Ignoring the FDLR factor in the Congo crisis is a grave mistake

Editor, I thank Mr Mukimbili for his mature commentary. Indeed what the author said is true. The international community seems to be concerned with only the M23 rebels, which is not the causal agent of DRC problems, conveniently turning a blind eye to the source of eastern Congo’s problems.
An FDLR militant in Eastern Congo. Net photo
An FDLR militant in Eastern Congo. Net photo

Editor,

This is with reference to Jean-Bosco Mukimbili’s column, “Disarmament of FDLR is a great step towards a peaceful DRC”, published in The New Times of September 16.

I thank Mr Mukimbili for his mature commentary. Indeed what the author said is true. The international community seems to be concerned with only the M23 rebels, which is not the causal agent of DRC problems, conveniently turning a blind eye to the source of eastern Congo’s problems.

M23 is practically a consequence of the problem caused by FDLR genocidaires and bad governance or leadership vacuum in Kinshasa. But the underlying problem is that the powers behind the so-called international community know that and know how the problem can easily be solved yet they are not doing anything about it, only choosing to point fingers at the symptoms.

This is because they know that if the problem is solved, they will not be able to benefit from DRC’s riches as they do today. So instead of sidelining with those they know are fighting for the right cause, they choose to ally with the criminals and a genocidal militia responsible for the deaths of a millions people across in next-door Rwanda!

Where do you think the FDLR and the myriad of Mai Mai militia groups and other negative forces based in eastern DRC sell the minerals they dig from Congo soils? These powers behind the so-called international community are the ones buying them. They put restrictions on these minerals so that neighbouring countries do not enter into the business; but who verifies what they take day and night?

There are no Rwandan companies mining in the Congo, nor any from Burundi and Uganda, but there are many Europeans and Americans all over the place. This is clear to everybody but the powers that be at the United Nations and in the international system have conveniently chosen to blame Congo’s neighbours for its woes as a way of continuing to conceal their responsibility in this mess and sustain a chaotic environment that feeds their economic interests.

Only these invisible hands and the DRC government have the key to a sustainable solution to the unending crises in the country’s east.

Ali Hereza, Kigali

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I am not Congolese or Rwandan to have grasped the circumstances well. Eastern DRC has Kinyarwanda-speaking communities who are genuine Congolese due to colonial demarcations similar to the Bafumbira case in Kisoro, Uganda.

But bottom line, all sides – Congo and all parties involved – should know that there is much more that peace offers than anything else can offer.

Let’s cultivate trust amongst ourselves and learn to cede ground and accommodate each other.

Andrew, Kigali

 

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