Laurent Nkunda was born in Rutshuru in 1967 near the Park of Virunga which was called Park Albert in colonial days. After the Genocide in Rwanda, the killers moved to Nkunda’s homeland and proceeded on doing the same thing they had done in Rwanda.
They spread the venom of ethnic hatred in North Kivu and killings against the Tutsi of Congo got under way.
Nkunda is fighting for a cause greater than himself, of protecting Congolese Tutsi, whose story is wrapped up in the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
Though it is difficult to speak of a minority in a country with more than 400 different tribes, the Tutsi have for long been a vulnerable group.
As is common across Africa, the ethnic group was divided by arbitrary colonial borders, with most of its members living in what became Rwanda and others in eastern Congo. During Rwanda’s independence struggle, many Rwandan Tutsi fled into eastern Congo, and over the years, Tutsi in Congo have been considered as outsiders.
Ethnic clashes targeting the Tutsi broke out in eastern Congo in 1993. A year later, following the Rwandan Genocide in which 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus were killed, more than a million Hutu refugees and Genocidal Hutu militiamen poured across the border and continued to massacre Congolese Tutsi.
The problem of the Tutsis and of the Rwandan Hutus has not been given its due attention and there seems no intention to handle it at all.
The Congo fighting
The fighting is targeting the Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese commonly known as Banyamurenge.
Banyamurenge are the main inhabitant of southern and eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), who speak similar language to Rwanda’s local language Kinyarwanda.
The Congolese of other ethnic background are comfortable and continue with their business.
Sources say they intend to kill all Banyamurenge until no Kinyarwanda is spoken in the Congo.
This is genocide in pipeline! But of course we shall have to wait until the world powers seat and decide whether it’s called genocide or not.
Remember its only yesterday that America confirmed the Armenian genocide since April 24, 1915. The Armenian Genocide, the first genocide of the 20th Century, occurred when two million Armenians living in Turkey were eliminated from their historic homeland through forced deportations and massacres.
After the successful obliteration of the people of historic Armenia during the Armenian Genocide, the Turks demolished any remnants of Armenian cultural heritage including priceless masterpieces of ancient architecture, old libraries and archives.
The Turks even levelled entire cities such as the once thriving Kharpert, Van and the ancient capital at Ani, to remove all traces of the three thousand year old civilization.
The insurgency war in the Darfur region of western Sudan began virtually unnoticed in February 2003; it has over the past three years precipitated the first great episode of genocidal destruction in the twenty-first century.
The victims are the non-Arab or African tribal groups of Darfur, primarily the Fur, the Massaleit, and the Zaghawa, but also the Tunjur, the Birgid, the Dajo, and more.
These people have long been politically and economically marginalized, and in recent years, the National Islamic Front (NIF) regime in Khartoum has refused to control the increasingly violent Arab-militia raiding of African villages in Darfur. Competition between Arab and African tribal groups over the scarce primary resources in Darfur--arable land and water--has been exacerbated by advancing desertification throughout the Sahel region.
But it was Khartoum’s failure to respond to the desperate economic needs of this huge region (it is the size of France), the decayed judiciary, the lack of political representation, and in particular the growing impunity on the part of Arab raiders that finally precipitated full-scale armed conflict.
Hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have been raped and murdered in Darfur since 2002, and the world is still reluctant to call that a genocide.
Genocide being a horrific crime and if we are to address causes of genocide effectively and determine specific indicators of genocide, all the truth concerning genocide should be unearthed.
The Massaleit, and the Zaghawa, Tunjur, the Birgid, the Dajo, etc should like Nkunda spear head the struggle to defend themselves or perish.
They cannot wait to be saved “only” by the international community.
In the ongoing genocide, African farmers and others in Darfur are being systematically displaced and murdered at the hands of the Janjaweed, a government-supported militia recruited from local Arab tribes.
This typical of what is being done to the Banyamurenge with the help of the Interahamwe militias.
For the Janaweed are only differentiated from interahamwe by only two things; The Janjaweed are Sudanese while Interahmwe are Rwandans and the fact that the Interahamwe are more trained killers than Janjaweeds.
Nkunda’s struggle thus is comparable to the one needed in Darfur. He is fighting a war to save his people in Congo and indirectly save other vulnerable groups of people outside Congo.
Suppose the war that is spearheaded by Interahamwe sweeps across the boarders of Rwanda and Uganda, there is no doubt the mixture of backward forces that spread into the two countries will start destabilizing them.
Nkunda thus becomes a shield of peace a man determined to fight for his people and neighbours.
Ironically, this freedom and peace fighter is being branded a criminal by the international community.
The paradoxical situation leaves us with a worry. When shall we be able to get a proper definition of Genocide? And when shall we be able to tell a just war.
Is war regarded as just depending on the person defining it or on the international agreed principles?
Justification for war
According to the agreed principles of a just war theory, Nkunda’s cause is in conformity with the following important theories;
“A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified.” He has been seeking for peace but they have refused to listen.
“A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defence against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause.
Further, a just war can only be fought with “right” intentions: the only permissible objective of a just war is to redress the injury.”
Nkunda is trying to defend the deprived and the vulnerable Banyamurenge.
“The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace. More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought.”
Nkunda is fighting for peace of is people and neighbours. “The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants.
Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians.
The deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.” Nkunda highly avoids civilian causalities and that is why he recently called for a cease fire when the government supported forces started heavy bombardment of civilian targets.
It is therefore highly unacceptable to call Nkunda a criminal. He is man who having rough times in the jungles and who could have otherwise be living a more decent and cool life outside the jungles.
He is not on picnic and neither is he adventuring. He is a rare character who is pursuing an important cause for his people who have got to fight or die. His cause I therefore justified in all spheres!
Nkunda is actuality teaching the entire marginalized minority world wide to come up and fight for their survival or perish as the world still looks for proper definitions of their predators.
There are still academic exercise debates on whether the Darfur killings should be called genocide and for sure it will take ages to agree on it.
This will not help at all. See how long it takes to deploy the hybrid force! Peace for the minority Banyamurenge cannot be over emphasized or contemplated at all costs.