Like candle flickers in the wind security arrangements in eastern DR Congo change by the passing moment. As of yesterday morning, the United Nations Mission in the Congo (Monuc) was notified by renegade General Laurent Nkunda that his troops were attacked by the Congolese army near Rutshuru, breaking a fragile day-old ceasefire brokered by the UN mission.
Whether allegations of continued violence prove true or not, we urge the continued allegiance of General Nkunda to the agreed-to ceasefire.
Peace comes with bitter sacrifices to non-violence, not retaliation.
Secondly, Monuc is playing itself into a dangerous situation where it appeals to conditions and principles of neutrality but quarantines rebel movements before allowing government troops to overtake positions.
The UN must return to true neutrality, as the scoreboard of ‘right and wrongs’ is too vague in this war.
Instead of being inclusive, its most recent efforts have played into the fortunes of either side.
This is a peace process not yet finished. The ceasefire is too young to be destroyed by continued violence and an atmosphere of dialogue and inclusiveness should not yet be discarded.
This extends to state leaders.
The bilateral meeting between Congolese president Joseph Kabila and Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni leaves out half of other regional leaders that should be part of search for a solution.
Though the Congo-Uganda talks are to focus on fishermen along the Lake Albert border, the situation in North and South Kivu provinces affects Rwanda and Burundi as well.
Any talks on regional issues should embrace all regional leaders.
It is a disgrace to both the integrity and reputation of the region that this mess has not yet been cleaned up.
Thirteen years after the Rwanda Genocide, FDLR forces run wild in eastern Congo, and other negative forces surround both the borders to the north and south of Rwanda.
It is time for the Tri-Partite Plus Joint Commission countries to work through dialogue or consensus-abiding operations to put an end to the cauldron of violence that continues to this day.
We urge absolute inclusiveness in negotiations and a patient attitude to a ceasefire.