DRC: Prerequisites for lasting peace in the Kivu region.

El Memeyi Murangwa 



rwandan_refugees.jpgThe call for a round table on the Kivu region by the interior minister seems to be a move to slide over the real and hot security issue in that region that has become the smokestack of the DRC from an uncontainable fire that is spreading beyond control all over the country. 


The heavy smoke in Kivu is a result of the fire deliberately set by the amateurishness at the highest level of the State together with a blind support of the FDLR Interahamwe, an organization that keeps changing names to hide their genocidal ideology that led to the extermination of nearly one million innocent civilians in the neighbouring Rwanda.The officials who hold real power in the hierarchy are indeed bogged down into a situation that was however showing some signs of a peaceful solution. The voluntary repatriation of the FDLR Interahamwe was on course despite its slow pace, with returnees getting incentives to facilitate their reintegration in Rwanda. A biased media is trying to sway the public opinion that Rwanda is deliberately trying to keep the so called negative forces out of its borders. This thinking makes little sense, especially to the ordinary Kivu residents who themselves witnessed the keenness of the Rwandan authorities to repatriate over two million refugees shortly after the towns of Goma and Bukavu fell in October 1996. With no help from the United Nations, Rwandan troops, using sticks rather than bullets, successfully repatriated spectacular masses of people,. It was a total surprise for those who were still struggling to put together a study group that would have cost millions of dollars to the international community to repatriate everyone from those vast refugee camps.   


Recruited to butcher and to bring the war to Rwanda


For those who were running away from justice for the horrible crimes they committed in their home country, they had no choice but to go west, vanishing into the notorious Equatorial Forest of Congo. Those who survived the inhospitable and unforgiving jungles that have no mercy for the weak found themselves in the neighbouring countries. After the fall of the Mobutu regime, the ex FAR and Interahamwe decided to leave Zaire on the fear of a forced repatriation to Rwanda. But not long after, the strained relations between Laurent D. Kabila and his former allies (Rwanda and Uganda) who put him in power led to the second DRC war portrayed as the Liberation war in August 1998. Kabila decided to invite the ex FAR and Interahamwe to join his troops with an ambitious aim of bringing the war to the invaders. Thousands came from the neighbouring Congo Brazzaville, Angola and Zambia looking for revenge against the Tusti community that Kabila had labelled as aggressors.Used as a killing squadron to wipe out the Congolese Tutsi community, the ex FAR and Interahamwe executed their dirty plan with the full blessing of high level Kabila government officials who openly encouraged the civilian population to join the killings to achieve the extermination of the “Vermins”, meaning Tutsi. One of them, the notorious Senator Abdoulaye Yerodia known also as Ndombasi was particularly in charge of the ethnic cleansing operations with his visits to the main barracks. Thousands of Tusti officers and soldiers lost their lives in only two nights, on August 12 and 13 1998, executed by the killing squadron. Also, Kabila made sure that his bloodthirsty guests (Interahamwe) got integrated into the army using them as the first line of defence because his army had neither the will nor the guts to fight. That's why the FDLR leader, Ignace Murwanashyaka continues to claim his forces are Laurent Kabila regime's guests. Therefore his forces will not leave DRC unless the new tenant of the Marbre Palace, Joseph Kabila, asks them lo leave, something he has not done yet even though he may claim the current strife was not of his own making.


Flourishing business for everyone


Since the end of hostilities between government troops GSSP and the main rebellions (RCD and MLC), the FDLR fighters and Interahamwe opted to exploit Congo’s wealth. While doing that they also targeted the Congolese Tutsi, their livestock and other ethnic minorities that looked like Tutsi. They established an administration in the North and South Kivu, collecting taxes for what they perceived as the blood debt owed by the Kabila regime. For everyone who stood in their way, the penalty was nothing else than death. Women and young girls were raped, young boys were abducted and forced to serve as soldiers. Unable to pay back their dues owed to the FDLR and Interahamwe for their dirty work, the current president, who is not ready to take any risk by confronting them, has opted to turn a blind eye in order to keep some kind of balance. This policy of impunity has encouraged the Mai-Mai to join the spree. Both groups are now working hand in hand engaging in illegal arms trade often trading minerals for weapons. These illegal activities are usually facilitated by high level officers from the national army (FARDC) and many officials from MONUC only driven by greed and lucrative mineral contracts. Many high ranking officers have been sent to Kivu for the final assault mission, instead they took this opportunity to engage in the attractive illegal businesses.


Three-Party meeting


To put an end to the general insecurity that has plagued the Kivu region, there is a need for a face to face meeting between the presidency (FARDC supreme command) responsible for the invitation of the negative forces; the MONUC, a biased observer of the insecurity, and the FDLR-Interahamwe, the guests who are not in a hurry to leave the DRC — as the bill for military duties provided to the FARDC is well overdue and remains unpaid.These three parties hold the key for restoring peace to Kivu. Voluntary repatriation should be the only issue on the agenda. Those who, for any reason, refuse to return to Rwanda should seek asylum elsewhere. France, the country responsible for this mayhem by its so-called “Operation Turquoise”, should help the United Nations to find countries for their resettlement. If the negative forces reject these options, then the DRC government should use force in close collaboration with the neighboring countries to which these forces constitute a constant security threat.The agitation and resentment observed in the parliament are the work of some well-known individuals for their xenophobia that led to the first liberation war. These parliamentarians should at all costs avoid anything that would bring the country back to square one.

The reconciliation process amongst Kivu ethnic groups, initiated by CNDP and Barza Communauraire can only achieve their goals if this high level meeting takes place in good faith. A round table without preliminary consultations can only be seen as another distraction for a population who has already seen it all.




Copyright © 2007 Virunganews   

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