Wednesday, January 2, 2013

DR Congo: Whats M23's game now ?

The Daily Monitor ( Uganda ) reports

KINSHASA, DRC: Opposition MP in DR Congo joins M23 rebel movement

                                                                                       Roger Lumbala
Roger Lumbala, a opposition parliamentarian who was elected on the ticket of the Congolese Rally for National Democracy (DR Congo/National), has joined the March 23 (M23) movement, a rebel movement operating in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), M23 officials said on Wednesday.
"Comrade Lumbala is now a member of M23, he is here with us. Lumbala understands that the revolution being launched by M23 is identical to his revolution that he has been engaged in against the regime of President Joseph Kabila since the rigged elections of Nov. 28, 2011," said Amani Kabasha, M23's deputy communication officer.He noted that Lumbala had not abandoned his parliamentary privileges to go to M23 for positions.
OK a couple of interesting points. As indicated below Lumbala is wanted for treason by the DR Congo Government. Secondly that he according to the report would seem to be in Kampala which is at odds with the Uganda Picks report. 
From  Uganda Picks 
" The DRC opposition MP, Roger Lumbala joined the M23 rebels and is currently seeking asylum in the South African Embassy in Burundi as he is being hunted down by the DRC government.
Lumbala was elected on the ticket of the Congolese Rally for National Democracy.  DRC government wants him to answer to charges of treason as he is being accused of aiding Rwanda support the rebellion in Eastern Congo. Spokesperson for the Congolese government, Lambert Mende said Lumbala had been trying to win asylum at the South African embassy in Bujumbura, the Burundian capital, and had evaded arrest by Burundian security forces whom Kinshasa had asked to detain him.
“We’re convinced he is in a group who are helping the Rwandans in North Kivu,” Mende said, referring to the province where the M23 rebels operate. Negotiations were underway to try to get Lumbala transferred to Kinshasa, Mende said, but there had been no response yet from South Africa."

It would seem Mende was correct in that assumption that he has links with M23 but it is a bit of a stretch on the evidence available so far to link him with Rwanda.
Kabasha announced that in the coming days, five other senior Congolese politicians living in Europe and the U. S. will be joining M23."If I am here, it's first because I am persuaded and convinced that it's my brothers who are fighting for among other things, the re-establishment of the truth from ballot box, something that Etienne Tshisekedi has been fighting for as the elected president of DR Congo," Lumbala said when he spoke to Xinhua on phone. Investigations by the Congolese interior ministry indicate that Lumbala, an opposition member of parliament who supports the opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, was involved in a plot to overthrow the government in Kinshasa. (Xinhua)
This will add a new and not very palatable dead rat for the DR Congo government delegation to swallow if they want the talks to proceed. M23 seem to be playing games but they should remember that others can and will want to play and at the moment they should be establishing rules not re-selecting the team. 


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