“They will blame everybody else apart from themselves. Yet they bare the biggest part of the responsibility…the one year billion dollars a year that MONUC uses without results!…” said President Paul Kagame while addressing a press conference in Kigali yesterday. He was referring to the failures of the UN body.
Unless MONUC lives to its expectations, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is likely to remain chaotic. Recently the United Nations Organisation Mission (MONUC) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo repatriated Major Ndayambaje Jean Pierre to Rwanda, after the Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) soldier got too sick to cope with the jungle life (presumably).
A couple of months ago, the same MONUC had facilitated the return of another FDLR top commander Colonel Sebuhura Faustin to Rwanda. The rebel also came back under similar circumstances of being seriously ill.
This raises a number of questions as to why MONUC cannot go beyond repatriating the sick, to arranging total disarmament and return of all FDLR/Interahamwe militias to Rwanda. If they can access the sick senior officers of the so-called rebel group, then they have a reasonable influence on them.
The main objective of having a UN peace force in the DR Congo, is to restore sanity in the country. Restoring sanity demands putting direct or indirect pressure, on militias like FDLR to surrender their weapons and go back to Rwanda.
But what has MONUC done in that line to pressurise FDLR and disarm it? Nothing. Therefore, unless MONUC lives to its mandate, the DRC is likely to remain chaotic. FDLR is the main militia group in the Congo, because it has been enjoying hospitality from the host country and the MONUC.
It is against this background, that I support the former chief of MONUC, who resigned from his position, after seeing that he was not delivering at all.
“For personal reasons, he will not be able to continue with his assignment as planned”, announced UN spokesperson Michele Montas referring to Lieutenant General Vicente Diaz de Villegas Herreria, who had been appointed Air Force Commander for the UN mission in DRC.
The recent declaration by the DR Congo and Rwandan minister of foreign affairs that they are going to work together in fighting FDLR (if it seriously stands) will be a big step towards sanity in the region.
The issue has always been to do with handling FDLR with kid’s gloves. Stop FDLR support and the region will be pacified, simple. Forget about the small militia groups like the Mayi Mayi, they cannot bite.
The government of Congo has taken long, to realize that they do not gain anything from habouring and allowing FDLR to arm, for possible attacks on Rwanda.
FDLR is a waste force that is made-up of genocide criminals, who are wanted in Rwanda to face justice. They killed innocent children of Rwanda and are busy killing more in the Congo. The Congolese government could for sure have thought of this, well before.
FDLR is a force that cannot dream of taking power in Rwanda. Record is against them, all they can do is to continue killing the innocent children of the region.
However, the DRC could have kept the FDLR expecting to use it to fight the so-called proxy wars. This is where it went wrong and it is good now, that it is realizing that, there is no such war, at least from Rwanda.
The international community too, thought Rwanda could support Laurent Nkunda’s National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) for similar purposes. Funny accusations here and there attest to this assertion. All this wrong speculation has been our undoing in the Great Lakes Region.
Nkunda emerged because of the presence of FDLR and their history to exterminate Tutsi. As we said before, FDLR comprises of criminals that participated in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
Therefore, if they killed Tutsi in Rwanda, common sense tells that they could not spare Tutsi of the same origin in the Congo. Banyamulenge under Laurent Nkunda emerged in the same way- instinct to survive.
Unfortunately, this is deliberately misunderstood by a credible UN body-MUNUC, put in the region to restore peace. Nevertheless, better late than never-now that the DRC government is ready to divorce FDLR, the region may stabilize.
If MONUC cannot perform, let it not stand in the way of performers. Rwanda and DRC alone have the capacity to end the crisis in the region generally and in the DRC particularly.
What MONUC should do if it is interested in ending the conflict, is to facilitate the two countries to implement their initiative.
Look at the recommendable job; Uganda, Sudan and DRC have started against the rebels headed by Joseph Kony, in the Congo.
The same could be arranged by Rwanda, DRC and Burundi to end the long time insurgence in the eastern DRC.