Wednesday, October 30, 2013

DR Congo: M23, Evidence of Crimes Against Humanity amongst the lies.

Congo DRC News reports, ( this is a M23 website and as such a work of fiction particularly following M23's defeat at the hands of the Congolese army FARDC ) It is translated from French by an unknown translation service and I have attempted to clean it up, all translation mistakes are mine.


                                                                                                  M23 Rebels

Sunday, October 2013 27, the rebels of the "M23" took the decision to abandon some of their positions. These are Kiwanja, Rutshuru, Rubare Rumangabo, etc.. A courageous act that was interpreted by the government, not only as a sign of weakness, but as a victory for the government forces of rebellion. And yet, it was far from this: it is in no way a sign of weakness and even less a victory for government forces. It is a withdrawal after a long period of internal consultations. We had to avoid a bloodbath in cities where the population would be the victims of violence that could be avoided. That's what M23 wanted to avoid. But what has happened ?

Whilst I have come to expect lies from M23, they have a major problem running this line. 

We had to avoid a bloodbath in cities where the population would be the victims of violence that could be avoided."

The New Zealand Herald reports.

GOMA, Congo (AP) The Congolese army took three towns in eastern Congo Sunday in fresh fighting against the M23 rebels, said the army spokesman.

The army says it has found two mass graves in Kibumba, a town it took on Saturday, according to the provincial governor.

The army on Sunday gained control of Rutshuru, Kiwanja and Buhumba towns in the Rutshuru area of North Kivu province, near Congo's border with Rwanda, army spokesman Lt. Col. Olivier Hamuli told The Associated Press.

There will be more discovered as the Congolese Army reasserts Congolese control over the rebel held territory.  M23 presents as a domestic Congolese organisation, they are actually Rwandan terrorists and we can be sure that more evidence of their crimes against humanity will come to light. The DR Congo doesn't often make the mainstream news in New Zealand and as a New Zealander I am saddened that it should do so for this.
CTV News ( Canada ) reports
" In Kibumba, the army discovered two mass graves, North Kivu Governor Julien Paluku told AP. The army has been ordered not to touch the graves so that they can be investigated by the government and the United Nations peacekeeping mission to Congo."

I can only hope that those responsible are identified and brought to justice.
Deployment Brigade MONUSCO Kiwanja
On 16 October 2013, the special services of M23 based Kiwanja report ten "Puma" helicopters of MONUSCO at Kiwanja Airfield.  Service agents manage to infiltrate the MONUSCO operation and see things up close. Their report is explicit: it was a contingent of about 300 Tanzania, South African and Congolese FARDC soldiers.

The most daring members of the contingent sought to establish military positions in the area known as the Kamulima (near the residence of a chieftain of the PPRD, former RCD and native Nyanzale). They were challenged by the M23 forces and returned to the MONUSCO base at Kiwanja.

This account is of course contradicted by the media reporting on the defeat of M23 and whilst one can choose who to believe it is clear to me where credibility lies and it isn't with M23. More from CTV News. 

" United Nations forces are not participating in the fighting, but are in armoured personnel carriers and jeeps with mounted machine-guns several kilometres behind the army forces."

The day began with clashes at Kibumba followed by those Mabenga Ngwenda and then the joint forces looked for M23 on the battlefield, the operations of the joint quota (undercover MONUSCO) began at night as they infiltrated Kiwanja and armed civilians. On the third day of the general government attack (the fronts of Kinyandonyi of Kahunga and Kibumba), the coalition forces were retreating everywhere. Civilians armed by the joint quota forces began to push throughout Kiwanja. Fortunately, in less than an hour, police intervention dissuaded them  from continuing.

Again this isn't backed up any way by accounts from reporters on the ground.

" The population of Kiwanja indicates that in the last hours of fighting, the M23 rebels fought in civilian clothes before retiring to 9 pm local time to Bunagana, a border post with Uganda." 

I have no doubt the " armed civilians " were M23 rebels who fearing death had removed their uniforms. Had they been armed civilians then I doubt very much there would be an M23 member alive today to make up this crap.

The following day  about ten o'clock in the morning, the defensive line of M23 at Kahunga had reached the Mabenga bridge the uniformed FARDC brigade arrived at Kiwanja with the UN Intervention Brigade, as well as hundreds of civilians armed with Kalashnikovs, who appeared in almost all the streets and avenues of Kiwanja.

Again we can discount this version of events, it however strikes me that if you are going to lie it would be wise to try and disguise the lie in a way that is at least credible to the gullible, this is something that M23's sponsor Rwanda also struggles with.   

The police could not contain the horde, however, they held them in waiting until the arrival of a group of M23 rebels came to Rutshuru to cover the retreating M23 forces, back from the Kahunga Mabenga front. They  carried out an orderly withdrawal through Kiwanja and Rutshuru, firstly, to avoid the trap of FARDC-FDLR-BRIGADE/UN coalition had set for M23 of shooting the armed civilians and being accused of massacring civilians, and, on the other hand, to retreat to the Bunagana base.

Bunagana is a border post between the DR Congo and Uganda, you can draw your own conclusions.

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