Sunday, August 11, 2013

DR Congo: Rwanda is starting to feel the heat.

Aljazeera reports

DR Congo deploys elite unit to fight M23

Government is sending commandos to battle rebels based in the eastern city of Goma.

                    Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste reports from front lines around the eastern city of Goma.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is sending an elite unit of commandos to the country’s east to reinforce its regular troops in the fight against the M23 rebel group.
Both M23 and the Congolese government insist they want a negotiated settlement to the conflict that left hundreds of people dead and well over two million displaced since May 2012.
But with the warring forces digging in against one another, the prospects for talks seem dim.

They are dim indeed. In fact I would say they are non existent M23 are going to be disarmed or crushed. Rwandan propaganda disseminated through the government owned New Times shows just how concerned the Rwandan government are about this.

New Times ( Rwanda ) opines

Peace in the DRC still distant

By Joseph Rwagatare

Is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) anywhere near achieving peace? Hardly, even with the massive deployment of troops, huge expenditure and frantic diplomatic efforts. And this is why.

Firstly, there is growing evidence that the various organs of the United Nations are pulling in different directions in the search for an end to the conflict in DRC.

What a load of unmitigated crap. It is interesting to reflect though that it is a huge expense and the primary reason the world is having to spend that money is Rwanda. The money will be well spent if peace breaks out in the DR Congo and an even better investment if the regime of Paul Kagame falls.

On the one hand, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appears to favour a peaceful solution to the conflict. He put a lot of effort in formulating the Framework Agreement for Peace in the DRC and having it signed by the heads of state of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. He also seems to support regional initiatives. The appointment of Ms Mary Robinson as his special envoy to the Great Lakes Region would also indicate his intentions for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

On the other hand, the UN peace-keeping department, under Frenchman Herve Ladsous, seems to pull in another direction. It supports military action and ignores, even undermines regional efforts to end the conflict. For instance MONUSCO issued an ultimatum to all armed rebels to disarm just as an ICGLR Summit was meeting in Nairobi, Kenya to seek a more workable solution within the Framework Agreement.

Some how we are meant to believe that the political approach and the military are at odds despite both efforts being mandated under Security Council Resolution 2098. It then moves to the farcical with a reference to the ICGLR ( International Conference on the Great Lakes 
Region ) summit is somehow related to the United Nations as if it was another arm of the organisation rather than a separate body altogether. To make matters worse he either does not know or conveniently forgets that the origin of the Intervention Brigade or as I term it due to its origin the Africa Brigade is a request from the ICGLR to the UN Security Council. 

Fortunately or unfortunately from the perspective of Rwanda the UN Security Council made sure that the Africa Brigade was a neutral force tasked with extending the sovereignty of  the DR Congo rather than the Kigali aligned force Rwanda wished it to be. The  African Review reports from the ICGLR summit.

But beneath the surface of the summit, held under the umbrella of the 11-member International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), was a concerted effort by the major players, especially Rwanda and Uganda, to shift the focus of the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) back to a negotiated deal, even as consensus around an exceptional United Nations military-backed intervention deepens.
Unanimously backed by the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2098, the new 3,000-strong force crafted from the existing Monusco is in the strife-torn eastern Congo to aggressively neutralise various armed rebel groups and is seen as a game changer.
But analysts say its would leave Rwanda and Uganda, which have been variously accused of fomenting the unrest in the Kivu regions, shorn of major influence in the region, hence their preference for a “regional solution.”
However, careful not to be seen to be going against the growing international consensus around the conflict that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions of people, Kampala and Kigali, which vigorously deny having a hand in it, grudgingly accepted the UN force.
However, they have continued to lobby, behind the scenes, for a non-military settlement, in part informing the recent push for the ICGLR to reclaim its space.
The more workable solution that New Times writer propagandist Joseph Rwagatare and Rwanda desperately want is not going to happen the reason of course being that the world has decided to give peace a chance and end the colonial ambitions of Rwanda in the Eastern DR Congo.

MONUSCO was set up precisely to disarm armed rebels in DRC, but there is very little to show in this regard. Instead, it has partnered with some of them.

Foxtrot Foxtrot Sierra. Just how stupid is Rwagatare ? Or probably a better question is how stupid does he think we are ? MONUSCO was set up with a defensive mandate it was unable to complete its mission. When M23 the Rwandan proxy invaded Goma one could argue it partnered with them. It sure as hell didn't stop them.

" Currently, the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO) in Congo is made up of 20,000 troops, but its mandate has purely been to protect civilians and not to fight. This is because the contributing countries insist that their forces should not engage in combat."

MONUSCO’s partisanship and the ultimatum it issued a few weeks ago are eerily reminiscent of what happened in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994. The French supported a regime that was clearly planning and later committed genocide. When the regime was facing certain defeat, its leaders, armed forces and armed militia were shepherded to safety in DRC (then Zaire) by the French who continued to arm them.

Apparently Ladsous’s MONUSCO wants to shepherd them back into Rwanda – arms, genocide ideology and all.

No he wants to either disarm them or kill them and that from the UN Security Council Resolution includes, 

" M23, the FDLR, the ADF, the APCLS, the LRA, the National Force of Liberation (FNL), the various Mayi Mayi groups and all other armed groups and their continuing violence and abuses of human rights, including summary executions, sexual and gender based violence and large scale recruitment and use of children, demands that all armed groups cease immediately all forms of violence and destabilizing activities and that their members immediately and permanently disband and lay down their arms, and reiterates that those responsible for human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law will be held accountable....

I am guessing Rwagatare has not bothered to read UN Security Council resolution 2098. 

Pulling in different directions at the UN obviously complicates matters and leads to the question. Who actually runs the United Nations? It seems the Secretary General does not. A cartel of powerful nations and interests does.

I am guessing international relations are a bit of a weak spot for Rwagatare the irony is of course the fool has forgotten that Rwanda holds an African seat on the UN Security Council .
I am nothing if not helpful though he can discover all he needs to know about the governance of the UN here. 

Ban Ki-moon will trot to the different trouble spots across the globe and try to persuade groups facing off against each to come to the negotiating table and talk peace. He will smile to emphasise his peaceful intentions. 

Occasionally he will threaten and frown to signal the gravity of his mission. But that’s about all he can do because most of the time he will be ignored.

The real problem for Rwanda is the world has stopped listening to the lies of the current regime.   Or as Abraham Lincoln said " You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." Ban 
Ki-moon is not the one being ignored it is Rwandan President Paul Kagame.  

Herve Ladsous will sit in New York and bully his way to achieve what his masters want.

All the powerful nations and groupings such as the United States and the European Union also have special envoys in the DRC to further their own interests which more often than not do not correspond to those of the UN.

US Envoy Russell Feingold ( former US Senator ) and UN Envoy Mary Robinson ( former President of Ireland ) are not special envoys to the DR Congo but rather the Great Lakes region a small but important point, I am guessing that he is correct in his assertion that the UN have a envoy to the DR Congo but I can't recall who that is. This is a different approach from the one Rwanda takes which is to send in heavily armed envoys, lots of them in the uniforms of the Rwandan Defense Force as we saw with the invasion of Goma last November.

" Rwandan troops “openly entered into Goma through one of the two official border crossings,” said the letter, which was written by Steve Hege, the coordinator of a United Nations investigative panel, and was leaked by a third party."

Not surprisingly, President Uhuru Kenyatta was prompted to point out at the ICGLR Summit in Nairobi on July 31st that the UN in eastern DRC should “strengthen rather than complicate and overlap” peace efforts already initiated in that country.

It was a bloody silly statement when he made it showing a spectacular ignorance of the history of the peace keeping initiatives in the DR Congo. Earth to Kenyatta what other peace keeping initiatives are you talking about ? The AU one or perhaps the ICGLR initiatives Oh yeah, they both asked the UN to run there initiatives as part of MONUSCO. 

Secondly, the money and effort are spent on finding the wrong answer to the problem in the Congo. The military solution that is now the preferred option in dealing with an essentially political and governance issue will not work.

Disarming the rebels ( or killing them off I really no longer care either way ) and preventing further Rwandan incursions into the Eastern DR Congo is a good start. Governance issues can be sorted out subsequent to that.  

Insecurity in the east of the DRC and other parts of that huge, wealthy but ill-governed country is a consequence of bad governance, not inherent criminality. The proliferation of armed groups (as we have argued many times before) is a result of the absence of an effective state in the area. 

Actually it is a result largely of criminality on the part of a nation state. Rwanda namely.  

No amount of money, no number of troops however well-supplied with sophisticated weapons, including drones, will fix the security and political problems in DRC.  

The United Nations Mission in Congo (MONUC) set up in 1999 and its successor, the UN Stabilisation Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) and now the Intervention Brigade only add to the insecurity; they don’t end it.

They certainly do add to the insecurity of Kagame's regime. Kagame has funded the building of Rwanda by the systematic looting of the mineral wealth of the DR Congo the troops the drones and now the Intervention Brigade has ended that rort. Rwanda knows this and this story is an attempt a pathetic attempt to shift the blame and responsibility for the crimes against humanity committed by Rwanda and its proxies in The DR Congo.   
Until all the money and effort are put to the right cause -  to strengthen the state and address the denationalisation of some Congolese, which is the root cause of the conflict, all attempts at pacifying eastern DRC will remain futile.

Actually and I hate to admit it, in this Rwagatare has a point. Congolese Tutsi are discriminated against and this is something that Kinshasa must rectify. Kinshasa must rebuild much and winning the confidence of the whole population is a must. I hope they relise the opportunity they have been afforded.  

Thirdly, the deep involvement of the United Nations is itself a problem. I do not know of any troubled place where the United Nations has actually brought peace. On the contrary, wherever the UN has been involved, it has only succeeded in exacerbating the existing situation, often making a temporary territorial split permanent or helping fragment a country.

East Timor. Now you know one.

Examples abound. Two years ago NATO, with UN backing, attacked Libya to remove Colonel Muammar Gadaffi. The country has since been fragmented.

Small point but probably worth mentioning to our historical genius Libya underwent a revolution the role of NATO was defensive in neutralising the air power of Gadaffi. There were no UN soldiers in blue helmets.

Congo itself is a classic example of UN failure from the 1960s to the present.

The lowest point of the UN getting it wrong was in Rwanda and the Balkans. In the former, genocide was committed while its peacekeeping force, weakened by the very organisation that had set it up, looked on. 

The genocide only ended when the Rwanda Patriotic Army resumed its offensive and drove the genocidal regime out of the country. In the latter, ethnic cleansing on a massive scale was systematically carried out as the UN watched. It took action by the United States and NATO to put an end to it.

There are points on the UN conduct in both these operations that are worthy of several posts. The bottom line is some times the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Mistakes were made this is an attempt to do it correctly.

Today, ethnic cleansing is happening in the DRC as the UN again watches, and, if not checked, it will turn into genocide. Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese and even Rwanda nationals doing legitimate business in the DRC have recently been arrested, taken to unknown places and tortured. The UN, whose mission is to protect civilians, has said or done nothing about it.

No there isn't. At the moment the summary executions are being committed by M23. M23 attempt to set up an illegitimate administration in the eastern DR Congo may lead to it though. That is just one reason there is little support amongst ethnic Tutsi Congolese for M23.

This time it even gets worse because the UN is complicit in the crime. Through MONUSCO, it has knowingly or through inexcusable negligence allowed the genocidal Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) to fight in the Congolese army’s ranks which it backs or as part of its own Intervention Brigade. This is bound to destabilise not only DRC but the whole region, and for this reason, peace remains distant.

That is not true and is an idiotic allegation. FARDC has supported FDLR which is madness but Rwanda has done far worse in its support of M23.

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