Thursday, October 17, 2013

DR Congo: M23 The comedians of the Congo ?

Chimp Reports ( Uganda ) reports

M23 Warn DRC Army

In what appears as the latest escalation of tensions in Eastern Congo, the rebel M23 Movement has given the DRC government an ultimatum of 48 hours to vacate their strategic stronghold Southern town of Kanyamahoro, Chimp Corps reports.

                                                                   Abandi addressing in Kampala on Tuesday

By Giles Muhame & Badru Afunadula 15/10/2013 18:01:00

Located about 30 kilometers from the Provincial town of Goma, the area was seized at around 2am Tuesday in a surprise DRC army (FARDC) offensive.

I am astonished that M23 were surprised by this attack. The only surprise has been the amount of time it has taken FARDC ( The DR Congo Army ) to go back on the offensive.

In a press conference held at Silver Springs Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday evening, the leader of M23 peace delegation to Kampala, Rene Abandi, said the attack was “totally unacceptable” and a “crime against peace.”

You have to hand it to M23, when it comes to batshit crazy there are not many who do it quite as well. M23 have rebelled against a legitimate internationally recognised government, they have committed acts of war against that government and seem to think that despite all this they are some how immune to retaliation. I would have thought it might have dawned on even the dimmest of them that there is no way out for them now other than unconditional surrender.  

He added: “We have stopped direct contact with the government of DRC on this issue. We shall from now onwards be passing our messages through the facilitator of the peace talks (Uganda Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga).”

I must say I am starting to feel a bit sorry for Minister Kiyonga. He seems to be a reasonably competent sensible man, he must know that the peace talks are a farce and I am sure that there are many other issues he would rather focus on other than this circus in Kampala.

The eyebrow-raising statement is likely to raises fears of a possible military confrontation between the rebels and the DRC army with its allied forces..

What ? I think that we might be looking at the aftermath of the latest confrontation between M23 and FARDC. This conflict will not stop until M23 have been destroyed. That should be very clear to all the actors involved. If M23 wish to play the ostrich so be it.


Abandi said Kamahoro, which is not very far from the frontline, was the last M23 stronghold in the Southern region.

Asked whether the rebel Movement responded to the attack, Abandi observed: “The military wing of M23 received orders not to retaliate to the ground attack.

That is actually a bit of a surprise I would have thought M23 would have been in a position to have a fight over this. There have been rumours of reinforcement from Rwanda for some time now. It may be that M23 are in worse shape than was thought. One lives in hope.

“We still believe in the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Eastern Congo.”

This situation is beyond a peaceful resolution that involves anything other than surrender with the M23 leadership joining Bosco Nataganda at the ICC.

Abandi further said the attack underscored DRC’s “barbaric attitude” at a time when “we had started building trust” in the peace process.

That has to be one of the most unintentionally funny as well as stupid statements that M23 has made in some time.

He further blasted the string of NGOs in Goma and other parts of DRC for “peddling falsehoods to tarnish the image of the M23,” adding the organizations serve the interests of their sponsors.

That is actually true. It is in everyone's interests ( other than Rwanda and M23's obviously ) that M23 is neutralised and that the people of the eastern DR Congo can get back to living normal lives without the threat of murder, rape and the other myriad of crimes against humanity that M23 and Rwanda have perpetuated on the population of the region.

Pressed to explain how the rebel Movement would deal with future attacks by DRC, Abandi answered: “We shall defend ourselves. We cannot allow them to continue attacking us and putting the safety of civilians at risk. We shall be obliged to respond.”

In which case they will die and while that will be no great loss it would be better for all if M23 found some small tenuous grip on reality, the risk to the civilian population is real. 

Responding to a question from a journalist on why M23 shot at the UN chopper on October 12, Abandi apologized for the incident but quickly attributed the blame to the international body which “continuously allows FARDC to use their planes for espionage activities and dropping DRC soldiers near M23 territory.”

What a load of shit. Abandi seems to have forgotten the expanded mandate of the MONUSCO Intervention ( Africa ) Brigade.

He said one of the planes that recently violated the M23 territory’s airspace was carrying President Joseph Kabila’s spy chiefs.

Abandi also revealed that FARDC and UN were mixing their emblems on planes, giving the rebel group difficulty in distinguishing the DRC forces from humanitarian elements.

M23 have never allowed humanitarian concerns to affect their activities to date so this is ringing a little hollow.


Democratic Republic of Congo rebel group M23 has announced suspension of talks with the Congolese government over the next 48 hours following an attack on its positions in the east of the country.
Rene Abandi, head of the M23 delegation at the Ugandan mediated talks in Kampala, told reporters on Tuesday that Congolese government forces and a Rwandan rebel group attacked M23 positions at Kamahoro, about 20 km from the North Kivu provincial capital Goma, killing one combatant and injuring two others.
"From this [moment], we have stopped direct contact [with the government side]. We shall not talk through the mediation until they withdraw from that position. We shall not continue to talk and fight at the same time," Mr Abandi said.
"We require the government to withdraw from that position (Kamahoro) within 48 hours. We think it's our right to have clarification whether the government wants dialogue or war."
Mr Abandi warned that the M23 would respond accordingly should the Congolese troops fail to withdraw from Kamahoro within the given deadline.
"If they continue to attack us, we don't have any other choice but to defend our position. For sure we shall act, we shall be obliged to respond to protect ourselves and the population. We can't just leave our people to be killed," he said.
Mr Abandi repeated his group's earlier calls for North Kivu province to be declared a disaster zone in order to attract international assistance. (Xinhua)

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