Populist Revolution in Congo? Can the Genie Be Returned to the Bottle?

Giorgianne Nienaber



Is the world witnessing a populist revolution against a failed state in Congo?             

kazarama_goma.jpgHistoric photos below are courtesy of the Congolese Revolutionary Army.  Pictures don't lie.

The International Conference on the Great Lakes region (ICGLR) has been meeting to find a solution to the chaos in eastern Congo. The people may have found their own solution. While crowds in Goma are welcoming the rebel troops and former police and government troops are voluntarily turning in their weapons, the governments of Rwanda, DRCongo and Uganda issued the following statement. 

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Chairman of the ICGLR, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Joseph Kabila of the DRC have been in a closed meeting in Kampala since Tuesday evening.

The three heads of State have discussed how to address the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Eastern DRC after the capture of the North Kivu Provincial capital Goma, by the M23.


In solidarity with the Congolese people and their counterparts, President Yoweri Museveni and President Kagame made it clear that even if there were legitimate grievances by the mutinying group known as the M23, they cannot accept expansion of this war or entertain the idea of overthrowing the legitimate government of the DRC or undermining its authority. Therefore, the M23 rebel group must immediately stop its offensive and pull out of Goma.

A plan to this end is being communicated to them.The Government of the DRC on its part has made a commitment to look expeditiously into the causes of discontent and address them as best as it can.Furthermore, a comprehensive and operational plan geared towards lasting peace and stability will be drawn up as a matter of urgency.


Clearly the people of Congo have suffered for too long and offers of an olive branch from Kampala may be too late. Can the genie be put back into the bottle?


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