Saturday, September 14, 2013

DR Congo: M23 waiting for some Museveni magic in Kampala.

New Vision ( Uganda ) reports

No direct talks yet in Congo peace bid
(Left-right) M23 delegates Rogers Lumbala, Rene Abandi and Kambasu Ngeve clearing the credentials before the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region at Speke resort Munyonyo, Kampala. PHOTO/Tony Rujuta

KAMPALA - Mediators in peace talks between Democratic Republic of Congo's government and M23 rebels admitted Friday the sides were yet to negotiate face-to-face, but insisted that progress was still being made.

"Since Tuesday the mediator has been holding separate consultations with the respective delegations," Uganda's defence spokesman Paddy Ankunda told AFP.

Uganda's defence minister, Crispus Kiyonga, is chairing the talks at a lakeside resort near the capital Kampala.

It sounds to me like Kinshasa is doing exactly what I expected them to do which is paying lip service to the negotiations. I hope that they preparing a fatal punch for delivery to M23 over the border in the Congo. These negotiations are a pointless waste of time.

Talks restarted Tuesday after they stalled in May, following an ultimatum that regional leaders issued after a recent upsurge in fighting in the resource-rich east of DR Congo.

Congolese troops backed by a special United Nations force launched a fresh assault against the M23 army mutineers late last month.

"The two sides don't talk to each other directly, they communicate through the mediator," M23 delegation leader Rene Abandi said.

Hilarious. Crispus Kiyonga must be bored out of his mind.

Ugandan defence spokesman Ankunda added that the mediator "prefers to hold separate consultations with each group because that way consensus is built".

"Progress has been made and we hope next week they (parties and the mediator) will issue a joint communique on what they have so far achieved," he said.

I think he would probably do better if just told the truth. There is absolutely no dividend for the DR Congo for these negotiations to conclude with anything less than an unconditional M23 surrender and that is not going to happen in Kampala.

The M23 was founded by former Tutsi rebels who were incorporated into the Congolese army under a 2009 peace deal.

Complaining the deal was never fully implemented, they mutinied in April 2012, turning their guns on their former comrades and launching the latest rebellion to ravage DR Congo's mineral-rich and conflict-prone east.

The UN and various rights groups have accused the M23 of atrocities including rape and murder in a conflict that has caused tens of thousands of refugees to flee.

Hundreds of thousands. The devastation M23 has inflicted on the Eastern DR Congo is massive. Alex Engwete blogs. 

And  M23 claim they only got left three small demands to the DRC government: 1) Disarm the FDLR; 2) Allow thousands of people claiming to be Congolese refugees in Rwanda to return en masse to the Congo (with thousands of their cows); and, last and not least, 3) Set up a buffer zone between the FARDC and the territory occupied by M23!

No sovereign government could entertain the last demand. It amounts to a demand for secession but there is no justification for it. A few hundred rebels want bring a the  population of Eastern DR  Congo under their control, the agenda obviously being the balkanisation of the region and the installation of either a new state under Rwandan hegemony or alternatively a merger into the current state of Rwanda.

The UN also accuses Rwanda of backing the M23, a charge the country has adamantly denied.

The rebels for their part have accused the Congolese army of joining forces against them with the Hutu FDLR, or Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, which is also active in eastern DR Congo where its members fled in the wake of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Let the Congolese army ( FARDC ) and the MONUSCO Intervention Brigade ( African Brigade ) deal with M23 and then the FDLR clowns. The people of the Eastern DR Congo want neither of them.


  1. Those demands are hilarious.

    1) Disarm the FDLR.

    How come M23 is hellbent on killing and raping innocent Congolese if their main goal is to disarm the FDLR? How is occupying Goma going to disarm the FDLR?

    2) Allow thousands of people claiming to be Congolese refugees in Rwanda to "return" en masse to the Congo.

    This is precisely Kagame's objective: to disperse densely populated Rwanda into his neighboring countries. No self-respecting country in the world will let rebels dictate who is a citizen and who is not. There's a government and laws for that sort of things.

    3) Set up a buffer zone between the FARDC and the territory occupied by M23.

    Aah... Kagame wants to take a piece of Congo for himself. Won't happen. And what about disarming the FDLR? Not interested anymore?

  2. The world will be a better place without both M23 and the FDLR. M23 don't give a toss about the FDLR. I have seen some reports that they co-opperated with one faction of M23 earlier this year. I want them both gone from the Congo.

    The issue of refugees is more complex. I will not here detail my thoughts other than to say I despise any judgement on ethnic grounds. Racism is racism it can never be justified.

    The third demand is well insane. M23 is going to be history soon. That the fools think they can set up an alternate state makes me wonder what drugs they are on.