese.

It's evident to all that money of them come in DRCongo during the AFDL war 1996-1997, and they served in FPR ( The patrioc army group of Kagame) and only Kagame can decide to what can be do against Bosco Ntaganda ( Remember the case of Laurent Nkunda who is now in Rwanda claiming his Rwandese citizenship).

CNDP is a Rwandese group composed with rwandese people, what they are doing in Kivu is to try to get control of Kivu and to claim the independacy of the region as an autonomous country just like South Soudan or recently North Mali. But the strategies for them is to bring so many Rwandese people in the region so that they can said they are a majority people in the region and wish to become free to DRCongo.

Western Countries, Hypolite Kaname alias "Joseph Kabila" and ICC

Western countries known very well than Hypolite Kanambe alias Joseph Kabila don't has a power over Bosco Ntaganda and again only Kagame can decide about this case. So, Kagame and Kabila know very well that capturing Bosco Ntanganda will be a source of problems in their own army and a risk for their future, as they are all Tutsi and Bosco have been working with them and serve their interest and has close relationship among other Tutsi. See in the article the reason why tutsi communities are against the ICC arrest warant.

What Western countries really want? They want to give a legitimacy to Kabila after the fraudulent presidential election on November 28, 2011 so by capturing Bosco Ntaganda, they can let him stay as an illegitime president in the power that works for peace in the country. This will arrange western countries and will enable them to avoid critic from all the world that they are supporting an illegitime president, after Carter Foundation and EU Election observation mission in DRCongo reported that Kabila election as president during in November 2011 is not credible. The only way for Kabila, Kagame to manage the Bosco Ntanganda will be his assassination but again it will be source of conflicts between the tutsi communities in Rwanda and DRCong with the high risk to Kagame and Kabila directly

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,

The tension in Goma is not normal, every one is fearful and talk about Bosco.
Surprisingly the CNDP Political party president Mr. Mwangachuchu has wrote a letter showing the Party's point of view concerning the current situation, he has confirmed that the decision of CNDP army action doesn't reflect the Party's decision and the Party is still with PPRD.
Despite the demand of the Tutsi president to MONUSCO to leave Bosco alone and the JK secret letter to Kagame to assist him detain Bosco wondered many, how the secret leaked to Bosco.
Even if Rwanda arrest the 39 years old Bosco,they will not hand him over to ICC due to the anger Rwanda has against the ICC decision to release the FDLR leader Callixte Mbarushimana and to make the matter worst Rwanda still not a member of ICC - I don't think if Kagame will accepts a Tutsi criminal to be judged in ICC before all the Hutu's criminals got their Judgement.
The Airport of Goma is in high grade security watch out - that shows that there is some thing going on.

Jason Stearns said...

Thanks to Anonymouses from Goma and Uvira for keeping us up-to-date.

Anonymous said...

There are rumours Bernard Byamungu (and col. Sadam ex-PARECO commander of 10th sector) are hosted in the Moyen Plateaux d'Uvira by Colonel Baleke, whereas remnants of the 105th regiment based in Baraka (of which the ex-PARECO (and 1 ex-CNDP)regiment and battalion commanders and some troops have fled) are in contact with Mai Mai Yakutumba. For sure, the latter has seen his long-standing wish come true: a Fizi without Rwandophone military

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jason.
The Anonymous from Goma APRIL 5, 2012 3:58 was CHURUCHURU. Sorry that i have forgotten to mention my name... a lot will follow.


Anonymous said...

A ICC warrant order against Bosco Tanganda can be read in this link ( French Version). You can see in the Letter that Bosco Ntanganda is a Rwande citizen and what he is making in DRC army force? Asking this question means responding to what Hypolite Kanambe so-called Joseph Kabila is making there too.

More in this link

Anonymous said...

apparently, Delphin Kahimbi arrived today in the Baraka area (there has been substantial looting there, also in the MSF-Hollande compound)in order to forbid the left-overs of the 105th regiment to collaborate with Yakutumba, who had regrouped offering his help in the fight against the dissidents (around 80 elms). He will return tomorrow in order to appoint a new regiment commandment and reorganize troops in order to go after Sabimana and Bernard.

H said...

Thanks for all these updates Jason. I've left DRC a little bit more than a month ago, and am scheduled to return to SK in the coming weeks. Seems like a lot moved since I left.

I'm not sure how to put things under perspective anymore. Before my departure, the latest issues were the nominations at high ranking positions within the newly created Regiments in South Kivu, where most were attributed to Rwandophones, thus leading to non Rwandophones being upset. There was also information of large desertions of non Rwandophones to rejoin the new rebellion of Mike Foca. Rumors were, as usual, going crazy, people saying Mike Foca had allied with Yakutumba and the FDLR and were planning either to attack Bukavu or to gain control of the corridor leading from Burundi to the Hauts Plateaux in order to facilitate an alliance with FNL and launch a mass rebellion in SK.

Another confirmed information was the arrest of 5 top ranking Rwandan Officers, along with a few Amani Leo ex-CNDP officers, following the discovery of large scaled mineral against weapons trafficking between Kalehe and a known CNDP house in Nguba. The SK Amani Leo top officers (including Saddam and Major Aboubakar in charge of Amani Leo fincance- but many others also) were seen daily with J. Nymulinduka, known for trafficking minerals in ex-FRF and ex-CNDP areas.

Putting all this into perspective, I see many contradictions making the understanding of the situation complicated. Nothing new for the DRC, but still as ever destabilizing my analysis.

Today I read that these same officers "complain about their wages and treatment". I tend to disregard this as giving a diplomatically acceptable reason for their possible new desertions, as this statement doesn't seem to survive even the most basic reality check.

It also seems that were are headed towards a new split in the ex-CNDP, like the one following Nkunda's arrest in 2009. Again, not particularly surprising as the Kinshasa authorities have a long history of applying the divide and rule policy they learnt so well from the Belgian colonizers.

Last but not least, the arrest of Bosco and transfer to the CPI. I would really be amazed if this was a condition enough to make JK "acceptable" to the international community following the recent elections. The link between this arrest and the attack to democracy we have recently witnessed seems really far fetched, and this would, in my opinion, be yet another sign that the international community strongly lacks consistency coming to its approach to the Great Lakes Region.

H said...

I am growing more and more critic of the way the CPI works. I had huge hopes when it was put in place, as clearly some countries (and DRC is not the least) don't have the required judiciary system and political will in place to judge certain war criminals themselves. Today what I see is that:
- The CPI seems to have a mandate only when it comes to the DRC, one of the weakest States in the world. This clearly is not good in terms of image for the CPI, and we are bound to hear new accusations towards its partiality.
- I also can't help but wonder how the international community lives with the fact that, while it concentrates on Kony and Bosco, Laurent Nkunda is still enjoying his "house arrest", and never even had an arrest warrant issued by the ICT. Really seems like "2 poids 2 mesures" to me, and probably to many Congolese also.

With the AU planning operations against Kony, which will inevitably have effects on the population of the Province Orientale, and this new threat of armed intervention in the Kivus against Bosco and possible allies (some ex-CNDP, some ex-Pareco), the international community is strongly pushing towards renewed bloodsheds in the DRC, which would be a very worrying way of diverting the attention from the electoral and post electoral scandal. Last but not least, I am still under the belief that instability in the East profits to JK, so here again I view a contradiction.

My perspectives and analysis are once more completely blurred, the only certainty I have, is that the Congolese population will again pay a dear price for these political games. We can expect more tears to fill the Great Lakes... So sad!


Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any info/intel/news about how Kigali is reacting to all this?

Hate to point out the elephant in the room but, ultimately, the depth/scale/possibility of a return to violence is premised on the patron/client relations of Bosco and the RPF.


- D

Anand said...

@ H - Very well said. I relate to your frustrations and point of view. It's a very convoluted situation when you dig into the minutia. But on the surface it seems like the same old players, causing the same old problems. If the larger issues of governance and legitimacy are never fully addressed, the outcomes will ultimately be the same.

Anonymous said...

That was really informative, H. Much thanks.

And, as per usual, a round of amen's for your last post, Anand.


@D- Good luck on that one. Big K runs a tight ship and his regime is arguably one of the most leak free in the world. I have a good friend who works high up in the Interior Ministry and, from what I understand, only those "authorized" in government are allowed to have Fbook and Twitter accounts- which speaks volumes about Kigali.

Rich said...

H -

Many thanks for sharing your perspectives although as you said, they've been blurred by the ongoing confusions...

I guess uncertainty is the only variable that is highly certain in Congolese politics...

Anand -

Here is something you may want to know.

Yesterday, when asked about the whole ntaganda situation, James Entwistle said, quote,

"The position of the Government of the United States of America for Bosco Ntaganda has been clear for quite some time: he should be arrested and delivered to the International Criminal Court"

He said this in parallel to the visit of General Carter Ham (chief of the US Africa Command)...

So, as you can see, pressure is coming from every corner. MONUSCO has said they are not involved in arresting bosco and if ever the FARDC need help that will be conditioned on its ability to protect civilian...

However, if ever the DRC is not willing to arrest and hand over Ntaganda to the ICC for obvious reasons, they should contact the UN Security Council to explain why they think arresting Bosco will be bad for the country and get the Security Council to ask the ICC not to pursue the case Ntaganda... but again this seems like a very complex and impossible prospect.

To sum up, it looks to me that it is going to happen and its only a question of when, where and how... The other thing is no one knows what is being done to ensure maximum protection of civilians if ever this comes to intense armed confrontations.


Rich said...

Forgot something ...

He said this in parallel to the visit of General Carter Ham (chief of the US Africa Command)... in Kinshasa??!!

Anonymous said...

Clashes in the hills over Uvira yesterday afternoon. According to radio bemba some MM groups met diserting FARDC and starting to fight.
During the night clashes moved to Kiliba / Runingu Moyen Plateaux area, like "rebels fardc" are moving north.
This morning all is quiet in Uvira.

Rich said...

D -

"Does anyone have any info/intel/news about how Kigali is reacting to all this?"

Up until very recently, Kagame spoke about bosco in a different way that he did about nkunda. I can point you to an extract of his interview with Jeune Afriqu, quote,

"JA. Why did you arrest Laurent Nkunda?

PK. The problem of North Kivu consists of two different aspects. That of the FDLR, which we have to a large extent solved in collaboration with the Congolese army. And that of Nkunda and his CNDP, which essentially concerns him, and the DR Congo. As you know very well, after the Nairobi negotiations at the end of 2008, the majority of the CNDP decided to rejoin the government camp under the leadership of Bosco Ntaganda, leaving Laurent Nkunda on the sidelines.

His intransigence had finally rendered him an obstacle to peace and was likely to compromise the entire process of regional cooperation. Driven against the wall, Nkunda and his group crossed the border in Gisenyi before surrendering to our security forces.

JA. Some of your close collaborators assert that you lured him into a trap…

PK. It is wrong. And it is not our style: we fight, we win or we lose, but we don’t resort to tricks.

JA. Other people add that you may have manipulated Bosco Nkunda to weaken his boss.

PK. That is also wrong. The truth is that Nkunda surrendered to us. He is currently detained under house arrest. We are discussing his fate with the leaders of his country, the DR Congo, and those who were escorting him have already returned home...."

So, I don't see anything there to suggest that kagame was mad about bosco, now as many have said, there may have been some arm twisting to get kagame to interfere if ever bosco is to be dealt with by the Congolese then handed over to the ICC...

The other thing is, rwanda has not signed the Rome treaty that rules the ICC, so bosco can always end up in the same house with nkunda in rwanda or in the same prison wing with lubanga in Scheveningen at the Hague, why not vanish like kony?...


Rich said...

DRC reaction -

The Congolese government said on Thursday that “irregular troop movements” have been observed in North and South Kivu Provinces since last weekend.

In a statement released to the press, interim Information Minister and government spokesman Richard Muyej Mangeze said that, quote,

"undisciplined troops had erected barricades unauthorized by the military hierarchy, thereby disrupting public order and the tranquility of the population in some places.“

He added that the government was following the situation "very closely" and called on those responsible for the situation to, quote,

"refrain from acts that could expose them to the rigors of justice, both nationally and internationally."


Anand said...

@Rich - Thanks for the updates. That is very helpful. Apparently General Carter Ham also said that the U.S. pledges support to the DRC for security sector reform, which is by nature a long and complex process. So the U.S. has little to nothing meaningful to say about the elections, but now it's really important to get Bosco and reform security. I am wondering where our model of success in doing this is. I don't know of one.

This kind of leads to the point that you are making Rich. I don't think anyone involved has any grand plan to ensure the safety of Congolese citizens. I am sure there are some obligatory discussions about it, but I don't imagine there is any real plan. Again, that is my primary concern. Congolese people are an inseperable part of these conflicts. I am always bothered by the focus on generals, warlords, governments, and militias, with little to no mention of civilians who are bound to be caught in the middle.

Rich said...

Anand -

You are so right and there is no better way of putting it than you have done!

I feel sick every time I hear Congolese authorities saying, "la population doit continuer a vaquer normalement a ses activites...". I know this is to tell the supposed enemy, the population do not fear you but goodness gracious God, how do you ask people in the Kivu to stay calm when some mindless people aka soldiers with heavy machine guns and other deadly weapons have swamped their habitat with the sole intention of hurting, humiliating, harassing, beating, raping, killing... very very poor and vulnerable people???

I must confess that the same feelings that forced me to join the FAZ back in the 1990s is back haunting me though I'm now less flexible...

That said, I have no doubt there are very good people out there ready to do what it takes to ensure they can spare some innocents from this unfair game being played on their lives and dignity as humans... Those people will always be in my thoughts


Anonymous said...


agreed, but let my try some devil's advocacy here.

at the end of the day, is it the international community's responsibility to protect Congolese civilians?

i'm not going to answer that question. but what I will say is that at some point we really do need to encourage the congolese to resolve their own problems and respect their own laws.

the dr congo is a signatory to the Rome Treaty which, i'll add, they did without a gun to their head. as such, they are bound by this treaty to deliver bosco- and all others- to the hague.

at what point do we begin to demand some measure of maturity and accountability from kinshasa?

when does that happen?

its just my belief that we will not see a truly free, truly just, and truly peaceful congo that can thrive until elites in this broken nation decide to make and abide by their OWN laws and until those of us in the west stop making excuses when they fail to do so.

a free and peaceful congo requires congolese agency and as difficult as getting to that is arresting bosco DOES get us closer to this critical cultural shift among elites.

just my two cents...


Mother POS said...

First, thank you all so much for updates on what is happening in SK. My blog is and I left Kampala in the middle of December, a mission partner with the Anglican Church in Congo. The "Congo Network" in NY is about supporting the Congolese people through the church. Peace-building seems crucial to all of DRC, yet esp. now in the Kivus. In your posts I have learned more about how very complicated politics and allegiances are. I do not have the "on the ground" perspective that some of you do. Yet, I hope to contribute to your discussions. Does anyone know of any groups here in USA (Besides NGOs) who are actively and openly working for relief for the Congolese people in terms of job=creation, education, food security? As a white, middle-aged single female, my work in Bunia and Kinshasa was ok, but not as effective as perhaps a man of any age or marital status. Objective fact, not complaint.

I'll continue to work for Congolese people as long as I draw breath. Merci et asante sana.
Pam Strobel

Anand said...

Jose - Yeah, I see your point. I agree that the Congolese have to be the ones to ultimately bring about change and institute a lawful, productive society. You pose an interesting question, "is it up to the international community to protect Congolese civilians?" That depends on how interconnected we choose to be, and what we really mean by terms like "Global Society." Morally, we could argue, that anyone's problems are everyone's problems, and the world should always react to end suffering. Unfortunately, this is not how nations operate. With regard to the west, the relationship is murky to me. Donor nations are involved (certainly historically) in very practical ways. But intentions are not always pure or clear. I don't think it is up to donor countries to solve security problems in the DRC, but at the same time advocating for dangerous policies and dealing with highly questionable leaders, for unclear purposes, is dubious as best. It seems we are often overly involved in the wrong times and under invloved when we could have a positive impact. I don't think the west in a position to demand anything until we clean up our own practices and make sure our actions are consistent with our message. Does that make sense? Either way, the most alarming thing to me is that the average Congolese in the Kivus and across the country, are often left out of the discussion.

Anonymous said...

Welcome, Mother POS!

A few of us who post are also primarily motivated (though not exclusively ofcourse) to assist in the Congo as a result of our faith. I personally came to the issue as a result of organizing on the conflict mineral issue at the local level (Gainesville, FL, with students and others at U of FL, U of Central FL in Orlando, and U Tampa and Eckerd College in Tampa/St Pete) but my husband grew up in Lumumbashi, the son of American Methodist teachers (American Methodists have had a LONG presence in South you may know) so he may have contacts for you there.

I'll ask and get back to you or you can email me at

I suggest actor Ben Affleck's group, Eastern Congo Initiative, for others. ECI mostly funds Congolese-based groups that help in the areas you listed which, personally, I believe is the right approach- helping the Congolese to help themselves.

I also know of a group of African American Baptist ministers in Atlanta who also go by the "help them help themselves" model and I will try to get some contacts there as well.

So, welcome and please do share your thoughts!


Anonymous said...

i see your point, Anand.

i think where we our diverging, however, is that i see the world through the eyes of a realist and it appears you are an eternal optimist- which i respect.

i am an american jew. nearly all of my relatives died in concentration camps.

the world turned a cold and hard blind eye to my for-bearers and, as a result, 6 million of my "folk" perished.

and unfortunately, the world hasn't learned its lesson.

given this fact, i simply believe that it is entirely up to whatever nation/group/clan/whatever to do what they need to do to safeguard its people, history, tradition, culture, etc.

yes, i would like that to be something that causes the least amount of pain humanely possible but ultimately foreign policy doesn't work out that way.

for most policy makers in the West, i don't see their lack of action or action at the "wrong" times and places vis a vis the Congo as contradictory. on the surface it may appear that way but in reality it seems to stem from a real sense of fatigue over the near constant fragility of the nation.

to be blunt, folks are just tired with all the instability in the congo and its truly horrible and rapacious elite. so, as a result, when faced with doing option a or option b the calculus (and thus policy) is always "what will cause the least amount of damage in an already bad situation?"

it sounds horrible and ofcourse more coordination amongst donors would make sense but that's the logic and it thus explains why we have these conflicting policy prescriptions from DC, Brussels, Paris, etc.

it is just my belief that the world will dither with the congo based on a combination of pure racism, congo fatigue, and just the scale of its many, many problems.

thus, if we want real change there the "forces of good" need to impress upon the congolese that, at the end of the day, it is up to them to right their ship of state and do so in a way where they join the community of nations.

sorry if this comes across as unrepentantly realistic but this Jew knows and understands the world as it is- not how i sorely wish it could be.

i say arrest bosco so that kinshasa can finally begin to bring some authority to a lawless area that is killing people every day and FINALLY take some responsibility for their nation.

if kinshasa wants some legitimacy than exercising clear authority throughout its territory and all the military, political, diplomatic, and institutional change that will require delivering on this act.

i entirely agree that average congolese shouldn't be pawns in this game. full agreement. but, getting to better security means a functioning state and if this is the birthpangs to push kinshasa to build a true state than let's have the fortitude to accept that.

the world doesn't have any more patience with the congo unfortunately.


Anonymous said...

Well, Jose, that is a interesting argument. From what I gather, you believe that the only way to get us to a functioning state in the Congo is to force the Congolese to finally exert its authority in the East via arresting Bosco even if, in the interim, this may lead to more instability.

As potentially dangerous as a policy as that is, it does make sense. Simply arresting Bosco, on its own, will not bring peace to the region nor will it encourage Kinshasa to get “serious” about their weak state. Therefore, the act of an arrest will spur Kinshasa to do whatever it takes to extend its authority which will build capacity for it in other areas given its back is literally against the wall.

I really hope, for the Congolese sake, you are right. For those of us who have longed watched relations between the West and the Congo, this smacks of just more meddling in its affairs that only lead to the instability that, as you put it, is so fatiguing to the West.

But its also true that other variable have emerged to make such a gamble play off- American advisors in the region, Americans and Belgians training more professional troops, a Kigali that seems to tacitly support this, and, ofcourse, a willingness to accept Kabila’s fraudulent win in exchange for Bosco.

It isn’t the most ideal policy but, as you state, it is rare when a nation’s ideals match its foreign policy.

I guess we will all need to wait and see.

- D

blaise said...

@ Anand, -D and Jose,
I agree with most of your analysis and ideas. Maybe I'm misreading the events but I don't have the impression that Jk has any interest in building a real army. Like Mobutu, he understands that empowering the army will weaken his regime. He will rather surround himself with tribal soldiers to just stay alive. I even heard that his bodyguards are from Zimbabwe.
I don't think arresting Bosco will be the end of the story either.
I have the impression that there is a lot of assumption about the actual FARDC. It's not a lack of formation or a lack of capable military brains. For example, Nabyolwa Prosper was in the contingent under Mayele that intervened in Rwanda in the 90 to slow down the FPR of Kagame.
The real problem is that people in charge of the army are either not carrier officers or illiterate(even both).
Unless Kabila rebuild the army the right way, arresting Bosco won't solve the problem.
He need to:
- bring discipline in the army
- restore justice
- rehabilitate meritocracy
- fight corruption among the high ranking officers
- show that the state cares about his military
- make protecting civilians the cornerstone of the army
- pay the soldiers regularly.
I don't see JK doing most of that.

Anonymous said...

rumors of radio bemba in uvira: diserting commander arrested in the hills and sent to kinshasa. situation back to normality in uvira. great reaction of Fardc. is this the beginning of a republican army? It is interesting indeed...

A key role apparently played by a MM group in arresting the commander. This will change for sure the negotiation with other groups close to integration. For the moment it seems that Makanika is the person in charge of Uvira's FARDC now (and not Nakabaka nor mazungu). Let's see how this impact on the situation as this person was once a thorn for people here.

I remain with the idea that FARDC are moving toward the good direction. slowly but the good one. CNDP now lost control of a lot of mining spots in south SK. Lost all legitimacy alike.

Rumors from bukavu reports also the presence of Mutebutsi's personal guard in town.

I would like to be more accurate but in these days is really difficult to check and confirm everything.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I was surprised when i come to know that Mugabe Insulted JK in his last visit to Harare.
May be Mugabe is nagging Joseph to turn his back on Kagame.

Due to that JK has got nowhere to side, that is the reason why he is still under Kagame management concerning the Eastern part of DRC.

@ blais

JK is too young to do the so called regular bla bla which you have mentioned - Congolese mind is not yet ready to accept them.
No country in Africa do all correctly what you have mentioned, Let him leave everything and restore Justice first! the rest will come by itself.


Anonymous said...

More on Uvira: it looks like a gathering of old habituées ... Tango Fort has been in charge of the operation for chasing Byamungu. Mutupeke also was in town. What is next?

Important presence of FARDC in town really visible but everything is normal.

Let's wait and see.

blaise said...

@ Tiktak,
too young to do all those bla bla? The gars is past 40. How old should he be to start to do those bla bla? I believe that after 10 years in charge one should be old enough to have learn from his mistakes. Nobody does it right everywhere, that's true. but:
- you don't pay the soldiers, they will racket the population
- you don't handle discipline in your army, soldiers will act erratically
Incompetence has nothing to do with young age. Leadership is not about knowing it all, it's about surrounding yourself with capable people to have the job done. JK is old enough to implement any action that will restore the moral among the troop. He has been offered several mechanisms to assure that the military is paid in a regular basis. He doesn't seem interested to do that either.
Justice? He doesn't seem to be willing to do that otherwise he will free first most of those in makala starting with George Leta.
Too young is an excuse not an handicap.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Blaise.

I know for a fact that Kabila was offered a IT system created by Blackwater for the Iraqi's that very efficiently would have managed the finances of the Army and, if needed, the whole of the Administration in the Congo.

The system would have been $3 million to buy (including computers, servers, and solar generators for far off/off grid bases) and less than $40,000 per year to maintain. Soldiers with cellphone would be paid electronically via them.

Kinshasa said "No".

Kabila is not interested in building a state which, as a by product, would mean a patriotic and professional army. He does not trust anyone from the old regime, nor most in his own and does not need a "state" to stay in power.

Notice how in his campaign appearances he would always castigate his opponents as those who helped get the Congo to where it is today by supporting Mobutu? Pretty amazing retort from a man who has been in power for 11 years and has very little to show for it.

Leaders take responsibility for their actions- the buck stops with them. Kabila does not believe in taking responsibility for anything at all. Its the old regimes fault, Western powers fault, Kagame's ambitions fault, his "enemies" fault..never his own.

JK is only interested in maintaining his mafia and staying in power at all costs and limiting or eradicating anyone or anything that would dare challenge him.

- D

Caroline Delaney said...

I am in a masters program at NYU and am working on a group project about the DRC. The goal of the project is to develop a report for stakeholders (the government of DRC, world bank, NGOs etc.) on what impact recent road work (building new roads, paving, maintaining) has had on economic development in the DRC. Based on this, we will try to recommend what the best strategy is to improve road infrastructure in the future to spur economic growth for the people of the DRC.

By any chance, could take a look at the questions below and, if you have time, send me your thoughts. We have all read your book (which is great!) and value your opinion. We would be happy for any help you can give us, even if you don’t have time to answer all the questions. Also, if you know of any other people or resources that would be helpful for this project, please let me know. Thanks

Caroline (

1. Who is in charge of planning where new roads will be built or current roads will be restored. What is the government’s role?
2. Who is funding road projects? Are the aid agencies and the government in communication regarding where and how the roads should be built?
3. What should the top priorities be for the government in developing/refurbishing roads? What are the most important roads to improve/develop in order to promote economic development?
4. Foreign investors are often interested in paving/maintaining roads, is the Congolese government getting the most out of these investors? If not, how should they be using the investors’ resources to improve the road structure for economic development?
5. How can the DRC attract foreign investors to develop these roads without being taken advantage of?
6. What are the biggest impediments to road restorations?
7. How are smaller communities (towns/villages) involved in the restoration or building of roads?
8. Has there been an improvement in the quality of roads in the last 20 years, have more roads been built in the last 20 years?
9. Have there been any negative social or environmental impacts on the building of roads? (i.e. have new roads made certain communities more susceptible to violence/rebel groups)

Anonymous said...

You should get in touch with folks running the ISSSS (or I4S) program under UN auspices, they have done 260kms of roads and planning 433kms, it’s funded by a host of bilateral and multilateral donors, there’s also evaluations
DR gov did stuff under STAREC (they sold as 5 chantiers); not sure if there’s impact assessments
Then there is what the Chinese are building as part of the mega-infrastructure for mineral concessions deal
There’s also a bunch of NGOs that have reconstructed roads in the East like ACTED and mining companies like Banro (through Civicon), sure there are plenty of others

Anonymous said...

@ Caroline

When I was at the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at UT-Austin back in the 90s I was part of a policy research project on intermodal transportation infrastructure - though not Congo specific, the subject is of interest to me.

When the late Laurent Kabila came to power, the Bechtel corp. proposed a comprehensive transportation infrastruture deal that the Congolese government ultimately rejected.

Joseph Kabila has taken a more diversified approach - as mentioned in the previous post the EU and other donors have been involved in specific projects.

The most comprehensive plan involves the Sino-Congolese mega-infrastructure deal. You can find a report on that at Global Witness China and Congo: Friends in Need.

It has been a while since I looked at the original Bechtel proposal...but there are some striking similarities between it and the deal the DRC reached with China.


blaise said...

I'm a little skeptical when it comes to those roads building, specially when they are done so quickly. I remembered that a law professor ( Kalambayi wa mpungu) once said that the problem is not building the roads, the problem is what kind of road you are building. If solicitor George wins the public auction, lie about his rooting sheet(cahier des charges), the chances are that the road will need repair after a year or less than that( one coat of asphalt versus 4 as required).
I think Moise Katumbi was the victim of such botched work. The story goes that an engineer found a way to recycle some Gecamines' leftovers as road materials. When the road was complete, the governor was nearly embarrassed when his jeep cracked the new road.

Anonymous said...


I mentioned being at the LBJ School. So considering it is a Texas school - and Bechtel is a Texas corp. (with a Texas-sized vision), perhaps I should recuse myself. I grew up in Kinshasa, traveling on Belgian roads, when Kin was the envy of Brussels. So now Didier Reynders arrives in Kin, while Belgium is building a new embassy...this is the 21st century and Belgian foreign policy reflects a new generation of the Belgian political class. I take note of the fact that he has urged the Congolese government to address social policies and emphasize the agricultural sector of the Congolese economy.


blaise said...

@ Bruce,
very interesting report indeed. I'm not familiar with the Bechtel report, i have to confess. There is no doubt in my mind that the Chinese and the EU will do a good job like the Belgian did. But I noticed too that there will be still a good swamp of the country not covered by the project. That where I assume the Congolese authorities are supposed to step in, hence the question of the durability of the road they will commission.

Anonymous said...

For the last 12 month you have been blaming KABILA for integrating the CNDP (Rwandophones) in the FARDC and you have been very critical of KABILA for not Confronting Bosco Ntaganda. Now you are again very critical of KABILA for confronting Bosco and for not treating his rebels well. All this deserters and Bosco loyalist that you are now ciding with are all Rwandese and they had no business to do in the Congoles Army for the first place. When they choosed to integrate the FARDC they did pledge their loyalty to the Congoles Nation but not to Bosco Ntaganda but they continued to be loyal to Bosco and Rwanda there for they did not deserve any better treatment than they got. Like Bosco most of them are war Criminals who belong in prison but not in the FARDC. KABILA has made many mistakes but unlike Mobutu ,KABILA inherited a failed bankrupt nation and a very devastating war and I upload him for gettin the economy back on a growing track ,ending the war ,bringing back foreign investment.....yes the country stil have long ways to go,but calling the 10 years of KABILA a falure is misleading.

Anonymous said...

As an agro-investor from Florida in the Congo (palm and sugar), I can say that the one area where Kinshasa IS getting serious is modernizing agriculture and, with it, raising peasants income.

Sure, its the "new" thing in Africa (along with light manufacturing), but all the authorities we dealt with were VERY serious about it and this stemmed squarely from Kabila himself. Indeed, from my understanding, the head of the Central Bank and ranking ministers in Finance and Defense are all engaging in joint ventures with foreign investors (mostly American, South African, and Australians) on turning the Congo's ridiculously vast and fertile lands into a breadbasket and "Little Brazil".

The thinking is both recognizing the obvious- China and India might slowdown soon and, with it, their raw material purchases-and the need to generate more domestic tax revenue to free the Congo from World Bank/IMF/Donor domination.

Anyway, here's an old Economist article about Bruce's mention in this thread.


Anonymous said...

so, since noone here is calling it out, i just will:

the tutsi's in the congo are congolese. they have lived in the region for hundreds of years and are as congolese as the kongo, luba, lunda, whatever.

in my view, had mobutu not engaged in efforts that led to their scapegoating and, where it suited him, encouraged their domination of the region, we would not have had the devastating wars that we have had, Nkunda, and Bosco.

the congo, nor the region, will never have peace if the congolese who are not tutsi do not recognize that the tutsi are part of their nation.

i know many congolese are angry at tutsi duplicity and, to a degree, this is understandable.

but again, racism against any group serves noone but those in power and at some point we need to admit the basic fact that the congolese tutsi's are just that- congolese.

please desist from the racist diatribes against "rwandese" and "rwandaphones".


blaise said...

@ anonym APRIL 7, 2012 7:29 PM,
I'm sorry but I don't recall blaming JK for the so called integration. In fact, I never discuss particularly the case of CNDP's troop nationality.Why You may ask? simple, it's a legal matter. It's dangerous when citizens are judges and parties in the same time. Being Rwandophone it's a linguistic difference not an ethnic one. I think it's dangerous to reduce a complex problem of nationality or belonging to a simple black and white paradigm.
From the comfort of Kinshasa, that what I understand about your ordeal:
- LDK told us they where foreigners
- Jk is telling us they are congolese
- you are telling me they speak rwanda's language
What that makes those people now?
I guess being at the bottom of the human development is a success or topping the list of bad business environment is a good thing, for that, I'm sorry to blame Kabila.
To avoid any confusion, here what I believe:
- FARDC need discipline in their rang, nobody should be above the law
- Equal treatment should be given to anyone who is wearing the uniform. No privileges or favorable assignments.
- grades should be delivered based on merits and qualifications not the size of their bodyguards.
Now correct me if I'm wrong:
- did you fight with those people? Did you conduct a scientific genealogy of their ancestry? Where you there when Jk negotiated their integration?
My takes is simple : JK couldn't defeat the CNDP and Rwanda. He sent to Kamina the only general who had a proven record of defeating this coalition( Mbuza)( I bet he was poisonned to death after facts). The other one(Nyabolwa) is supposed to defend Kinshasa. What's the logic in all that?
Arresting Bosco will be good but somehow irrelevant if there is no discipline and a sense of injustice inside the army. Another one will take his place, that's all.
I'm not advocating for the CNDP, I'm talking about justice for all, you either integrate those soldiers or you keep calling them ex CNDP. That the hard choice JK had to face. He cannot keep that precarious balance of having an apartheid like policy where some are treated like dirt while others have all the privileges.
The economy is growing. That's great but irrelevant when the real economy represent just 25 % of the whole economy.
Check this link, maybe you will have a better grasp of the situation. Blaming Mobutu it's a cute excuse for the first 5 years but not anymore.

blaise said...

@ Jose( and Bruce),
thank you for the information, that's great to see that all is not gloomy.
You may be interested to this link, the ebook at the bottom is 3.99.;jsessionid=4AED35564C6DFF5D3ED05CD80AD89B08

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. I grew up at Milundu quite near the Lusekele agricultural project.


Marc Hofer said...

I would pretty much agree. The main PROBLEM is not the CNDP or this or that element of FARDC. Its the whole institution...and not only that. Its the whole structure of DRC Institutions. Who really believes that after Bosco is taken care off, everything will turn rosy in the Kivus !?
Impunity, a complete wrong understanding of state-power, institutions and a messed up attitude of the "power wielding" wing of society will prevent DRC from really becoming the great country it could be.
Arresting certain key elements in this game, is the same approach which people do in all power-networks around the world. May it be the westbank, the favellas in Rio, in Sri Lanka or anywhere take one out and the another one is growing back. Because it just pays off too well to be part of this whole system, despite the risks. And in DRC, the risks are more or less calculateable for those people.

Rich said...

Arresting ntaganda

Didier Reinders says, the will is there but one needs to work out how to do it without making matters worse and that kagame must be associated...

Anonymous said...

President KABILA arrived in Goma today ,I wonder if he is personally negotiating a surrender with BOSCO NTAGANDA.

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