Thursday, August 16, 2012

Congo rebellion

Alex's take  on the Virunga National Park situation. I don't completely agree but have to acknowledge his sources are far better than mine.

"...The pattern is one of two abutting peaceful neighboring micro-states 
set up by the FDLR (slightly northwest of the Ugandan border) and by 
the M23 right south of the territory controlled by the FDLR, by the 
Rwandan border. 

And strangely, this proximity hasn't so far resulted in direct armed 
clashes between the M23 and the FDLR. 

In point of fact, these two outfits seemingly respect each other's 
turfs, where they've set up rogue civil administrations to collect 
taxes on residents and businesses as well as tolls on trucks. 

This shocking promiscuity is, as I just said, all the more evident at 
Virunga National Park. 

There, Chief Warden Dr. Emmanuel de Mérode's rangers are hanging by 
the skin of their teeth to a small patch of territory around Lulimbi 
on the eastern shore of Lake Edward while all the surrounding area is 
under the firm control of the FDLR. 

The western and southern sides of the Park are under the control of the M23. 

In fact, Dr. de Mérode and his rangers live in M23-controlled 
territory (including the park's HQ at Rumangabo) where, thus far, he 
and his rangers have seemingly thus far been fortunately left to their 
own devices. 

Note that I've just used the adverb "seemingly" two times above--for 
the following obvious reasons: 

1) The pacific coexistence between the M23 and FDLR micro-states is 
only apparent; and 

2) More importantly, if Dr. de Mérode and his rangers are free to roam 
the Park fully armed and if they haven't so far been disarmed by the 
M23, this is simply because, unbeknownst to them, they've been playing 
all along a critical part in the tactics of M23. 

Rwandan battlefield managers embedded within M23 have developped a 
brilliant, successful, cost-effective and cunningly insidious tactical 

This "scheme" is to outsource the defense of the buffer zone between 
M23 and the FDLR to the Rangers of the Virunga National Park. 

This allows the M23 to focus, unfettered, on one of their main stated 
objectives: the capture by attrition of the provincial capital of 

Small wonder then that the M23 invested such an inordinate amount of 
"...resources in capturing Rumangabo, where they've shifted a number of 
their troops and supplies. 

Again, let me stress the fact that Dr. de Mérode and his rangers are 
by no means privy to or willing participants in this tactical scheme. 

But the fact remains that by going after the FDLR, the Park rangers 
turn, in so doing, into objective allies of M23. 

For, in an ideal warfare situation, 3 scenarios would have already 
played out at the Park: 

1) The Rangers would fight both M23 and the FDLR; 

2) The M23, which claim to be after the FDLR, would have already 
launched coordinated attacks alongside the Park rangers against the 
Rwandan terrorist group; or 

3) The Rangers would have withdrawn altogether from the Park to let 
these two so-called belligerents come to direct 
confrontation--unfortunately, with devastating consequences to 

After all, isn't the FDLR one of the main targets of M23? 

But as the situation stands right now, there's no other way to 
describe it in tactical terms: as I said above, unwittingly, the Park 
rangers are a godsend for the M23. "

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