Despite the numerous peace initiatives ranging from Lusaka Agreement to Pretoria agreement, Nairobi Communiqué, Tripartite Plus initiative, various bilateral engagements and UNSC resolutions, the FDLR is still growing strong with ammunitions and finances from mining centers in the Eastern DRC, thanks to Kinshasa’s intransigency and war mongering policy.
The Goma, which was internal to the Congolese, has also long fallen victim to this unfortunate Kinshasa policy. While the latest fighting rages on throwing on the run thousands and thousands of famished civilians and CNDP troops closing towards Goma town, the Kinshasa government seems now at the end of the rope.
Although it might be still too early to predict what kind of solutions the new government in Kinshasa would bring to this longer than decade-old crisis, one cannot help but wonder what the other weapons the new “war government” as emphasized by President Kabila, has brought aboard to end the turmoil.
President Kabila’s choice of the logic of war and his apparent fixation on the CNDP rebels while ignoring or closing his eyes against the real roots of the crisis make one think either that the President is unconscious and thus incapable of grabbing the entirety of the issues at hand and their immediate or long term consequences for his country and region, or has some other unfathomable agenda only known to him.
As said in the past, is he held hostage by the “pact with the faith” he inherited from his father when the latter incorporated the bloodthirsty Ex-FAR/Interahamwe into the DRC army or is he just up to traumatizing his population in the Kivus with the help of his seeming ideological friends, the FDLR.
Well, let us give the benefit of doubt to the new defense Minister Mutombo Bakafwa Nsenda, who is credited for knowing the Kivu region very well since he was Governor of North and South Kivu under Mobutu regime for a total of seven years and as such, is supposedly well versed with the tribal cohabitation relationships and frustrations of some of the Congolese citizens from this region.
Let us hope that he will distance himself and even denounce statements such as the one from General Dennis KALUME NUMBI inflaming the youth of Goma telling them that “the problem is no more neither NKUNDA nor the CNDP. The problem is a small neighboring country that uses them to destabilize us. Then, if you don’t want to be enslaved, take charge of yourselves, begin to act as the Palestinian youngsters and blow up yourselves on the partisans of the CNDP that you will meet in the city. If you need dynamite belts, we will provide them to you”.
Surely is this a leader that wishes well his people if he is only advising them to turn themselves into bombs rather than work towards using peaceful means as reflected in the various peace agreements or initiatives to pacify the region for enabling the much-needed development. He should in the same vain encourage, if he does not take the initiative by himself, his colleague of the Interior Ministry to caution the North Kivu Governor Paluku about his relentless incitation of the population to demonstrate in protest against the MONUC and harass any civilian identified as Tutsi.
It was therefore logical that angered crowds threw rocks and stones against MONUC vehicles, venting outrage at what they rightly claimed was a failure to protect them in a war that is only called for by Kinshasa. Consequently, the incident forced MONUC forces to fire back and kill some of the civilians they are supposedly there to protect.
Al Jazeera Tv reported on Monday that “Witnesses have seen army soldiers fleeing today from a town just north of Goma into the city itself, in a column of military vehicles. The government forces are relying on a UN peacekeeping force that is really in disarray at this point. Local people, angered by the fighting and the failure of UN peacekeepers to prevent Nkunda’s advance, rioted at the UN base in Goma on Monday and one person was killed, a UN spokesman said”.
It is unfortunate that the MONUC has played in the hands of Kinshasa authorities for which the mandate of the force would be to support and if need be to substitute itself to the national army if not the State.
Thus, to try to crush the CNDP once and for all, President KABILA used the Goma peace process to revive, under the eyes of the MONUC and with its passivity if not its complicity, the armed groups that had disappeared from the Kivu political landscape for a long time. He even gave them the opportunity to recruit the militiamen and the means to rearm in order to justify their political existence.
The fatal failure of the United Nations, as well as of the whole international community which has its special envoys there in the DRC, was to let the Congolese government pursue with impunity its support and its collaboration with the FDLR/ex-FAR/Interahamwe génocidaires.
The UN, the European Union and other powers individually represented in DRC are for sure knowledgeable of the project of the FDLR, FARDC’s collaboration with it and ironically the enormous atrocities it commits on the Congolese leave alone their role in the 1994 Tutsi genocide and which they are keen to come back to continue with in Rwanda.
To ferment genocide in the Kivus, they undertook to stir internal differences between the Congolese Hutus and Tutsis while enrolling the former in PARECO. This group is a militia created only for that purpose with an outward goal fighting against the CNDP after painting it as composed solely of Tutsis.
Ironically, MONUC which has until now failed to neither put pressure on the DRC government concerning the FDLR nor even to unilaterally denounce their obvious alliance with the FARDC, the same MONUC which apparently have forgotten its obligations towards the Nairobi Communiqué which stipulates that “..the Government of DRC commits itself, with the support of MONUC to put an end definitively, by choice or by force, between March 15 and June 15, 2008 to the presence of the FDLR/ex-FAR/Interahamwe in RDC, has all of a sudden remembered the existence of its Chapter 7 mandate and used it to attack the CNDP positions and ended up killing an unnumbered civilians that it is supposed to protect.
According to Michele Bonnardeaux, a UN spokesman, the UN’s mandate was “to support the national army in their effort to protect civilians there”, an army that has been proven beyond any doubt to be dining and in bed with a renown genocidal force which is apart from the 1994 Tutsi genocide, is reputed for terrorizing the Congolese population (maiming, raping of Congolese women….), recruitment of child soldiers, illicit mining and trade ….
If the new “war Government” chooses the logic of war as its name indicates, instead of adhering to the implementation of the various agreements both, internal between the Congolese and with countries in region that have serious security concerns under the current status quo, it is also bound to fail as the previous one.