Saturday, October 19, 2013

DR Congo: M23, " His Excellency " Ali Musagara returns to the asylum.

Congo DRC News interviews Ali Musagara,  Head of Department of Youth, Culture and Recreation M23 ( Usual warnings apply, this is an M23 site and about as full of shit as it is possible to be ). It is Translated from French and I have tried to clean it up those mistake that remain are mine.

INTERVIEW WITH MR ALI MUSAGARA, HEAD OF DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH, CULTURE, SPORTS AND RECREATION M23:

                                                                                                Ali Musagara

CDN. Excellency Ali Musagara hello!
OK lets start with a dose of reality.
" Excellency is an honorific style given to certain members of an organisation or state. Once entitled to the title "Excellency", its holder may retain the right to that courtesy throughout his or her lifetime, in accordance with widespread international custom and diplomatic norms.
Generally people addressed as Excellency are heads of state, heads of government, governors, ambassadors, certain ecclesiastics, royalty, aristocracy, and military, and others holding equivalent rank (e.g., heads of international organizations, high commissioners in the Commonwealth of Nations)."
Musagara is none of the above.
AM. Hello Mr. journalist but you would like to call me comrade instead of excellence please!
Maybe he even realises that.
CDN. It's good friend ALI. For a long time you have hardly appeared in the media, let alone in the field and people do not know how to explain it?
AM. It is true Mr. journalist for two months  I was absent from the territory under control of our beloved movement because I was doing the hard yards beyond our borders to try to sell the image of the movement outside and explaining to the youth of the Congolese diaspora why we are rebelling.
I am not denying the possibility that Musagara has been travelling but I can't find any evidence of it. A trip for rest and relaxation in Rwanda doesn't actually count and one has to wonder just how many other doors would be open to him as a senior member of M23  
CDN. But apparently a lot of people even said that you left the movement, your response?
AM. It really makes me laugh. I cherished the M23 movement to the point that I would only leave if I see the precarious situation the DRC is currently in getting better, or unless I'm dying on the battlefields.
I suspect many members of M23 will leave the movement through the latter mechanism. M23 do not seem to have realised just how much effort and prestige has been invested in their elimination. If MONUSCO fail to eliminate them they may as well leave the eastern DR Congo because the support of the civilian population is very much on the line, they must win back the confidence of those they are meant to defend from armed thugs such as M23 if they are to achieve anything like the stabalisation that is expected of them. As for FARDC  ( The DR Congo armed forces ) they to have to prove that they are a functioning professional armed force or they to face humiliation and a far more comprehensive shake down I suspect than the one they have just undergone. 
CDN. What is your reaction to the recent publication of Mr. Ruben KONING that your movement by the military leader in the person of Brigadier General Sultani MAKENGA be involved in the trafficking and sale of gold?
AM. You know Mr. journalist that is what always happens when a government and corrupt NGOs attempt tarnish the image of our movement through publications that have no relation to the reality on the ground. But damn! I'm not still there to remind you that the geological map of the Democratic Republic of Congo shows no presence of gold in the territory controlled by the M23. 
That is just bullshit, I posted on the gold issue a few days back, the report is from Enough Project and it is a well researched report.  As to the geological argument it just doesn't hold any water at all. Rwanda was for many years a major player in the export of Cobalt despite having none, it achieved this through the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) the predecessor organisation to M23. What is being referred to is the criminal network stealing Congolese gold and M23 are in it up to their eyeballs. It was set up by Bosco Ntaganda a former M23 leader now in the custody of the ICC, with very few reasons to have any residual loyalty to M23 or Rwanda. Draw your own conclusions. 
CDN. What is the current health status of your movement?
AM. It is doing great as always, we are well positioned at the front, our troops, military and executives moral is good and our diplomacy works.
They are up shit creek without a paddle. I blogged on the news of their latest defeat a few days ago.
" 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 "
It has been defeat after defeat for M23 and I assume they are referring to the diplomatic peace talks in Kampala which are currently yet again stalled although that is neither here nor there as they were a farce at best.
CDN: M23 is described as a negative force, the Kinshasa government accuses you of recruiting child soldiers in your army. What do you say?
AM. I know very well that you use the term negative force by referring only to sterile discourse of the Kinshasa government, but one thing I must say is that you should be careful to, you as a journalist, especially to qualify. And indeed that's what I always have said to others, that we, M23 are sitting at the negotiating table in Kampala in talks with the government in Kinshasa and if their level they call us a negative force is legitimate for us to describe them as a negative government.
I guess it is hard to deny the overwhelming evidence of the recruitment kidnapping of child soldiers so I am not surprised that he bailed out on that issue preferring to discuss the labelling of M23 as a negative force. That however is another misrepresentation. The use of the term       "negative forces " is not exclusive to M23, it includes all the various militia outfits killing, raping and robbing in the eastern DR Congo be they M23's hated opposition and official raison d'etra, the equally if not even more evil  FDLR who perpetuated the Rwandan genocide, or the Ugandan ADF and not forgetting the numerous Mai Mai groups causing their own special blend of misery and chaos. These are all opponents that the Intervention ( Africa ) Brigade are tasked with neutralising. M23 simply has the honour of being the first as they are the best resourced being a proxy military organisation of a nation state namely Rwanda. 
CDN. What then of the talks in Kampala?
AM. You understand that we have always said that we do not advocate violence to resolve this conflict between us with the Kinshasa government, it is also the reason why we have had a delegation in Kampala and, as you also learned that the we sent a delegation to Kinshasa. We believe that this time we will find a comprehensive solution within a short time unless it is not the position of the DR Congo government.
The talks in Kampala are a failure, they were always destined to be so. Jason Stearns at Congo Siasa opines.
" The closer one looks at the problem, the more one wonders why so much emphasis is being put on negotiations with the M23, who are unlikely to hand over their top commanders. More and more, it appears that the solution for the problems of the M23 has to be sought between Kigali and Kinshasa, not between Kinshasa and the M23."
I think Stearns is correct long term but I don't think there is any mood in the the DR Congo be it the government or the citizenship for that to happen at the moment. Revenge may be a dish best served cold but there will be no dispassionate negotiated outcome for M23.their options are now surrender or death. 
CDN. According to the Kinshasa government, there will be no integration or amnesty for most of the rebel military and political leadership of your movement. How do you digest this?
AM. You know, many times people quickly forget that our soldiers were part of FARDC and they deserted freely. This is to say that there is not a credible army that they can be incorporated into in the DRC  and even less a credible political organisation for the managers. There is nothing they want in the system even if Kabila is not be there. Many of them have held positions in the government but they have abandoned them.
This of course is the real issue. M23 is not a Congolese movement it is a Rwandan movement with colonial ambitions for the eastern DR Congo.
CDN: Oh, that's why Kinshasa continues to insist that you want to balkanize the DRC?
AM: on the contrary it is seemingly contradictory to the fact that it seems that it is rather the Kinshasa government is disappointed that we do not have in our mind will respond positively to their diabolical plan. You also understand why Raymond TSHIBANDA also gave the agreement saying that the DRC is a perfect balkanization-secession takes to resolve conflicts in Morocco. I take this opportunity to remind the Congolese people that if this is his war-horse, if he would present this as a proposal for negotiations, the battle is already lost, ever since the DRC is divided rather it will remain one and indivisible. And besides that supports Katanga and Bakata BUNDU DIAKONGO if not members of the presidential majority! At our level we limit ourselves to asking talks in Kampala that the East be declared a disaster area which is quite different from the balkanization.

I can't make any sense of this answer. I mean how do you figure out this.

"...ever since the DRC is divided rather it will remain one and indivisible."

Feel free to speculate.
CDN. It is reorted there has been an influx of Rwandan refugees from Tanzania into M23 territory according to Mr. Julien PALUKU, is this true?
AM. First of all it is wrong because they are not refugees but IDPs from Masisi, fleeing the FDLR and Mai-Mai. And besides, I personally do not understand why Kinshasa refuse people who fled and now want to return home to do so. Most shocking is that Mr. Julien PALUKU relies solely on language to determine the origin of these innocent refugees because they supposedly speak Swahili in Tanzania while forgetting that it is the same language used by the president of the DRC Mr. Kabila does this mean that he is also a Tanzanian or this rule may only be applied to Rwandans. 

I was unaware that the FLDR was operating in Tanzania but having been expelled from Tanzania the refugees  IDP's ( Internally Displaced Persons ) then had the misfortune to encounter in their brief stay in Rwanda another group of FDLR rebels before fleeing to the DR Congo and their place of origin Masisi in North Kivu where bugger my days they are met by none other than M23. This just doesn't add up. There is strong evidence that the expelled Tanzanian  / Rwandan  refugees have ended up in the Congo as a civilian shield between M23 and MONUSCO and FARDC how in hells name they were escaping away from the FDLR by heading to the Congo where the FDLR operate is beyond me. As for Swahili it is spoken throughout the region. Julien Paluku is the governor of the North Kivu region and I am guessing he would have a fair idea what is going on. It is interesting to note that His Excellency Ali Musagara is claiming for M23 Paluku's constituency and has never faced an election in his life.

CDN. Specifically speaking of Mr. Kabila, soon he reaches his 13th year at the helm of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Would you give a brief assessment on the balance of his management ?

AM. This is a very easy exercise  even for beginners:  13 years without an army, without police, without security service, without roads, water, electricity, health care, without free and fair elections at all levels, without concrete sovereignty and the opposition muzzled. Malnutrition, corruption, injustice, bad governance in general are very typical elements and that is also why the DRC is the penultimate country in terms of good governance, just before the Somalia according to the latest publication of the Mont Ibrahim Foundation. The management is out of balance.

Actually it is only 12 years but whatever. It is hard to specifically disagree with the charges against Kabila's administration except to say that it is not quite as bad as the picture Masagara painted. The situation in the eastern DR Congo is a mess but much of that mess can be laid at the doors of Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania  and the current mess is very much a Rwandan creation organised by the Rwandan proxy M23. It is a bit like your neighbour installing foxes in your chicken run and then the foxes blaming you for the lack of eggs.
CDN: Should you become a political party will you participate in elections scheduled for 2016?
AM: If at least these elections will take place and, anyway, at the head of the CENI Mr. Abbé Apollinaire Malu-Malu, a true filmmaker Kabila continues unceasingly to promote all possible nonsense to perpetuate its dicta in power and without even worrying about the interests of the Congolese people.Moreover, we were with him in Kampala as chief deputy delegation, and I think the Congolese people have already forgotten the kinds of shenanigans committed by the fanatic in 2006. Ultimately no one can contradict me when I say aloud that there is not an independent electoral commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I really don't get this at all. Malu-Malu is a Catholic priest, he has been part of the Kinshasa team at the peace talks, the question is not answered in any real way but the chances of M23 becoming a political party are probably about nil. Alex Engwete might be of some help.
CDN: Why is it then you have been pushed back and the front line is now in Kanyaruchinya, especially as the government continues to brandish this as a loss that you have suffered and which has weakened you ? 

AM: (smiling) That is populist and misleading rhetoric from the government in Kinshasa to quote national spokesman Lambert Mende and his "vuvuzela" we should rather ask the military returning from the front how they can evaluate the firepower they found. Besides if this is the case, why did they fail to pursue us to where we are positioned now. It is rather more evidence to show the whole world that we have the desire to put an end to these conflicts in a peaceful manner.

M23 has reportedly suffered hundreds of casualties and by his own admission is in retreat "... why did they fail to pursue us to where we are positioned now." I suspect that the reason is simple, FARDC have learnt some valuable lessons and are not out running their supply lines, I would hazard a guess that the Intervention ( Africa ) Brigade is also determining the pace of advance. M23 Rwanda has no desire to end this peacefully and from M23's perspective that means death. It might dawn on them that it is their deaths we are talking about. 
CDN: This means you will face MONUSCO and the Special Brigade that currently consists of Tanzanian and South African forces?
AM: You will understand with me that the said brigade is from another mission to track down and neutralize the negative forces that are active in the east of the country and so we are not concerned because we are partners for peace and that is also the reason for our presence in Kampala at the moment. Even so, the brigade could even partner with us if it wants to fulfil its mission. Oddly, what stands out in the field is apparently brigade came only for the M23 even though there are a lot of negative forces that destabilize the population in eastern DRC and are subject to the attention of the Brigade I mean the FDLR and the Mai-Mai, etc..

I suspect I have a major translation issue here because this is just to batshit crazy even for M23 but.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot.. . The International Brigade in conjunction with FARDC have already decimated M23 yet the fool seems to think they are actually on another mission. Why would the Brigade partner with M23 ? Is he trying to recruit them into the M23 camp ? You are the first target of the Intervention Brigade " Your Excellency " but they did not come exclusively for you. 
CDN: your word limit fellow department head?
AM: I ultimately address in general all the Congolese people to say that Kabila wants to confiscate our country, he wants to make a kingdom, we must unite to deal with it and forgetting what  divides us and in particular the Congolese diaspora, let us be alert and wary of all the manipulations emanating from political leaders who swarm about divisive to tarnish the image of our beloved movement;

"... fellow department head " ? Not sure what to make of that other than this is a M23 site. I doubt that Kabila is that stupid that he thinks he could pull off a Monarchy in the DR Congo.


CDN. Comrade Ali Musagara thank you!
AM: It is I who thank you Mr. journalist.

" In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule."
Friedrich Nietzsche 

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