Showing posts tagged as "congo"

Showing posts tagged congo

20 Oct
DRC: Tough bargaining with armed groups | IRIN
Since May, the M23 rebellion by a group of army mutineers has allowed a number of armed groups to expand and take back territory from the government.
According to the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), there are now more than 30 armed groups in the eastern provinces. Most of these probably number a few hundred or less, but some might play an important role in the confrontation between the army and the M23.
The conflict currently looks like a stand-off, despite a seemingly huge imbalance of forces. The think tank International Crisis Group (ICG) estimates that the army recently had 7,000 troops deployed against the M23, which numbered only around 1,000. Both sides have been reinforced, with Human Rights Watch and other observers alleging that units of the Rwandan army have supported the M23 during major engagements.
FULL ARTICLE (IRIN)
Photo: Al Jazeera English/Flickr

DRC: Tough bargaining with armed groups | IRIN

Since May, the M23 rebellion by a group of army mutineers has allowed a number of armed groups to expand and take back territory from the government.

According to the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), there are now more than 30 armed groups in the eastern provinces. Most of these probably number a few hundred or less, but some might play an important role in the confrontation between the army and the M23.

The conflict currently looks like a stand-off, despite a seemingly huge imbalance of forces. The think tank International Crisis Group (ICG) estimates that the army recently had 7,000 troops deployed against the M23, which numbered only around 1,000. Both sides have been reinforced, with Human Rights Watch and other observers alleging that units of the Rwandan army have supported the M23 during major engagements.

FULL ARTICLE (IRIN)

Photo: Al Jazeera English/Flickr

17 Oct
"

The allegations of Rwanda supporting M23 rebels in northern Kivu are very credible. It’s not only the panel of experts, it’s many independent organisations, including the International Crisis Group, who recently published a report on the subject and who point out the role of Rwanda in this crisis.

The involvement of Uganda seems to be more recent but is also credible. There have been allegations of Uganda supporting M23 since July 2012 but it seems more realistic that this support is more recent and is a consequence of the downsizing of Rwanda’s support for M23 after several countries imposed sanctions on Rwanda.

"

Marc-Andre Lagrange, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst, Central Africa, on Rwandan and Ugandan support for M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo

FULL INTERVIEW (Deutsche Welle)

11 Oct
Congo-Kinshasa: Call to Implement Peace Agreements in North Kivu | allAfrica
Experts have called on donors and the international community to exert pressure on governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda to stop the escalation of violence in the DRC’s North Kivu region by demonstrating the political will to implement peace agreements with rebel groups and each other.
"What is needed in North Kivu is not a new political agreement that none of the parties will respect and will only address the crisis management but a real engagement from all the parties to resolve the conflict. Donors have to put pressure on both Rwanda and DRC to resolve this conflict and respect their engagement, non-interference and security sector reform," Marc-André Lagrange, Central Africa senior analyst with the International Crisis Group (ICG), told IRIN.
FULL ARTICLE (allAfrica)
Photo: United Nations Photo/Flickr

Congo-Kinshasa: Call to Implement Peace Agreements in North Kivu | allAfrica

Experts have called on donors and the international community to exert pressure on governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda to stop the escalation of violence in the DRC’s North Kivu region by demonstrating the political will to implement peace agreements with rebel groups and each other.

"What is needed in North Kivu is not a new political agreement that none of the parties will respect and will only address the crisis management but a real engagement from all the parties to resolve the conflict. Donors have to put pressure on both Rwanda and DRC to resolve this conflict and respect their engagement, non-interference and security sector reform," Marc-André Lagrange, Central Africa senior analyst with the International Crisis Group (ICG), told IRIN.

FULL ARTICLE (allAfrica)

Photo: United Nations Photo/Flickr

6 Oct
"The Kivus do not need a new strategic approach – previous peace agreements and stabilisation plans would be enough if they were treated as more than empty promises"

—Marc-André Lagrange, Crisis Group’s Central Africa Senior Analyst, from Crisis Group’s new briefing: "Eastern Congo: Why Stabilisation Failed"

5 Oct
"Though a new situation, today’s problems closely resemble yesterday’s, which is hardly surprising because past peace deals were never implemented."

—from Crisis Group’s new briefing, "Eastern Congo: Why Stabilisation Failed"

"If international donors and African mediators persist in managing the crisis rather than solving it, it will be impossible to avoid the repetitive cycle of rebellions in the Kivus and the risk of large-scale violence will remain."

—from Crisis Group’s new briefing, “Eastern Congo: Why Stabilisation Failed

4 Oct
The Kivus: Congo’s New Shame, Rwanda’s Old Game
Kinshasa/Brussels | 4 Oct 2012
The Kivus region of eastern Congo again faces escalating violence, including by a rebel force acting as a proxy of neighbouring Rwanda. To stop the repetitive cycle of rebellion and avoid large-scale killing, donors and African mediators need to move from crisis management to conflict resolution with the right set of pressures on Kigali and Kinshasa.
Eastern Congo: Why Stabilisation Failed, the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines the conflict since Bosco Ntaganda’s mutiny in April 2012 and the creation of the 23 March rebel movement (M23). Though a new situation, today’s problems closely resemble yesterday’s, which is hardly surprising because past peace deals were never implemented. To resolve the two-decades-old war, donors should learn from earlier failings.
“The Kivus do not need a new strategic approach – previous peace agreements and stabilisation plans would be enough if they were treated as more than empty promises”, says Marc-André Lagrange, Crisis Group’s Central Africa Senior Analyst. “But this requires coordinated and unequivocal pressure from the donors on the Rwandan and Congolese regimes”.
After the 23 March 2009 agreement between the government and the rebel CNDP (National Council for the Defence of the People), which was also supported by Rwanda, the Congolese authorities pretended to integrate the CNDP into political institutions, while the rebel group pretended to integrate into the Congolese army. Then, the make-believe broke down. In the absence of army reform, military pressure on armed groups had only a temporary effect. Post-conflict reconstruction was not accompanied by essential governance reforms and political dialogue. Violence returned.
Now the M23 is behaving in a similar fashion to previous rebel movements by creating its own administration and financing system in parts of North Kivu. Meanwhile, Mai-Mai groups are expanding in rural areas, where they commit atrocities that exacerbate inter-ethnic tensions.
The immediate situation demands a ceasefire, which should be monitored by the UN. Then the 2009 agreement must be jointly evaluated in the framework of the international follow-up committee it established, and this assessment should be the basis for resumption of dialogue between the government and CNDP.
Aid should be withheld from Rwanda until it stops meddling in Congolese affairs. Donors should also make clear to the Congolese authorities that they will not provide funding for stabilisation and institutional support as long as the government fails to improve political dialogue, its governance and the army.
“It’s high time to prosecute war criminals, implement governance reforms, open political space for legitimate players and stop foreign meddling in Congolese affairs”, says Thierry Vircoulon, Crisis Group’s Central Africa Project Director. “That requires political will on the part of those who pay the bills of the Congolese and Rwandan regimes”. 
FULL BRIEFING

The Kivus: Congo’s New Shame, Rwanda’s Old Game

Kinshasa/Brussels | 4 Oct 2012

The Kivus region of eastern Congo again faces escalating violence, including by a rebel force acting as a proxy of neighbouring Rwanda. To stop the repetitive cycle of rebellion and avoid large-scale killing, donors and African mediators need to move from crisis management to conflict resolution with the right set of pressures on Kigali and Kinshasa.

Eastern Congo: Why Stabilisation Failed, the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines the conflict since Bosco Ntaganda’s mutiny in April 2012 and the creation of the 23 March rebel movement (M23). Though a new situation, today’s problems closely resemble yesterday’s, which is hardly surprising because past peace deals were never implemented. To resolve the two-decades-old war, donors should learn from earlier failings.

“The Kivus do not need a new strategic approach – previous peace agreements and stabilisation plans would be enough if they were treated as more than empty promises”, says Marc-André Lagrange, Crisis Group’s Central Africa Senior Analyst. “But this requires coordinated and unequivocal pressure from the donors on the Rwandan and Congolese regimes”.

After the 23 March 2009 agreement between the government and the rebel CNDP (National Council for the Defence of the People), which was also supported by Rwanda, the Congolese authorities pretended to integrate the CNDP into political institutions, while the rebel group pretended to integrate into the Congolese army. Then, the make-believe broke down. In the absence of army reform, military pressure on armed groups had only a temporary effect. Post-conflict reconstruction was not accompanied by essential governance reforms and political dialogue. Violence returned.

Now the M23 is behaving in a similar fashion to previous rebel movements by creating its own administration and financing system in parts of North Kivu. Meanwhile, Mai-Mai groups are expanding in rural areas, where they commit atrocities that exacerbate inter-ethnic tensions.

The immediate situation demands a ceasefire, which should be monitored by the UN. Then the 2009 agreement must be jointly evaluated in the framework of the international follow-up committee it established, and this assessment should be the basis for resumption of dialogue between the government and CNDP.

Aid should be withheld from Rwanda until it stops meddling in Congolese affairs. Donors should also make clear to the Congolese authorities that they will not provide funding for stabilisation and institutional support as long as the government fails to improve political dialogue, its governance and the army.

“It’s high time to prosecute war criminals, implement governance reforms, open political space for legitimate players and stop foreign meddling in Congolese affairs”, says Thierry Vircoulon, Crisis Group’s Central Africa Project Director. “That requires political will on the part of those who pay the bills of the Congolese and Rwandan regimes”. 

30 Sep
Rwanda Denies Presidential Walkout on Congo Meeting | Voice of America
By Nick Long
GOMA — The president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, walked out of a meeting at the United Nations on Thursday after Belgium’s foreign affairs minister referred to allegations that Rwanda has been backing rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  A mini-summit meeting called by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon failed to reach a consensus on Rwanda’s alleged role in a Congo rebellion.
FULL ARTICLE (Voice of America)
Photo: Radio Okapi/Flickr

Rwanda Denies Presidential Walkout on Congo Meeting | Voice of America

By Nick Long

GOMA — The president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, walked out of a meeting at the United Nations on Thursday after Belgium’s foreign affairs minister referred to allegations that Rwanda has been backing rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  A mini-summit meeting called by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon failed to reach a consensus on Rwanda’s alleged role in a Congo rebellion.

FULL ARTICLE (Voice of America)

Photo: Radio Okapi/Flickr

29 Aug
Survey Shows Lake Tanganyika’s Oil ‘Potential’ in Tanzania | Voice of America
By Nick Long
An Australian company exploring for oil on the Tanzanian side of Lake Tanganyika says it may target potential areas for drilling in about six months’ time.  The company, Beach Energy, says the lake has the potential for large discoveries and there are clear signs of a working petroleum system on the Congolese side. 
FULL ARTICLE (VOA)
Photo: Worldtraveller/Wikimedia Commons

Survey Shows Lake Tanganyika’s Oil ‘Potential’ in Tanzania | Voice of America

By Nick Long

An Australian company exploring for oil on the Tanzanian side of Lake Tanganyika says it may target potential areas for drilling in about six months’ time.  The company, Beach Energy, says the lake has the potential for large discoveries and there are clear signs of a working petroleum system on the Congolese side. 

FULL ARTICLE (VOA)

Photo: Worldtraveller/Wikimedia Commons

6 Aug
Guilt blinds some to faults of Rwanda  |  Irish Times
By Patrick Smyth 
WORLD VIEW: Rwanda’s support for a bloody militia in neighbouring Congo is deeply troubling
SOMEWHAT LIKE Germany’s refusal to criticise Israeli excesses, international criticism of Rwanda, and its president, Paul Kagame, has been muted in recent years because of what might be termed “holocaust guilt”.
FULL ARTICLE (Irish Times)
Photo: Al Jazeera English/Flickr

Guilt blinds some to faults of Rwanda  |  Irish Times

By Patrick Smyth 

WORLD VIEW: Rwanda’s support for a bloody militia in neighbouring Congo is deeply troubling

SOMEWHAT LIKE Germany’s refusal to criticise Israeli excesses, international criticism of Rwanda, and its president, Paul Kagame, has been muted in recent years because of what might be termed “holocaust guilt”.

FULL ARTICLE (Irish Times)

Photo: Al Jazeera English/Flickr