External forces out to kill latest DRC peace effort
BY Antoine Roger Lokongo http://pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/86762
The agreement signed in Addis Ababa last month enjoining states in the region in the search for lasting peace in DRC is a welcome move. But there are powerful external players who want the instability to continue.With 8 million people killed, thousands of women raped, strategic minerals looted, land occupied by an implanted population from Rwanda and hundreds of people forced out of their land into internally displaced people’s camps or fleeing to neighbouring countries in the last 15 years - as a result of successive wars of invasion sometimes directly launched by Rwanda and Uganda, backed by Britain and America, sometimes by proxy armed groups (including local militia) created by Rwanda and Uganda - the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the greatest tragedy the world has ever known since World War II, as Ignace Gata Mavinga, Congolese ambassador to the UN put it recently. It is generally believed that the new ‘Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Great Lakes Region’, signed on 24 February 2013, in Addis-Ababa, by 11 African leaders - including the leaders of Rwanda, Uganda (Museveni sent his vice-president) and the DRC - under the auspices of the African Union and the United Nations will put an end to the 15 years of wars. But those who have ‘created hotbeds of tension in order to generate chaos and thus justify the balkanization of the DRC’, as President Joseph Kabila put it, are not ready to disarm. They are found in the national, regional and international realms.This time, the latest ‘Peace and Security Framework for the DRC and the Great Lakes Region’ especially addressed the external root causes of the tragedy in eastern Congo, namely Rwandan and Uganda, and called on them ‘not to condone or assist or support any form of armed groups’ in the DRC. It is worth mentioning that it also called on the DRC government ‘to continue to implement certain internal reforms, including in the security sector, promote national reconciliation, tolerance and democracy’. INTERVENTION BRIGADE NOT NEUTRAL The deal also paved the way for the deployment of an ‘intervention brigade’ approved by member countries of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGR) and those of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). The 2,500-strong force will be led by SADC but will rely on the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) for logistics. Angola, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, Lesotho, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and South Africa will commit troops to the force, which was initially expected to be 4,000-strong.The intervention brigade is meant to eliminate all armed groups in the eastern Congo including the Ugandan and Rwandan created M23 group whose advance and capture of Goma, the provincial capital of Congo’s North Kivu Province, in September last year, surprisingly could not be stopped by 17,000 UN peacekeepers already present in the country. As a consequence, hundreds of people have been killed, children conscripted by force, 900,000 people have already been displaced in North Kivu and 2.6 million have now fled their homes across eastern Congo. UGANDA, RWANDA AND THEIR WESTERN BACKERS TRAPPED However, truth has now caught up with the UN, Britain, America… and Rwanda and Uganda have been trapped. Unlike previous bilateral agreements signed just between the DRC and Rwanda or the DRC and Uganda respectively, this time it is a multilateral agreement involving the UN and regional organizations, and Rwanda and Uganda have to cooperate; including by handing over criminals such as Nkunda and Mutebusi who committed crimes against humanity in Congo and who are enjoying themselves either in Rwanda or in Uganda.But these forces, which, we in the DRC, call ‘the international coalition for the distabilisation of Congo’, obviously still have many cards to play on the table. This explains why they are already trying to hold the latest ‘Peace and Security Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and The Great Lakes Region’ hostage. Various national, regional and international vested interests are already at work to torpedo the peace process, as usual! As usual because every moment there is a turning point on the horizon in the history of the DRC, it is at this moment that the enemies of the people of Congo realize the weakness of their methods and attempt to strengthen or change them. This time again, they will not let the situation escape them. [[[[This nebula of vested interests, in which you find powerful nations, international figures, multinationals, secret societies and services, non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations and the media, is involved in the fight against peace, stability, reconstruction and socio-economic development of the DRC. It operates at national, regional and international levels.]]]]]
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