Thursday, August 23, 2012

Can the DR Congo risk the Crocodiles return

SW Radio Africa reports

DRC human rights group say Zimbabwe soldiers not welcome

                  Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa was implicated in a UN report on looting of resources in the DRC

By Lance Guma
22 August 2012

"A human rights group based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has argued against the inclusion of Zimbabwean soldiers in an international neutral force to be deployed in areas bordering Rwanda and Uganda.
In the last few months a new rebel movement calling itself M23 has brought instability to the already volatile eastern region of the DRC plagued by conflict since the 1990s Rwandan genocide. Leaders in the Great Lakes region last week agreed to deploy a neutral international force in an effort to bring stability."

"But the African Association for the Defense of Human Rights (ASADHO) has argued that the neutral force must exclude all countries that are already engaged in the war and in the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the DRC. They singled out Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia for exclusion."

It is very hard to argue against excluding them, Zimbabwe  Zanu PF can't be trusted.

"ASADHO suggested that countries who could contribute soldiers to the international force would be Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya which are also members of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region Countries. None of these countries had been involved in the war."

Makes sense to me.

"On Monday a DRC government spokesman, Lambert Mende, said: “It’s not ASADHO, but the government and parliament that are allowed to make decisions regarding the war. ASADHO does not have power to decide which countries should come to assist DR Congo which has been attacked.”

Why would you set a fox to patrol a chicken coop ?

"Mugabe sent troops into the DRC in 1998 to help his ally, the late Laurent Kabila, hold of a rebel advance. The conflict sucked in several SADC states and saw senior army officers and ZANU PF chefs enrich themselves from the country’s mineral assets “under the pretext of arrangements set up to repay Zimbabwe for military services.”

Zanu PF venality knows no boundaries

"A UN report implicated current Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, the late army commander Vitalis Zvinavashe and Zimbabwean-backed entrepreneurs John Bredenkamp and Al-Shanfari, a “convicted criminal based in South Africa”.

Emmerson Mnangagwa is known as the Crocodile for a reason and may well succeed Mugabe and god help Zimbabwe should that come to pass.

Incidentally Alex has a couple of great new posts up and this is his French blog .

"As strange as this might sound, the cogwheels of commerce were hardly
stopped by the current war in North Kivu.

In fact, there's a thriving trade and even a two-way movement of
people between M-23-occupied areas and the city of Goma--and beyond.

The M-23 are relying for now on hefty taxes on merchandise and road
tolls on trucks heading to Goma.

On their part, the FDLR are killing near-extinct species of animals at
the Virunga National Park and selling them wholesale to traders, who
then go to sell them on retail in Goma. "

And more worrying 

"You don't find anything worthwhile these days in Goma markets and
everything has become very expensive: corn, beans, milk, all basic

"Before [the insurgency], a 100kg-sack of manioc cost between $25 and
$30. Today, the same quantity costs between $45 and $50.

"And 1kg of beans, for example, that cost $0.5 before now fetches almost $1.

"Prices for basic commodities have almost doubled!

"In a city where residents are already very poor, people are suffering.

"Many people are unemployed and the minimum income and wage of a
person living off of small trade or working in a shop is only between
$20 and $30 per month.

"Food therefore now costs the earth. "

Go and have a read.

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