Dear Kayitana ka Ruterandongozi, so the sponsors of this South African-Tanzanian Interference (er, Intervention) mercenary force believe they will help them achieve what much, much larger MONUSCO military tourists were unable to do: thoroughly repress a rebellion of people forced to fight for their survival in the face of a predatory state unable or unwilling to provide the basics for its citizens to live in security?
Those who push for this line claim that MONUSCO lacked the mandate to use force “to protect civilians or to neutralize the various rebel groups operating in the DRC”.
MONUSCO fought on the side of the tens of thousands of FARDC soldiers to stop the much smaller M23 force from taking over Goma and failed miserably.
The speed with which MONUSCO forces, operating under a Chapter VII mandate authorising maximum force, ran from the front, leaving their FARDC allies and civilians in their tank dust, shows they are no better at fighting than their FARDC allies – arguably worst army in the world in terms of readiness to fight and indiscipline.
Neither the South African nor the Tanzanian expeditionary force will do any better against a battle-hardened M23 motivated by the knowledge they fight for the sole reason of survival of their families and people.
In authorising this expedition, the UN confirms, once more, it has never learned from its innumerable deadly errors in the DRC and the sub-region.
Not surprising given France, the power responsible for planting the genocidal forces from Rwanda into Eastern DRC, is the so-called pen-holder on the DRC in the UN Security Council; i.e. UNSC resolutions on the sub-region are originated by the same country that created the mess in the first place.
And so expecting a solution from the UN on this question satisfies the popular definition of insanity: expecting a different outcome from doing the same thing over and over again!
Mwene Kalinda, Kigali
Reaction to Kayitana ka Ruterandongozi’s opnion, “Congo conflict could unravel solution to recurring violence”, (The New Times, April 6)