FDLR in spotlight as Security Council meets
The UN Security Council (UNSC) will today assess the approach used by its peacekeeping mission in the DR Congo (Monusco) in fighting negative forces, especially the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in eastern DR Congo.One would have to say that MONUSCO would have very little to fear from this meeting. I have no idea why there is any special notice being made of the FDLR. One gets the feeling that once again the Rwandan Government is attempting to spin the story for its own purposes.
Members of the Security Council, including Rwanda, are due to meet in New York to consider reports and consultations by Martin Kobler, the UN special envoy to DR Congo, and head of Monusco, as well as Mary Robinson, the Secretary General’s special envoy to the Great Lakes Region.
The session comes barely a week after media reports indicated that Monusco and the Congolese army (FARDC) are attacking strongholds of FDLR, a terror group largely responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.Attacking the FDLR and removing them from Congolese territory ( or incorporating them into the environment on a permanent basis at a molecular level ) has always been an objective of MONUSCO. That is something that the Rwandan regime, still smarting from the defeat of its own rebel group M23, seems to have considerable trouble with.
A press officer at Rwanda’s Mission to the UN told The New Times on Thursday that they are aware of latest reports about attacks against FDLR and plan to address concerns to Kobler.
“We are concerned that these so-called attacks against FDLR only seem to surface when Kobler is about to address us at the Security Council and after that, we do not hear anything else,” Chantal Uwizera, the press attaché at Rwanda’s Permanent Mission to the UN, said in an e-mail.Rwanda has a legitimate interest in the outcome of the MONUSCO, FARDC and Intervention ( Africa ) Brigade but they seem to think they should have some sort of operational role as well. Rwanda really needs to STFU.
“We want to know how Kobler intends to address the FDLR issue. He has on several occassions said that attacking FDLR is difficult, because they travel in a pack with women and children yet Monusco has a mandate to protect civilians,” Uwizera said.The chances of Kobler taking a blind bit of notice of the Rwandan position I would put at slightly below zero. Rwanda seems to be under the misapprehension that it is a non permanent member of the security council to represent Rwandan concerns to the council. Let me remind Kigali that it holds one of two African seats and its function is to represent Africa.
Western media last Sunday broke news that the Congolese army, FARDC, and Monusco carried out joint operations against the militia.
However, there are no reports on causalities or any indication that this is a sustained military operation.That is a very telling statement and another reason why nothing and I emphasis nothing you read in New Times Rwanda should be believed. Like the Rwandan administration or more probably at the behest of that administration they are liars. Al Jazeera reports:
Colonel Felix Basse, the military spokesman for the Congo mission, known as MONUSCO, said on Wedesday that UN troops had deployed in the Virunga National Park in North Kivu province and were backing a Congolese offensive against the Hutus' FDLR.
"Since Sunday, we have deployed our men and we have had contact with FDLR in that zone," Basse said, adding that two rebels had been killed in the fighting so far."
Kobler on Wednesday tweeted that: “The operations aim at neutralising the FDLR and its allies. They will also help re-establish State authority.”
Friday’s meeting comes at a time when Monusco’s current mandate has only 16 days left to expire. The mandate ends on March 31.
There is no doubt it will be renewed. There is an irony here that it will be renewed in no small part due to its success in defeating the Rwandan proxies M23.
The renewal of the Mission’s mandate will not be discussed since this is a meeting for the UNSC aimed at assessing the UN mission’s report and the one about the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSC) for the DR Congo and the region.
But in the next few days, the Security Council is expected to start negotiating a draft resolution for mandate renewal. The draft resolution must be adopted before March 31.
The PSC for the DR Congo and the region was signed by 11 African leaders on February 23,2013.Rwanda was a signatory yet it armed M23 and supported them while they committed crimes against humanity, war crimes not to mention the numerous breeches of Congolese law that they committed.
Supporting mandate renewal
France, being the penholder on DR Congo, will propose a draft Security Council resolution to experts of the other 14 UNSC members, with negotiations likely to take place in the course of next week.
As regards the renewal of the mandate, Uwizera said: “We support the renewal since there is still a threat of instability in the DR Congo.”At least Chantal Uwizera can read the international under currents and adapt to them, it is a great shame that the Rwandan administration and the Rwandan head of mission to the UN can't. If Rwanda voted against the renewal they would join North Korea in the credibility stakes, a country they are not so dissimilar to.
“However, emphasis should be put on FIB (UN Force Intervention Brigade) to be able to effectively implement its mandate in a neutral way. For instance, the FIB used force against M23 rebels but has been silent on FDLR, even though the last resolution mandates it to neutralise all armed groups,” Uwizera added.It is always amazing how fools take that extra step. Uwizera really needs to have a read of something other than the Rwandan standard response to absolutely anything relating to absolutely anything which is of course to lie.
Commanded by Tanzanian General, James Mwakibolwa, the FIB is a special brigade under Monusco, authorised by the Council on March 28, 2013 through Resolution 2098.
It is the first UN peacekeeping unit specifically tasked to carry out targeted offensive operations to neutralise armed groups threatening State authority and civilian security, with or without FARDC support, in eastern DR Congo. Comprising 3,069 peacekeepers (in addition to nearly 20,000 other Monusco troops), the special brigade helped defeat the Congolese M23 rebel group last year.
Resolution 2098, among others, requests the Secretary General to report to the Council every three months in coordination with his Special Representative for the DR Congo on the implementation by Monusco of its mandate, including on deployment, readiness and activities of the FIB and all other UN forces.FAEDC the Africa Brigade and its parent MONUSCO will get the job done. The FDLR are soon to be corpses awaiting burial. I have no problem with that, they richly deserve that fate. The timing of the operation is for FARDC and MONUSCO to decide not Rwanda, that Rwanda still fails to grasp this should surprise no one.