Nkunda’s At It Again

December 1, 2008

It’s 10 days or so since I left Goma and I see that it remains business as usual. A bunch of thugs are still trying to hold an equally thuggish government to ransom and the media continues to give General Laurent Nkunda far more credit than he’s due…

General Nkunda and UN special envoy, Olusegun Obasanjo

Rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda has threatened war unless the government of DR Congo holds a new round of talks.
He was speaking after a meeting with UN envoy Olusegun Obasanjo in the rebel-held eastern town of Jomba.

The 250,000 people forced out of their homes by clashes over the past months, and the scores of women raped, are nothing more than pawns in Nkunda’s game. They are being used as negotiating chips and news reports like this only encourage him.



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8 thoughts on “Nkunda’s At It Again”

  1. Michael says:

    Hello ROBC, just to clarify; the atrocities and the IDPs were there before the escalation of fighting that began in august.
    The said atrocities were mainly committed by the FDLR forces who are responsible for the genocide in Rwanda. The said Genocidal forces are being backed and armed by the congolese army.
    Nkunda is doing what every other responsible fighter does; forcing the government to negotiate for peace since the government is not inclined to do so on it’s own.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Michael,
    That’s exactly the Butcher of Kisangani’s line

  3. Michael says:

    Dear Michael, I was in Kisangani when the atrocities happened and I’m currently residing in Goma working with an NGO. I have experienced atrocities from my first posting in Ituri to the exodus of the Congolese army from masisi. Most of all i’ve worked in both zones(the CNDP zone and the government/mai mai zones) and trust me as a medical doctor i’ve witnessed what the dark part of a human mind is capable of.
    Without question, the mai mai and the FDLR committed the worst atrocities, i treated them, i know.
    During the fighting between the government forces and nkunda forces, as i personally witnessed, we were more afraid of the government/mai mai/FDLR forces than we were of the CNDP rebels.
    I’m not letting Nkunda off the hook for his part in this war but in all honesty you cant compare Nkunda to the FDLR and Mai Mai. The later is vicious and more baberic.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yes and Museveni, Meles and Kagame heralded a new dawn for African politics…

  5. PDX Pete says:

    Rob,

    I don’t see where you are willing to engage a conversation here. Michael is making a point about the relative level of violence committed by armed groups, and you reply with one liners that are off subject.

    Here’s a question: Do you see the Kabila government as leading to a stable, peaceful, democratic Congo. What steps has he taken to accomplish this?

  6. PDX Pete says:

    Rob,

    I don’t see where you are willing to engage a conversation here. Michael is making a point about the relative level of violence committed by armed groups, and you reply with one liners that are off subject.

    Here’s a question: Do you see the Kabila government as leading to a stable, peaceful, democratic Congo. What steps has he taken to accomplish this?

  7. Anonymous says:

    The point, which I’m surprised needs to be explained, is that there are no good guys. Your criterion, PDX Pete and Michael, that somehow a relatively reduced level of violence gives Nkunda some form of legitimacy is the sort of view that led the international community to back Meles, Museveni et al only to find out that they were simply a continuation of business as usual.

    We are in danger of doing much the same in Darfur, where the rebels seem to be able to get away with murder yet continue to be hailed as freedom fighters.

    And the Kabila government? Well I think in the original post I described it as “thuggish”. But that isn’t enough for me to throw my lot in with Nkunda.

    The conflict in the DRC is defined – like so many other conflicts in this part of the world – by the absence of any leaders with an interest in protecting their own people. The mistake is to assume that anyone taking on the govt is somehow on the side of righteousness. Unfortunately, the international media, by traipsing back and forth to Nkunda’s hideouts, is encouraging the Butcher of Kisangani to think that he is on to something.

    It’s easier, and pithier, to express all that in a simple one-liner.

  8. Michael says:

    Dear Robc, I agree with you in some parts but i disagree with you when you assert that nkunda shouldn’t be engaged by the midia and somehow this would make him less of a factor in the Kivu. The majority of military analysts ascertain the fact that the government of DRC along with their allies the Mai Mai and FDLR(the hutu genocidal forces from rwanda) cannot win against Nkunda’s CNDP disciplined forces, hence the only way out is to work on Nkunda’s reson d’etre and this can only be accomplished by engaging him.
    As far as Museveni being the same old, i beg to differ again. You can’t compare museveni with his past predicessors; Idi Amin and milton Obote.
    Cheers

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