John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Rwanda’s Eastern Congo Involvement

by John Campbell
June 4, 2012

General Bosco Ntaganda addresses a news conference in Kabati, a village located in Congo's eastern North Kivu province, January 8, 2009. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) General Bosco Ntaganda addresses a news conference in Kabati, a village located in Congo's eastern North Kivu province, January 8, 2009. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

On Friday I blogged about the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ report that internally displaced people in Congo-Kinshasa number more than two million, mostly in North and South Kivu. I also cited a BBC report based on UN sources of Rwandan involvement with mutineers whose violence is engendering the displacement—a report vigorously denied by the Rwandan foreign minister.  Today, the respected human rights non-government organization (NGO) Human Rights Watch issued a press release stating credibly that Rwandan military officials are arming and supporting the mutiny of Gen . Bosco Ntaganda and a (supposedly) separate one by Col. Sultani Makenga.  HRW’s conclusions are based on on-the-ground interviews.

HRW reports Ntaganda, Makenga, and their followers frequently crossing the border into Rwanda to avoid capture and to be supplied with weapons.  It also reports Rwandan soldiers impressing “volunteers” at cinemas and other public places for service with Ntaganda and Makenga. HRW also reports summary execution by Ntaganda’s forces of those who refuse to fight.

The UN Security Council’s arms embargo on Congo prohibits providing weapons or ammunition to Ntaganda or Makenga.    The relevant resolution requires all states to prevent the direct or indirect supply of such ordinance by their citizens to “nongovernmental entities” operating in Congo.

Parts of the Rwandan military appear to be contravening the UN Security Council resolution, notwithstanding the foreign minister’s protests. The question is, to what extent is Rwandan military support of Congolese mutineers occurring with the support of the Kagame government. Or whether it is simply looking the other way, or whether it cannot control its own military.  Whatever the answer, it is the people of the eastern Congo who are suffering.

Post a Comment 2 Comments

  • Posted by Daniel Mamba

    Thank you honorable Campbell for the rich Article, which definitely contribute to the awakening of the world about the silent and untold genocide orchestrated by Paul Kagame and his cronies in eastern DRC.
    It is time to internationally confront Paul Kagame, kabila and their cronies for genocides and crimes against humanity in the Great Lakes Region.
    We the ARP Congolese elites for change without complacency, appeal to business corporations to stop following these monster killers and join us for the construction of a true integrative Democracy, a balanced strongly regulated economy and a viable and reliable partner country as state-Nation.
    Daniel Mamba

  • Posted by Tante Solange

    At least two things wrong here:

    1. UN has all but retracted their claims that Rwanda is involved – please catch up http://www.voanews.com/content/us_condemns_upsurge_massacres_violence_eastern_congo_drc/1145322.html

    and more interestingly

    2. Does a random bar sighting by anonymous witnesses qualify as “stating credibly” ? I mean seriously, what next? Tupac sightings in Masisi?
    “On May 26, witnesses saw Ntaganda in Kinigi, Rwanda, meeting with a Rwandan military officer at Bushokoro bar.”

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