Thursday, July 11, 2013

DR Congo: Whisky Tango Foxtrot ( MONUSCO new allies M23 ).

Congo DRC News reports ( In French )

( I have used Google Translate and attempted to clean up the copy, apologies for any errors ).

The intervention MONUSCO brigade to rescue the M23?

Military setbacks and a political blow to President Kabila.

                                                              The town of Kanyaruchinya

I am guessing that it is a translation error in the headline as the Intervention Brigade ( Africa Brigade ) has not formed up as yet as far as I am aware also, it doesn't sound like M23 needed rescuing. 

At about 1 pm on Wednesday, the shooting stopped and calm returned to Kanyaruchinya,a North Kivu town located about ten kilometers from Goma. Six hours earlier, a coalition of the regular armed forces (FARDC), the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) - Rwandan Hutu rebels, the troops who committed the 1994 genocide in Rwanda - and Mai Mai attacked Nyatura the positions of the M23.

If that is accurate then FARDC are out of their collective bloody mind. This is meant to be a professional military organisation, although they are actually in reality a gang of rapists.

The offensive was preceded yesterday at 11pm, by a breakthrough of FDLR Busanza in to Rutshuru territory. The militia looted the local livestock breeders before being routed by the forces of M23.

These locals are of course the people FARDC are supposed to protect. Is it any wonder that M23 have some support.

Following this battle, the commander of the FDLR, Soki - who played an important role in the chain of command of the armed group - and seven of his soldiers were killed.

The Congolese Revolutionary Army (ARC, armed wing of  M23) recovered a large stock of equipment that FARDC had left for their allies.
Since 18 April , 20 May and 6 July it is the fourth time that the tripartite alliance FARDC / FDLR / Nyatura have attacked, before being repulsed, from the positions of M23 on the heights overlooking Goma.

M23 have been substantially weakened both politically and militarily over the last few months to the point of almost being irrelevant. It would have made more sense just to ignore them but FARDC are not known for their sense.

This morning, after a few hours of fighting and then CRA ( M23 ) was going to pursue the attackers but they were dispersed by the contingent of the UN Mission to the DRC (MONUSCO). An act which Bertrand Bisimwa, president of M23, welcomed with a public statement.

It is actually quite funny on one level, and at the same time a tragedy. The damage to Kinshasa is huge.

Many observers have questioned the reasons for this dramatic change in MONUSCO policy.

Frustration with the FARDC idiots springs to mind.

The clashes on Wednesday July 10 at Kanyaruchinya, highlights the weakness of the Congolese government and the many contradictions both military and political inherent in the operation of the Intervention Brigade established by the Security Council resolution 2098.

MONUSCO for the first time, opened fire on the forces with which it collaborates directly or indirectly. The attitude of peacekeepers is probably due - according to one of our local representatives - with the desire to avoid a M23 offensive .

As I mentioned above the Intervention Brigade as far as I am aware is yet to form up so it would seem more likely it was regular UN peace keepers.

Less weakened than was reported by the UN experts  letter dated June 20, M23 would be able to return to Goma, which they had entered last November, before withdrawing under international pressure that  included M23 backers Rwanda and Uganda.

It is an extraordinary reversal of fortune ( all be it temporary I suspect ) for M23.

The forces of Intervention Brigade with offensive terms of engagement are not yet operational and the Political Department of MONUSCO is facing a serious dilemma with the possibility of joint operations with a regular army ( FARDC ) that is systematically working with the FDLR.

A huge own goal by the Congolese forces, Kilgali must be laughing themselves silly.

The Intervention Brigade was established by resolution 2098 of the Security Council to eradicate armed groups, which include head, in the text of the United Nations resolution, M23 and  FDLR.

Events at Kanyaruchinya are for President Kabila both a military setback and a political snub.

Kabila is at best inept.

Hat Tip Charly Kasereka

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