Thursday, September 13, 2012

DR Congo. MONUSCO under threat

New Times ( Rwanda )reports

Lack of gov’t authority fuels violence in Congo – UN official

Defense Minister James Kabarebe with Herve Ladsous, the UN Under Secretary for Peace Keeping yesterday. 

The New Times Timothy Kisambira

"The government of DRC has failed to exert its authority in the Eastern part of the country thereby enabling armed groups to freely roam, kill and displace thousands of civilians, a top UN official has said.

The United Nations Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, made the remarks yesterday during his visit to Kigali, after holding separate talks with Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuryemyi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, and Minister of Defence, James Kabarebe.

Speaking at a news conference, Ladsous defended the 20,000-strong United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO), arguing the mission is carrying out its mandate under severe constraints with little support from Kinshasa."

There can be no doubt that if the UN were not on the ground then things would be far worse.
Something often forgotten is that having people from the UN and other NGO's is one way that the eyes of the world can watch. I am asked often why I blog about the DR Congo part of it is personal but mostly it is about keeping awareness up.

"The force’s 13-year presence in the Congo has been dogged by a string of scandals, ranging from rape to exchanging arms for gold and ivory with militia groups operating in the region.

“The problem is not with MONUSCO but with the situation in the region where the authority of the state does not exist and where too many armed groups occupy the space and do what all we know they are doing,” Ladsous said."

"MONUSCO, with a budget of US$1.3 billion a year,  has come under immense scrutiny in recent months in the wake of renewed unrest in eastern DRC, which has displaced thousands of civilians, with many crossing into Rwanda and Uganda."

Think of what the death toll would potentially be without MONUSCO. $1.3 billion is a very good investment. Remember this conflict has already claimed $5 million lives.

“The crisis in Eastern Congo is yet another episode of a complex situation but it has taken worrying dimensions particularly this year with huge humanitarian implications. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have suffered, been killed and displaced, including refugees from neighbouring countries. The heart of the mandate of MONUSCO remains to protect the civilians,” Ladsous added."

"His visit to the Great Lakes region is part of preparations for a summit that the UN Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon will convene in New York on September 27 on the Congo crisis."

" Ladsous commended DRC’s neighbours for mobilising through the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) to come up with a proposal to tackle the DRC crisis."

Why ? It has achieved nothing. 

“ICGLR launched the joint verification monitoring mechanism which is expected to materialise in a few days. This was until now a bilateral exercise between DRC and Rwanda but will be enlarged to absorb other countries in the region,” he said.

"Ladsous does not, however, fully buy into ICGLR’s decision to have an African neutral force in Eastern DRC, which he believes must be ‘first studied in depth’ before being implemented.

“Military matters must be considered with utmost care after determining the position of African Union Peace and Security and UN Security Council,” he said.

“We must strive to achieve something that is as close as possible to a ceasefire, whether formal or not, and this has to be the message to the countries in the region.”

The problem with informal ceasefires is that there are no real consequences for breaking them when a tactical advantage appears.

"Although he is against a military intervention, Ladsous is of the view that the UN would not initiate peace talks between DRC and M23.

“DRC is a sovereign state and should decide whether it wants to talk to anyone. Besides M23 was qualified as a negative force – now the question to the DRC government is, would you decide to talk with a negative force?” he said.

Ladsous added that there has been a lull in violence in Eastern DRC over the last few weeks, adding that the situation has the potential to become worse."

Far far worse.

" Rwanda is confident the ongoing regional efforts to restore peace in the war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will deliver the desired breakthrough, Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo told journalists in Kigali on Tuesday.

She, however, acknowledged that no solution can be found without Kinshasa’s genuine commitment."

The hypocrisy here is incredible. She is lying and the world knows it the UN experts report by its existence accuses her of lying, with evidence.

" An extraordinary summit of the Heads of State from the eleven member states constituting the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) – the second in one month on the Congo crisis – at the weekend laid out a plan to end the unrest.

The plan includes a decision to expand the Joint Verification Mechanism (JVM) – previously a bilateral arrangement between Rwanda and DRC designed to verify allegations against either side – to all the ICGLR member states."

Possibly a step forward.

" The JVM will be launched this Friday in Goma, the main city in DRC’s troubled North Kivu province, which has since seen a month-long silence of gunfire between government forces and the M23 rebels. The rebellion started in April when hundreds of soldiers mutinied accusing Kinshasa of going against the spirit and letter of a 2009 peace deal under which former CNDP and PARECO rebels had been integrated into the official army."

They never wanted peace they saw a tactical advantage and took it.

No comments:

Post a Comment