Sunday, March 16, 2014

DR Congo: " Meaningless words, yellowed by time, faded photos exposing pain "

New Times Rwanda reports

Remarks by Rwanda Permanent Representative to the UN

                                                          Rwandan UN Ambassador Eugène-Richard Gasana.

Remarks by Permanent Representative to the UN, Eugène-Richard Gasana, at the UN Security Council briefing on Monusco/PSC Framework.
14 March 2014
Thank you Madame President. I thank SRSG Kobler and SESG Robinson for taking the time to brief us today on the reports of the Secretary-General and ahead of Monusco’s mandate renewal.
As the Secretary General report highlights, despite the positive developments of late last year, it is clear that the momentum has slowed, with limited progress on both the political and the military fronts. We are looking at a volatile security situation in not only the East but throughout the country.
I have no idea what report Ambassador Gasana is referring to. It would be logical to assume it is the most recent report, you can find it here. Go read it and then you can determine if " the momentum has slowed,.. ". I suspect you will reach the same conclusion that I have, that being, Gasana is talking shit. Something that is not uncommon with Rwandan officials.

“Negative forces” are still at rampage; killing and maiming, raping young girls and women, recruiting children and causing thousands of displacements of civilians. The seriousness and scale of killings and violations that continue in Katanga and in areas formerly occupied by M23 in North Kivu are deeply troubling.
Actually the report says nothing of the sort. I would suggest that it realistically details the situation in the East and points to some substantial progress. I can only assume Gasana is making this shit up for domestic consumption by the supporters of the Kagame regime. From the Secretary General's report:

" The situation in North Kivu remains volatile. Following the defeat of the M23, MONUSCO issued a warning to other armed groups, urging them to surrender or face military operations. Through sustained pressure and a proactive communication campaign by the Congolese armed forces and MONUSCO, armed groups, including Mayi-Mayi Lafontaine, Forces populaires congolaises (FPC), Mayi Mayi Simba, Mayi-Mayi Shetani and the Mouvement pour la libération du Congo (MPLC), expressed their intention to discuss the terms of their surrender with the Government. "

A major reason for this is the prevalent culture of impunity that continues throughout the country. All perpetrators, whether from the FARDC, which has committed 18 % of crimes reported in 2013, or any other armed group, must be brought to justice and held accountable for their crimes.  
Cry me a bloody river. That a representative of Rwanda has the gall to make this charge when Rwanda are the principal culprit behind much of the instability and it is Rwandan proxies that have benefitted most from the culture of impunity makes this charge one of the most cynical hypocritical I have heard in quite some time. Have a look at Rwanda's export receipts for coltan, a mineral it has virtually none of and then ask who has benefitted from a culture of impunity. Rwandan militias have raped the Eastern DR Congo and its people. 

There is no doubt, no doubt, that the next few months will be critical and we need to take a serious look at how Resolution 2098 is being implemented especially in the neutralization of negative armed groups; in the consolidation of the peace process, and in the protection of civilians in liberated areas.
What a dickhead. Resolution 2098 is the UN resolution that authorises the Intervention ( Africa ) Brigade. It was also a result of a major Rwandan own goal. We don't need to look at how Resolution 2098 is being implemented. We need to make it clear to Rwanda that it doesn't now or in the future have any further role to play in the Eastern DDR Congo. 

" Some how we are meant to believe that the political approach and the military are at odds despite both efforts being mandated under Security Council Resolution 2098. It then moves to the farcical with a reference to the ICGLR ( International Conference on the Great Lakes Region ) summit is somehow related to the United Nations as if it was another arm of the organisation rather than a separate body altogether. To make matters worse he either does not know or conveniently forgets that the origin of the Intervention Brigade or as I term it due to its origin the Africa Brigade is a request from the ICGLR to the UN Security Council. 

Fortunately or unfortunately from the perspective of Rwanda the UN Security Council made sure that the Africa Brigade was a neutral force tasked with extending the sovereignty of  the DR Congo rather than the Kigali aligned force Rwanda wished it to be... "

We welcome the reports presented by briefers on some members of some armed groups that have peacefully surrendered and indeed we applaud FARDC supported by Monusco for attacking and destroying a number of ADF camps. The resumption of the Minova trial is another positive development and we look forward to a conclusive prosecution that can set a precedent for future cases.
I agree the Minova trial is positive, it shows a commitment from Kinshasa and FARDC to clean up the mess that FARDC had descended into. In other words and contrary to Gasana's comments above an ending of the culture of impunity. Of course while the atrocities were occurring in Minova, M23 and their allies the Rwandan Armed Forces were  inflicting the same atrocities on the people of Goma during the M23 occupation of the city.

"  Human Rights Watch has documented at least 24 cases of summary executions by M23 fighters during the M23’s occupation of Goma and nearby areas, between November 19 and December 2. All but three of the victims were civilians. Human Rights Watch research found that M23 rebels raped at least 36 women and girls in and around Goma during the same period, including at least 18 wives of army soldiers and a 10-year-old girl, who died from her wounds a day later. The M23 forcibly recruited army soldiers and medical officers, police, and civilians into its ranks in violation of the laws of war, and took them to its military bases for “retraining.” They also looted hundreds of homes, offices, and vehicles. "

When Rwanda starts its own prosecutions of its Armed Forces for their role in the above crimes one might take Gasana seriously.

The recently promulgated Amnesty law as per Nairobi agreement is also positive step in national reconciliation but one that will require measurable actions. We urge Monusco and international community to closely monitor its implementation.
Yes. The amnesty that will allow M23 to escape the consequences of their actions in the Eastern DR Congo. When this guy talks about impunity the only possible response is laughter, or tears.

Madam President,
However, these positive developments should not obscure the fact that one of the oldest armed groups remains at large. As always for the past 20 years, the problem that we have is the posture of the DRC government and the UN peacekeepers ‘currently Monusco’ towards the threat posed by FDLR genocidal forces responsible for the Genocide against the Tutsi. 
The posture of both MONUSCO and Kinshasa is transparent. They will be neutralised, most probably by force.

Throughout the last quarter of 2013 we were told that FDLR are next on the list of negative forces to be eliminated; what happens from when the promise is made to the next briefing, no one knows, no accountability… At our last meeting on Monusco, the military operation plan presented to the Security Council was that FARDC was to go after ADF, they did it.
Actually we were told no such thing. I was surprised that the FDLR were not the next group targeted by the FARDC, MONUSCO and its offshoot the Intervention ( Africa ) Brigade it was an assumption most Congo watchers made. However by September 2013 it should have become obvious that things might not proceed in the order we assumed. 

I suspect that the ADF haven't thought through the consequences of this little bit of murderous adventurism. I hope the price that is extract in return is so high that we will never again have to read about these pricks."

Following that, we were told that Monusco was to put their resources against FDLR. Nothing happened! Only a week or two before this briefing, do we hear in the news that there was a military operation against FDLR. This threat of FDLR persists despite the mandate of Monusco, which was given extra offensive capabilities after the deployment of the Intervention Brigade and the lack of Monusco to commit to fighting this force remains evident.
I have argued numerous times on this blog that the timing is something that the allied forces of FARDC and MONUSCO and its Intervention Brigade will determine. That is just common sense. Rwanda seem to think they have some say in this issue, they don't.

Once again, It is high time we see a change of attitude of the DRC Government towards the FDLR; Rwanda has for several years expressed legitimate concerns with the lack of political will of the Government of DRC to tackle the threat of FDLR. Various UNSC reports have detailed evidence of all kinds of support given to FDLR by DRC and Rwanda has even provided more.
It is utterly appalling that the Rwandan Ambassador to the UN is even worse informed than than the nations propaganda outlet New Times, that is inturn so utterly incompetent that it can't even take note of what the major world news services are reporting. I blogged on this issue two days ago noting: 

" Or in other words New Times Rwanda have published today ( 14/3/14 ) a report that fails to acknowledge casualties reported two days ago by Al Jazeera."

The MONUSCO, Intervention Brigade, FARDC coalition have commenced operations against the FDLR.  

The continuous excuses given by Monusco again and again when it comes to conducting military operations against FDLR, is kind of disturbing. When it is not excuses of lack of intelligence, (and which Rwanda did share with Monusco), it is engaged in propaganda operations to hoodwink the UNSC about military operations with FARDC against FDLR.
What excuses? MONUSCO has given no excuses whatsoever. Equally before commencing operations against M23 it gave no excuses and was roundly criticised for that. The coalition of forces are presumably preparing and again as I have said time spent in preparation in a military context is rarely time wasted. Why the hell the coalition would keep a hostile government such as Rwanda informed of its preparations is beyond me but when you live in the fantasy world of the Rwandan regime it would seem anything however improbable is in fact possible and desirable. As for hoodwinking the UN Security Council the charge is laughable.

On 09 Mar 14, Monusco/FIB jointly with FARDC raided FDLR illegal roadblock along Karengera – Tongo road. Reliable information reveals that Col Ramadhan, acting FARDC commander of the 8th Military Region, leaked information of the impending FIB attack on FDLR, hence undermining this operation.
That is an allegation that I have only seen in pro Rwanda news reports to date. If it should turn out to be true and I am deeply skeptical, I would imagine Col. Ramadhan will face a treason trial and if found guilty will pay the ultimate price.

It is not only Rwanda expressing frustration over inaction against negative forces; the countries of the region, under ICGLR have expressed frustration by lack of political will by Monusco to address the threats of armed groups in the Great Lakes region.
Really ? What countries would they be. The most obvious would be Uganda and as far as I am aware they have said nothing of the sort. In fact the exact opposite would seem to be the case:

Officials said Uganda's chief of defence forces, General Katumba Wamala, met Congolese counterpart Didier Etumba in the town of Beni in Congo's North Kivu province, where Kinshasa was launching military operations against the rebels. "
As I said I have no idea which audience this speech was aimed at but if it was the international community, to whom it was given, it will only have confirmed as if any confirmation was needed that the Rwandan regime is not to be trusted ever on anything.

Eastern DRC has been host to domestic and foreign armed groups particularly M23, FDLR and ADF-NALU. As a result, ICGLR came up with detailed mechanisms to address the situation, including political and military measures. Some of these mechanisms have been taken over by UN, including Intervention Brigade under Monusco and yet the major threat posed by FDLR has not been tackled.
Yes as I said above that was a major diplomatic cock up on Rwanda's part. Mind you with diplomats of the caliber of Ambassador Gasana that is not all that much of a surprise. The reason the UN through MONUSCO is in command of the Intervention Brigade is that members of the ICGLR ( International Conference for the Great Lakes Region ) decided that the Brigade was a good idea but putting Rwanda in charge as Rwanda proposed was rather akin to putting the fox in charge of the chicken run. You might want to bare that in mind when you asses the reliability of the ambassadors statement on the frustrations of other countries in the region. Other ICGLR are frustrated but that frustration is aimed at Rwanda not MONUSCO.

This was again subject of ICGLR Heads of State Summit in Luanda, Angola on 15th January 2014, where the Chiefs of Defence Staff of Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa were again tasked to assess the situation and come up with new mechanisms of eradicating FDLR.
I will let the ICGLR own website deal with that. It is of course another out of context load of shit.

On the FDLR Current Situation; Let me briefly share with you some updates on the FDLR activities. The FDLR strength is estimated to 3,640 with infantry integral weapons. This strength is likely to increase due to ongoing recruitment and training.
What a load of bullshit. The FDLR have been shrinking in numbers for years. Even Kigali has made that claim and it seems to be born out. Yet this fool thinks he can make that statement and the world will agree with him.UN Experts Group for the DR Congo put the number at about 1500.

" Based on interviews with ex-FDLR combatants and UN sources, the Group estimates FDLR has approximately 1,500 combatants in both provinces (see S/2013/433, para. 97); of these, approximately 1,000 are in North Kivu. The Government of Rwanda told the Group that FDLR has 4,000 to 4,200 combatants."

Currently, FDLR is engaged in the following activities:
* Enhancing collaboration with FARDC especially at operation level. This has enabled FDLR to refit, re-arm, share intelligence, have freedom of action and free passage for infiltration and terror attacks in Rwanda. Since July 2013 to date, 42 FDLR infiltrators/terror elements have been arrested and undergoing prosecution in Rwandan courts;
Current evidence ?
* Mobilization, recruitment, training and establishment of terror networks in Rwanda. These activities are facilitated by provision of safe passage and logistics by FARDC;
Current evidence ?

* The recent claim by Monusco that FDLR is located in populated areas is a sheer lie; instead the outfit has most of its forward units in Virunga National Park in North Kivu Province. It also maintains its dispositions in unpopulated areas of Mwenga and Uvira Territories in South Kivu; and
The only claim I have seen along these lines is that the FDLR are in the field with families and that makes them a difficult target if you are trying to avoid killing non combatants.

* On Illegal mining and taxation in eastern DRC to sustain the war effort.
Well given Rwanda's expertise in this area I won't argue with him.

Madam President,
I would like to discuss a different issue of M23 Ex-Combatants; while the SG report suggests that consultations on the unresolved issue of these ex- combatants in Rwanda are ongoing; we remind this Council that these combatants have been in Rwanda since March 2013. It is almost a year. 
Really that will come as a surprise everyone. Just in case the Ambassador has forgotten M23 was in the field in the DR Congo until their defeat in November 2013. The lies of Rwanda never cease to amaze me.

The Government of Rwanda has done everything required by international law to contain this group, including relocating them to Ngoma District in Eastern Province approximately 250 Km from the DRC border, but despite our repeated calls for international community to take over responsibility, not much has been done.   There were some contacts that were initiated in December but its really not that much.
That is actually funny. Rwanda want the international community to take over responsibility for M23. I agree with the call. Lets start with investigators from the ICC.

On the report of the PSC Framework, I will not dwell much on that since the implementation of the PSCA will be discussed on 27th of this month in Nairobi.
To conclude, as we have said previously, next month marks the 20th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi and there could be no greater symbol of justice for its victims than the defeat and eradication of FDLR, a virulent genocidal force that has been allowed to terrorize the region for the past two decades.
With that statement I agree and this blog has always taken that position, however I will not characterise the genocide as against the Tutsi. It was a Rwandan genocide and many non Tutsi died.

I thank you Madam President.

No comments:

Post a Comment