Showing posts tagged as "rwanda"

Showing posts tagged rwanda

17 Dec
Africa In Turmoil Again: Why The US Holds The Key To The Heart Of The Continent | International Business Times
By Jacey Fortin
The Obama administration is facing pressure to intervene, particularly by taking stronger actions to convince Rwandan President Paul Kagame to give up his constant campaign of DRC destabilization.
“If we keep trying the old solutions again and again, it will not work,” said Fabienne Hara, the Vice President of Multilateral Affairs at the International Crisis Group. “If we send people to negotiate and they reach an agreement, in two or three years’ time we will have another crisis.”
FULL ARTICLE (International Business Times)
Photo: Graham Holliday/Flickr

Africa In Turmoil Again: Why The US Holds The Key To The Heart Of The Continent | International Business Times

By Jacey Fortin

The Obama administration is facing pressure to intervene, particularly by taking stronger actions to convince Rwandan President Paul Kagame to give up his constant campaign of DRC destabilization.

“If we keep trying the old solutions again and again, it will not work,” said Fabienne Hara, the Vice President of Multilateral Affairs at the International Crisis Group. “If we send people to negotiate and they reach an agreement, in two or three years’ time we will have another crisis.”

FULL ARTICLE (International Business Times)

Photo: Graham Holliday/Flickr

11 Dec

Entretien avec Thierry Vircoulon, chercheur pour Crisis Group, au sujet des négotiations entre le M23 et la gouvernment de l’RDC.

(Al Qarra TV)

6 Dec

Clashes in Eastern DR Congo, April-November 2012 

View fighting in eastern DR Congo in a larger map.

(Source: crisisgroup.org)

25 Nov
Congolese Rebels Seize Goma, Take Airport | AP via ABC News
By Melanie Goumy and Rukmini Callimachi
A rebel group believed to be backed by Rwanda seized the strategic, provincial capital of Goma in eastern Congo on Tuesday, home to more than 1 million people as well as an international airport in a development that threatens to spark a new, regional war, officials and witnesses said.
Explosions and machine-gun fire rocked the lakeside city as the M23 rebels pushed forward on two fronts: toward the city center and along the road that leads to Bukavu, another provincial capital which lies to the south. Civilians ran down sidewalks looking for cover and children shouted in alarm. A man clutched a thermos as he ran.
Thousands of residents fled across the border to Rwanda, the much-smaller nation to the east which is accused of funneling arms and recruits to the M23 rebels.
FULL ARTICLE (ABC News)
Photo: Julien Harneis/Flickr

Congolese Rebels Seize Goma, Take Airport | AP via ABC News

By Melanie Goumy and Rukmini Callimachi

A rebel group believed to be backed by Rwanda seized the strategic, provincial capital of Goma in eastern Congo on Tuesday, home to more than 1 million people as well as an international airport in a development that threatens to spark a new, regional war, officials and witnesses said.

Explosions and machine-gun fire rocked the lakeside city as the M23 rebels pushed forward on two fronts: toward the city center and along the road that leads to Bukavu, another provincial capital which lies to the south. Civilians ran down sidewalks looking for cover and children shouted in alarm. A man clutched a thermos as he ran.

Thousands of residents fled across the border to Rwanda, the much-smaller nation to the east which is accused of funneling arms and recruits to the M23 rebels.

FULL ARTICLE (ABC News)

Photo: Julien Harneis/Flickr

21 Nov
DR Congo’s Goma: Avoiding a New Regional War
Brussels/Nairobi  |   20 Nov 2012
The east Congolese city of Goma and its key airport have reportedly fallen after heavy fighting to the M23 rebel group. Regional and international actors must now prevent this turning into a new regional war.
The past week has shown history repeating itself in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with the same tragic consequences for civilians in the region (see Crisis Group briefing from 4 October for background).
On 15 November 2012, the M23 rebel movement, with – according to the DRC – the backing of Rwanda’s armed forces, broke the 25 July de facto ceasefire observed with the Congolese army (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo, FARDC) and launched an offensive against Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.
Unable, despite numerous attempts, to extend its control over the resource-rich Masisi territory, constrained by Uganda’s closure of its Bunangana border with the DRC and frustrated by the decision of the UN Security Council to place its main leader, Sultani Makenga, on the UN sanctions list, the M23 had finally decided to make real its threat to attack the city. On 18 November, following three days of fighting, the movement broke the FARDC’s resistance and tried to force the government of President Joseph Kabila to negotiate.
On 19 November, after several fruitless attempts at talks and an ultimatum from the M23 to the government, fighting broke out inside Goma, a city under the defence of the FARDC and UN peacekeepers (MONUSCO). The M23’s ultimatum had demanded the FARDC’s withdrawal from, and the demilitarisation of, Goma and its airport; the reopening of the Bunangana border post; and an inclusive negotiation process to bring in the unarmed Congolese political opposition, civil society and the diaspora. By making this demand, the M23 aimed to reduce the crisis to a domestic affair, thereby preventing Kinshasa from internationalising it in order to negotiate a solution at the regional level through the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) with those neighbouring countries that allegedly support the M23 rebellion.
While negotiations were on the verge of starting in Goma, President Kabila ultimately refused to recognise the M23 as a legitimate interlocutor, and clashes broke out inside the city. The rebels entered Goma on 20 November, forcing the Congolese army to retreat to Sake.
The new offensive is a tragic repeat of the threat by Laurent Nkunda’s Conseil National de Défense du Peuple (CNDP) to take Goma in 2008. Once again, the civilian population is paying a heavy price. As in 2008, the same causes could produce the same fearful effects:
the fall of Goma could lead to serious human rights abuses against civilian populations;
the settling of accounts or even targeted extrajudicial executions against authorities and civil society activists who have taken a stance against the M23 since the beginning of the crisis in March could raise the death toll and fuel more violence;
Kinshasa’s capitulation to the M23 could send shock waves throughout the Kivus and relaunch open warfare between the DRC and Rwanda; and
the UN and the ICGLR, both responsible for conflict management in the region, are being discredited.
As immediate steps, regional and international actors must secure: 
an end to fighting inside Goma;
M23’s commitment to respect MONUSCO’s mandate to fully protect civilians;  and
M23’s concrete assurances, visible on the ground, to respect civilians and property in areas under their control, and prevent further human rights abuses.
To avoid a regional implosion, the following steps are also necessary:
explicit condemnation by the UN Security Council, African Union (AU) and ICGLR of external involvement in the fighting;
immediate efforts by MONUSCO’s leadership to seek to negotiate and secure a formal ceasefire, as well as accelerate the deployment of the Joint Verification Mechanism and the Neutral Force agreed by the ICGLR; 
sanctions by the European Union (EU), UN Security Council, and especially France, the UK and the U.S., as well as the AU, not only against the rebellion’s leaders, but also against their external supporters;
an investigation by the International Criminal Court into the actions of the M23 and new armed groups, and the request by the court that MONUSCO transfer its files concerning M23 leaders; and
the immediate establishment of a joint fact-finding mission in the region by the AU, EU, Belgian, South African and U.S. special envoys for the Great Lakes to determine the best course for arriving at the long-term resolution of this crisis.
The immediate priority is to stop the current fighting and protect civilians.
Long-term solutions will require that the UN Security Council, AU and ICGLR ensure that peace agreements and that stabilisation plans no longer remain empty promises. To achieve this, coordinated and unequivocal pressure on the Congolese government and the M23 rebel movement, as well as the latter’s external supporters, is required from international donors and regional actors. 
(International Crisis Group)
Photo: United Nations Photo/Flickr

DR Congo’s Goma: Avoiding a New Regional War

Brussels/Nairobi  |   20 Nov 2012

The east Congolese city of Goma and its key airport have reportedly fallen after heavy fighting to the M23 rebel group. Regional and international actors must now prevent this turning into a new regional war.

The past week has shown history repeating itself in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with the same tragic consequences for civilians in the region (see Crisis Group briefing from 4 October for background).

On 15 November 2012, the M23 rebel movement, with – according to the DRC – the backing of Rwanda’s armed forces, broke the 25 July de facto ceasefire observed with the Congolese army (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo, FARDC) and launched an offensive against Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

Unable, despite numerous attempts, to extend its control over the resource-rich Masisi territory, constrained by Uganda’s closure of its Bunangana border with the DRC and frustrated by the decision of the UN Security Council to place its main leader, Sultani Makenga, on the UN sanctions list, the M23 had finally decided to make real its threat to attack the city. On 18 November, following three days of fighting, the movement broke the FARDC’s resistance and tried to force the government of President Joseph Kabila to negotiate.

On 19 November, after several fruitless attempts at talks and an ultimatum from the M23 to the government, fighting broke out inside Goma, a city under the defence of the FARDC and UN peacekeepers (MONUSCO). The M23’s ultimatum had demanded the FARDC’s withdrawal from, and the demilitarisation of, Goma and its airport; the reopening of the Bunangana border post; and an inclusive negotiation process to bring in the unarmed Congolese political opposition, civil society and the diaspora. By making this demand, the M23 aimed to reduce the crisis to a domestic affair, thereby preventing Kinshasa from internationalising it in order to negotiate a solution at the regional level through the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) with those neighbouring countries that allegedly support the M23 rebellion.

While negotiations were on the verge of starting in Goma, President Kabila ultimately refused to recognise the M23 as a legitimate interlocutor, and clashes broke out inside the city. The rebels entered Goma on 20 November, forcing the Congolese army to retreat to Sake.

The new offensive is a tragic repeat of the threat by Laurent Nkunda’s Conseil National de Défense du Peuple (CNDP) to take Goma in 2008. Once again, the civilian population is paying a heavy price. As in 2008, the same causes could produce the same fearful effects:

  • the fall of Goma could lead to serious human rights abuses against civilian populations;
  • the settling of accounts or even targeted extrajudicial executions against authorities and civil society activists who have taken a stance against the M23 since the beginning of the crisis in March could raise the death toll and fuel more violence;
  • Kinshasa’s capitulation to the M23 could send shock waves throughout the Kivus and relaunch open warfare between the DRC and Rwanda; and
  • the UN and the ICGLR, both responsible for conflict management in the region, are being discredited.

As immediate steps, regional and international actors must secure: 

  • an end to fighting inside Goma;
  • M23’s commitment to respect MONUSCO’s mandate to fully protect civilians;  and
  • M23’s concrete assurances, visible on the ground, to respect civilians and property in areas under their control, and prevent further human rights abuses.

To avoid a regional implosion, the following steps are also necessary:

  • explicit condemnation by the UN Security Council, African Union (AU) and ICGLR of external involvement in the fighting;
  • immediate efforts by MONUSCO’s leadership to seek to negotiate and secure a formal ceasefire, as well as accelerate the deployment of the Joint Verification Mechanism and the Neutral Force agreed by the ICGLR; 
  • sanctions by the European Union (EU), UN Security Council, and especially France, the UK and the U.S., as well as the AU, not only against the rebellion’s leaders, but also against their external supporters;
  • an investigation by the International Criminal Court into the actions of the M23 and new armed groups, and the request by the court that MONUSCO transfer its files concerning M23 leaders; and
  • the immediate establishment of a joint fact-finding mission in the region by the AU, EU, Belgian, South African and U.S. special envoys for the Great Lakes to determine the best course for arriving at the long-term resolution of this crisis.

The immediate priority is to stop the current fighting and protect civilians.

Long-term solutions will require that the UN Security Council, AU and ICGLR ensure that peace agreements and that stabilisation plans no longer remain empty promises. To achieve this, coordinated and unequivocal pressure on the Congolese government and the M23 rebel movement, as well as the latter’s external supporters, is required from international donors and regional actors. 

(International Crisis Group)

Photo: United Nations Photo/Flickr

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

18 Oct
New U.N. Charges Linking Rwanda to DRC Rebel Group Heat Up Regional Tensions | World Politics Review 
By Brian Dabbs 
KAMPALA, Uganda — Following months of heated exchanges between international observers and Rwandan officials, a United Nations investigative body leveled its most detailed and controversial accusations over alleged Rwandan support for the Congolese M23 rebels in a 44-page report leaked late Tuesday. 
The document claims that Rwandan Defense Minister Gen. James Kabarebe exercises direct command over the rebel group. Formerly integrated into the Congolese army, M23 launched a mutiny in April, carving a significant swathe of territory out of the volatile, crisis-prone eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo ever since.
FULL ARTICLE (World Politics Review)
Photo: Al Jazeera English/Flickr

New U.N. Charges Linking Rwanda to DRC Rebel Group Heat Up Regional Tensions | World Politics Review 

By Brian Dabbs 

KAMPALA, Uganda — Following months of heated exchanges between international observers and Rwandan officials, a United Nations investigative body leveled its most detailed and controversial accusations over alleged Rwandan support for the Congolese M23 rebels in a 44-page report leaked late Tuesday. 

The document claims that Rwandan Defense Minister Gen. James Kabarebe exercises direct command over the rebel group. Formerly integrated into the Congolese army, M23 launched a mutiny in April, carving a significant swathe of territory out of the volatile, crisis-prone eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo ever since.

FULL ARTICLE (World Politics Review)

Photo: Al Jazeera English/Flickr

Congo demands sanctions on Rwanda, Uganda over rebels | Reuters 
By Jonny Hogg
(Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday demanded targeted sanctions against Rwandan and Ugandan officials accused by a U.N. experts panel of backing a six-month-old insurgency in its volatile eastern borderlands.
The U.N. Security Council’s Group of Experts said in a confidential report seen by Reuters that both Rwanda and Uganda were supporting the M23 rebels, who are expanding their control of parts of Congo’s mineral-rich North Kivu province, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.
FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)
Photo: United Nations/Flickr 

Congo demands sanctions on Rwanda, Uganda over rebels | Reuters 

By Jonny Hogg

(Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday demanded targeted sanctions against Rwandan and Ugandan officials accused by a U.N. experts panel of backing a six-month-old insurgency in its volatile eastern borderlands.

The U.N. Security Council’s Group of Experts said in a confidential report seen by Reuters that both Rwanda and Uganda were supporting the M23 rebels, who are expanding their control of parts of Congo’s mineral-rich North Kivu province, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)

Photo: United Nations/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)

8 Oct
Central Africa: To Press for Peace in Kivus, Donors Should Hold Aid, Report Says | allAfrica
By Jim Lobe
Washington — Major donors to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) should withhold aid to both governments until they comply with prior agreements to pacify the DRC’s mineral-rich Kivu provinces, states a new report released Thursday by the International Crisis Group.
FULL ARTICLE (IPS via allAfrica)
Photo: IRIN Photos/Flickr

Central Africa: To Press for Peace in Kivus, Donors Should Hold Aid, Report Says | allAfrica

By Jim Lobe

Washington — Major donors to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) should withhold aid to both governments until they comply with prior agreements to pacify the DRC’s mineral-rich Kivu provinces, states a new report released Thursday by the International Crisis Group.

FULL ARTICLE (IPS via allAfrica)

Photo: IRIN Photos/Flickr