Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DR Congo: Rwanda and the credibility gap.

The Rwandan Ministry of Defence reports.

FARDC Officer arrested on Rwanda Territory

Kigali, 15 September 2013

A FARDC (Congolese Army) Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, Sergeant Major Kusakana Munanga Andre, service number (matricule): 1-72-88-93460-89 was today arrested by Security Organs in Rubavu Town, Western Rwanda in very suspicious activities. He was heavily armed, dressed in full battle dress, carrying all sorts of military gear.

Just remember those details particularly the gear he was wearing and the location of his arrest.

“Sgt Major Kusakana Munanga Andre was arrested at around 1320hrs at Mbuga Ngali village, Rubavu Town, where FARDC deliberately fired a rocket that killed Mukagasana Vestine injuring her two months old baby on 29 August 2013. A total of 38 rockets and bombs were fired in Rubavu District, by FARDC from 15 July to 29 August 2013”, said Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita, Defence and Military Spokesman.

That is consistent if nothing else. Unfortunately for Rwanda it is not what actually happened. 

Since August 22, a series of artillery shells have fallen in Goma and Rwanda, killing civilians on either side of the border.  The UN has now told the press that at least some of the mortars that fell in Rwanda came from M23 positions. According to one UN official in Goma I spoke to, their troops could observe the trajectory of the mortars.

The Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) has been asked to carry out verification of this latest violation.

Remember that.

On 3 November 2012 two FARDC and FDLR fighters conducted combined armed reconnaissance at Busasamana, Rubavu District in Rwanda. Cpl Nzaza Nyabigoro, a suspected FDLR fighter embedded in 391 Reconnaissance Battalion of FARDC was killed. His remains were handed over to the FARDC 8 Military Region Commander, Col Evariste Somo Kakule.

EJVM investigated this incident of 3 November 2012 which was a reconnaissance for FDLR attack on Rwanda territory on 27 November 2012.

OK so we have an allegation of a FARDC soldier swanning around in full battle gear on Rwandan territory. It actually strikes me as a bloody stupid thing to do, we also have the usual collection of lies about the bombs and their origins that actually seem to have nothing whatsoever to do with the arrested soldier, except that they do share one thing in common, both are lies. 

New Vision ( Uganda ) reports.

Congo soldier freed after Rwanda 'kidnapping'
Publish Date: Sep 18, 2013

KINSHASA - A Congolese soldier who was captured by Rwandan forces at the weekend was set free on Tuesday, both countries said, ending a row that risked heightening tensions between the neighbours.

It is interesting that New Vision has chosen to report the story this way. Uganda and Rwanda are close allies and New Vision is a majority government owned paper. 

Sergeant-Major Andre Munanga Kusakana "has been returned to us," said Olivier Hamuli, spokesman for the Congolese army in the country's troubled North-Kivu province, on the border with Rwanda.

Hamuli had on Sunday said that the soldier was pounced on by three Rwandan police officers as he was walking in a neutral border zone, an act he said amounted to "a kidnapping".

It would seem that yet again Rwanda is lying. It would seem Uganda have decided that the Rwandan line is sheer bullshit.

The Rwandan army for its part said they had arrested the "heavily armed" soldier inside their territory for carrying out "suspect activities".

The incident came amid continuing tension between Kigali and Kinshasa over a rebellion in and around the eastern city of Goma, the capital of North-Kivu province.

"...a neutral border zone. "  is not Rwandan territory. 

The Democratic Republic of Congo and the United Nations accuse Rwanda of being actively involved in the rebellion by the M23, a group of former rebels who were integrated in the army in 2009 but mutinied again last year.

Which is demonstrably accurate.

Rwanda in turn has accused the Congolese army of firing rockets and mortar shells on its territory and has massed troops at the border, sparking fears of a further regionalisation of the conflict.

Which it would seem is yet another lie according to observers from the UN on the ground as well as having being confirmed by other eyewitnesses.

Hamuli said the Joint Verification Mechanism, a multinational team of military officers set up by the Great Lakes regional body last year in a bid to defuse the M23 crisis, had helped facilitate the soldier's return.

Now remember above the Rwandan promise that they would have the Joint Verification Mechanism investigate, well it would seem that they have and found that yet again Rwanda is lying.

The Rwandan defence ministry confirmed the officer's release on its Twitter feed.

"#FARDC Sergeant Major Kusakana Munanga Andre, arrested on #Rwanda territory was handed over to EJVM today as gesture of good will and peace," it said.

I think we can interpret that statement as a whoops we screwed up but we sure as hell are not going to admit it. Why on earth would a soldier a senior NCO no less from the DR Congo be dressed as described if he was on a covert mission in Rwanda. Sometimes the truth just stares you in the face. 


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