Congo’s army and rebels clash near border despite calls for peace
Congolese soldiers rest while being deployed against the M23 rebels near Bunagana, north of Goma. A rapid army advance in recent weeks has driven rebels from towns and cornered them in the hills along the Ugandan border. Photograph: Kenny Katombe/Reuters
Congolese troops and M23 rebels bombarded each other near the Ugandan border yesterday and international envoys called on both sides to cease fire and allow a peace deal to take hold.
I think it might be time for the International Envoys to shut the fuck up, in this situation I would have though that the envoys might have had some idea about the feelings of the Congolese people, but just in case they don't let me correct that for them.
Radio Okapi did a survey and the results although not scientific are fairly conclusive, 83% voted for FARDC ( The Congolese Army ) to keep on killing the M23 thugs until they surrender, there is bloody huge difference between a ceasefire and an unconditional surrender This blog has argued for some time that M23 have two options, surrender or death and quite frankly I think death might well be the better option going forward, however M23 has a tendency to hide behind and kill civilians so I hope an unconditional surrender will be agreed to soon.
Congolese authorities accused the rebels of shelling the frontier town of Bunagana and said it showed M23’s weekend ceasefire declaration was worthless. The rebels said they were ready to sign a peace deal but that they had been attacked. Thousands have fled into Uganda to escape the fighting but some have been wounded by a shell fired across the border.
Killing non combatants a standard M23 tactic. They are ready to sign a peace deal having murdered, raped and robbed their way through the Kivus and now the Congolese government should sign a peace deal with them after they have been defeated in the field. What planet do these fucking clowns think they are on.
A rapid army advance in recent weeks has driven rebels from towns and cornered them in the hills along the Ugandan border, raising the prospect of an end to a 20-month rebellion.
M23 has been defeated. There, despite the stupidity of envoys demanding a resumption of peace negotiations, is no nation on earth that should be subject to that demand, the world is clear on not negotiating with terrorists and yet here we have a demand that the DR Congo go into negotiations with these criminal terrorists. This is of course hypocrisy but even worse it is racism.
South Africa is hosting leaders from the Great Lakes region and southern Africa to back Ugandan-sponsored peace efforts, but the latest violence shows the two sides remain far apart.
“This is not fighting, it is bombs launched by M23 targeting the population of Bunagana,” said Congo army spokesman Col Olivier Hamuli. Bunagana was the last rebel-controlled town to be recaptured last week and rebels are still in the hills nearby. A Reuters reporter said government troops had seized Mbuzi, a strategic hilltop above Bunagana, yesterday after hitting it with tank and rocket fire.
This as I have said seem's to be a standard M23 tactic, as soon as things start going against them they resort to terrorising the civilian population. In the early days of this conflict M23 resorted to shelling Rwanda in an attempt to widen the conflict, Jason Stearns blogs
" Since August 22, a series of artillery shells have fallen in Goma and Rwanda, killing civilians on either side of the border. (The Rwandan government chronology of events is here.) 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."
At the time I suspected this was done on Rwandan orders and my position has not altered but... also from Jason Stearns at Congo Siasa we have this,
" But it may be the third factor that was the determining one––the absence of support from Rwanda. According to several reports from the frontlines, despite indications of some cross-border support in the Kibumba area, the M23 was largely left to its own devices. "The Rwandans just wouldn't pick up their phone calls," one source close to the M23 leadership told me. This is a drastic change from August, when many sources––the UN, Human Rights Watch, and foreign diplomats––all reported hefty support coming across the border. "
If as Stearns suggests Rwanda have abandoned M23 to their inevitable fate it makes sense that they will try and cause as much mayhem as possible to escape the consequences of a direct firefight with FARDC.
On Sunday M23 announced a ceasefire – a declaration Hamuli described as a lie, saying the army would pursue the rebels. Congo government spokesman Lambert Mende said four civilians were killed when a shell landed in Bunagana’s market.
M23 political leader Bertrand Bisimwa complained that the army had attacked its positions with heavy weapons.
" 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."
Time to die " Your Excellency "
“We’re only fighting to defend our position. That’s the logic of war,” he said.
" Logic is like the sword - those who appeal to it, shall perish by it."Samuel Butler
Bisimwa might want to think about that if he is still among the living.
Bisimwa said the group was ready to sign the peace deal: “All the items [in the talks] were finished and there’s no problem anymore, why is the government refusing to sign?”
The Government obviously has a different view on the logical outcome of this war and it is not a defensive one.
Envoys monitoring the conflict for the United Nations, European Union, African Union and United States jointly urged both sides not to undo progress made in the talks in Uganda, saying M23 should renounce its rebellion as agreed and the army should hold off from further military action for now.
Oh fuck off.
However, Mr Mende said the army would continue its advance to “wipe out” rebel positions and Congo’s government would assess progress at the talks in South Africa before taking any steps at the Ugandan-hosted peace talks.
Exactly and then there will be no need for peace talks. M23 have chosen the diplomacy of the gun, they have committed both War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, if they are to stupid to realise it is over and take the only option available to them so be it, but we the world owe the people of the Eastern DR Congo our support, not their tormentors in M23.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring