Earlier this year there we’re reports that, all of sudden M23 soldiers had left the barracks in Uganda and crossed the borders again into Democratic Republic of Congo. With that the Congolese authorities and Ugandan Authorities showing lacking concern of the ex-militants, that apparently is still rebels and militants attacking civilians and army in North Kivu. This with the knowledge of the former Gen. Sultani Makenga who left his house as well, as most of the soldiers fled the barracks too. This is a return of violence and killings in DRC, in time for a needed crisis for President Joseph Kabila.
Here are recent reports on their struggle and hazardous behaviour in Congo. M23 continues where they left-off when they had come to Uganda as relieved rebels and promised to leave their past behind. Still, the UPDF kept them in barracks and in a military facility. So you could wonder how these former rebels should get another career when the armed militants got possibility of army training as they we’re pardoned by the Ugandan Government or a sort of amnesty if they left the militia. Still, they apparently had the ability to flee for the Congolese soil and create havoc again in Nord-Kivu.
“North Kivu / Goma: 12 M23 Rebels were killed, 68 captured and 39 rendered in a violent confrontation between the congolese army and the rebels m23 from Wednesday to Thursday, 23 February 2017 in the group Of busanza in rutshuru territory in the province of north kivu in the east of the #DRC” (100 Citoyens journalistes de RD Congo, 24.02.2017)
“The Democratic Republic of Congo’s army has killed at least 16 former members of a rebel group after they re-entered the country’s east, the military’s spokesperson said Thursday. Fighting near Rutshuru began on Wednesday and by Thursday the army had captured 68 former M23 rebels and 39 others surrendered, said Major Ndjike Kaiko. “We are tracking the fleeing M23 fighters who are seeking to infiltrate Kinyandoni and into the Virunga National Park,” he said” (The Great Lakes Post, 24.02.2016).
M23 wants ransom from DRC Government:
“M23: $ 1 million to liberate the colonel of Georgia on 27 January, two combat helicopters of the congolese army were crashing at a hundred miles of Goma (North Kivu) doing three wounded and 4 missing. Three members of the first aircraft manufacturing (Russian) turned out to be also of Russian nationality. Initially the authorities in the drc explained that a first aircraft that was flying at low altitude would have hit the trees and would therefore be accidentally crushed. The second helicopter launched in search of the first, flying too low, would have crashed in turn… really out of luck! Some observers were amazed that these “accidents” in series occurred in a border area where m23 rebels are known to be present. In fact, we learn these last few hours, that the M23 seeks $ 1 million in exchange for the release of one of the two pilots. The man whose identity has been disclosed would respond to the identity of soso osurauli. Ex Colonel “retired” since 10 years of the Georgian armed forces, it would have taken from service in 2014 for the benefit of the armed forces of the DRC. Thus, it appears that the two aircraft were very likely to be slaughtered and not victims of the bad weather. Since Mid-January reports of a significant incursion of rebels of the March 23 movement from Uganda. Monuc during a press conference reported Wednesday, 22 February, what followed “with an extreme attention” the evolution of the situation” (Congo Intelligence, 23.02.2017).
M23 fleeing to Kisoro:
“Images-videos and photos of 56 M23 who fled the fighting of the hill Songo for finding refuge in Kisoro, Uganda reveal the reality of this armed group. The FARDC have managed to capture 20 during the fighting which started on Monday 20 February until Thursday, 23 February 2017 and which proves the superiority of the FARDC on this rebel movement. The first reports of war we brought back by our colleague auster malivika speak volumes. The Rebels sitting on the floor in Kisoro, Uganda supervised by Ugandan officers. On the field of battle in the DRC, a corpse swaddled in a plastic bag and the traces of leakage through the grouping Busanza” (Magloire Paluku, RadioKivu1, 25.02.2017)
Militants from Uganda in RDC:
“Kambale Musubao Blaise is an avid militant of the MSR / G7. During the last visit of the CENI vice-president to Beni, he allegedly stigmatized the harassment that the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) is applying at the border of the Rwenzori group with Uganda against Congolese people in that neighboring country who would like to be enrolled. Since the outbreak of massacres of civilians in the Beni region in October 2014, several Congolese have sought refuge on the Ugandan side of the border. Mr. Kambale had to raise this issue publicly during the meeting that the vice president of the CENI held with the authorities of the place in the multipurpose room of the Hotel Beni. Which now draws him any kind of boredom from the executioners of his community” (BLO, 2017).
As you can see the M23 continues in Nord-Kivu and create the armed acts against civilians and army. Where they can and still cause problems as they force themselves on innocent and the army themselves. So, M23 doesn’t have a plan of peace, but of control with fear and weapons. As MONUSCO and FARDC doesn’t stop them totally, as they fled again! You can also wonder what the UPDF does as they come from Uganda and is still close on their border and the ones taken by the army in Uganda is small contingent of the ones that left the barracks earlier this year with Gen. Sultani Makenga. There are so many questions, but certain reasons for the acts of brutality and killing. So that President Kabila can continue to reign without any mandate. Peace.
BLO – ‘Alerte! Kambale Musubao Blaise en danger à Beni’ (26.02.2017) link: http://benilubero.com/alerte-kambale-musubao-blaise-en-danger-a-beni/
Earlier in November 2016, there we’re reports of movement from the M23 from Uganda into the Democratic Republic of Congo. As there we’re even clear violence from the rebels in December. Now that we in 2017 and another month gone, there are reports and official reports that Brigadier Sultani Makenga has fled his home and is on the move.
In mid-January the Ministry of Defence Minister Henry Okello Oryem in Uganda claimed there we’re little movement and they we’re still captured. Still, there we’re at the same time said to be 200 rebel soldiers moving across into the DRC.
Just as of yesterday when the news broke of fleeing Makenga and the raids of Police Stations in and around Kasese District and Rwenzori Sub-Region. As the raids we’re going after guns and bullets in these police stations. As Bwera Police Station we’re put on fire and they also burned down Luwero Town Council, therefore armed militants seems to be on the move.
There we’re reports in January from Nord-Kivu Governor Julien Paluku we’re writing of the movement of the M23 across the borders. Still, the reminiscent of past was not certain at that point. Because in the past the M23 has had sufficient weapons and training in Kisoro on the Ugandan border, where the UN had witness affidavits briefing the UNSC on the rebels. That was the Local Governor that broke the news and the FARDC and the Central Government in Kinshasa did not verify it. Therefore the intelligence between the Central and Local was different. Just as of now, there are indicated violence and attacks inside Uganda, but also news of escalation of M23 prescience of them in the DRC.
As it happen and news we’re out of M23, the DRC government and transitional government under “third term” President Joseph Kabila are running on it and keeping their power as they have to fight another militant group creating chaos in North and South Kivu’s. This is just a curious timing that the M23 just happen to come after the CENCO agreement and the new timeline for elections, elections where President Kabila cannot be a candidate with the current Constitution of the 3rd Republic.
It is just like a rabbit out of the hat, the M23 get guns and run-wild in Kasese and Rwenzori Sub-Regions, as the numbers of militants has differed from who is counting. Some said a 101 soldiers crossed the borders other said about 230. In mid-January the M23 we’re reported to take the village of Ishasha in Nord-Kivu. Reports in late-January we’re that FARDC lost two military helicopters in running battles in a town called Rushuru, also in Nord-Kivu, which is close to the Rwandan border. Therefore the insurgency could be from both Rwanda and Uganda as the attacks are happening close to the too nation at separate time.
Therefore the sudden resurgence of M23 and the message from Kinshasa seems so fitting and just. So all of a sudden the Elections have to be postponed again and give political mileage for Kabila. So he can be the hero who fights M23 again. We can question and should question why this is an issue that can destroy the elections when ADF-NALU and Mayi-Mayi are already causing issues in the provinces in the Kivu’s, as well as the FDLR that is still creating havoc. So M23 isn’t the only militants and rebels in the region.
That is why it is suspicious that the M23 are the sole reason for postponing the elections and ballots so there can be another government running the Republic. If there we’re other circumstances that we’re less fishy and without having the history of both M23 and the Kabila Regime, it might been substantial. Since it isn’t so and the actors and the politicians has played these ploys before we should question the reasoning and the effects of the violence.
The ones dying, the ones losing property and innocent suffering for the political games of the big-men in the region, that they uses rebels and militants to sufficiently steady their political life is demeaning. The M23 we’re as off the Nairobi Agreement deserters in Uganda. Some was also expected to come back and be contained in the DRC. Instead they are now returning with vile force, some are seen as thieves in the border regions, others are implicating that the M23 and UPDF is covering their tracks with burning of Police Stations and other facilities to make it seem like a fleeing insurgent force returning to Nord-Kivu.
We can certainly question the efforts and the timing, as it fits the time-frame and evidence Kabila needs to overstay in power without changing the laws. That has been the goal since long before the negotiations with CENCO or anybody else, it wasn’t like President Kabila we’re intent to stepdown. He even runs a transitional term before twice elected. Therefore that Kabila tries to succumb the rules and still being the President without any election. That is why the sudden launch of M23 into the Kivu’s of recent days and months. This story will not end, if so then the Kabila presidency would also have ended. Peace.
The Uganda Government would like to inform the public and the international community that the M23 rebels that have been cantoned at Bihanga Military Training School in Ibanda District since the Agreement of 2014 have been quietly escaping into the general public and some to unknown places.
Last night, the Uganda Security intercepted four (4) vehicles at Mbarara that were carrying 101 former M23 combatants who were travelling on their way to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
These had disguised themselves as ordinary travelling passengers upon interrogation, it was established that they were part of the M23 former combatants who had been cantoned at Bihanga Barracks. These were stealthily leaving their gazetted place of abode contrary to the Agreement of 2014 and the protocols signed with the DRC Government.
Consequently, they were apprehended and are now being detained at Makenke Barracks, the second division Headquarters near Mbarara town. These 101 were following an earlier group of 40 that were discovered to have escaped seven (7) days ago and their whereabouts are not known.
Uganda would like to inform the public and international community that currently there are 270 former M23 combatants still cantoned at Buhanga.
We would like to restate our commitment to live by the agreements and obligations that were entered into in 2014.
Uganda will not and does not support any armed activities to distabilise the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We invite the media and observers to go to Makenke and conduct their own verification of these 101 former M23 detainees
Executive Director Uganda Media Centre and Government Spokesperson
“The government of the DRC confirms Ishasha’s incursion of 2 groups of ex-M23 armed. FARDC” – Lambert Mende confirms today.
The day after the terrible, but believable news that M23 surfaced into the North-Kivu and crossed from familiar borders from Congo. This as the M23 has had bases and armoury in Kisoro in the past. So it was rare that the Republic that harboured them and sheltered them would also we’re their we’re supposed to lay down their arms after the rebellion. So now years after the agreement and Nairobi Accords, the M23 goes back together with General Sultani Mukenga and 200 soldiers. They we’re 1600 soldiers during the 2013 battles in and around Goma. So since the news we’re coming quickly during the weekend, here is the main aftermath on this Monday!
Defence Minister Henry Oryem Okello of Uganda on M23:
“We know there are problems in Kinshasa, but they [government] should not use Uganda as an excuse for their problems,” Mr Oryem said” (…) “President Kabila had assured us that they would organise and take them [M23] back but it’s taking forever,” the minister said” (Kasasira, 2017).
What’s been said from the DRC side:
“No military official, however, was available to confirm any clashes at Ishasha” (…) “Our antenna in Ishasha confirms the presence of elements of the M23 in this city (…) where they control several axes (…), but there is not any fighting or clashes,” reported AFP Omar Kavota, director of the Study Center for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights (Cepadho), based in the city of Beni (east)” (Publie le Lun, 2017)
There been contacts in Goma where the people has been in touch with the military there, the Military in Goma doesn’t believe that the M23 have crossed the border into Ishaha from either Kihihi or Kisoro.
Still the Uganda Police Force found weapons close to the border:
“Police patrol stumbled on unidentified people loading six sub machine guns, a PK rifle, five magazines and seventy nine bullets in a Premio vehicle registration number UAS 978B in a bush near the common border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)” (…) “According to the Kisoro LC V Chairperson Mr Abel Bizimana, the recovery of the guns being smuggled into the district shows that security is still wanting. He wants the Inspector General of Police, General Edward Kale Kayihura to go to the district to find a lasting solution to the escalation of crime. Kisoro District is currently battling an escalation of gun related crimes and aggravated robberies” (Daily Monitor, 2017).
“Elly Maate, the Kigezi Region Police Spokesperson, clarifies that they impounded six sub machine guns and a PK Machine Gun. Kisoro District currently battles an escalation of gun related crimes and aggravated robberies” (CroozeFM, 16.01.2017).
While this is happening M23 Roger Lumumba we’re taken on grand chair and walked as a royal monarch in the streets of Kinshasa. In the border region of Uganda there are escalated robberies, as even impounded weapons are on the rise. Kisoro region has harboured and have had training ground for M23 in the past. Where even the M23 got new recruits as the reports of previous attacks of the guerrilla!
So that their escalated violence and armed crimes are happening in the border area; while the guerrillas are supposed to leave the same region, these acts are simultaneously without regard for each other. They both could happen, but one of them could also be parts of the other one. The thieving and robberies could be M23 before they went into the DRC. As well planned rebels they have the capacity. By all means the Ugandan government doesn’t want to seem like they harbour rebels and prepare them to fight proxy wars. This is something they have done so in the past; because Mzee like it to be low-key and not in the open, so cannot be implicated for the sanctioned violence.
We will see if the reports and if this will materialize in the DRC and if the MONUSCO and others than State Officials are reporting, since there should be intelligence and also words spread from others than central leaders who could earn political mileage on the violations. Peace.
Daily Monitor – ‘Army, police deploy at Bunagana border’ (16.01.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Army-police-deploy-Bunagana-border/688334-3519312-8fb170z/index.html
Kasasira, Ridsel – ‘Uganda scoffs at DR Congo over M23 rebels’ (16.01.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Uganda–DR-Congo–M23-rebels-Kabila-/688334-3518768-15um6hpz/index.html
Publie le lun – ‘RDC: des ex-combattants de la rébellion investissent une localité de l’est’ (16.01.2017) link: http://www.radiookapi.net/lu-sur-le-web/rdc-des-ex-combattants-de-la-rebellion-investissent-une-localite-de-lest#sthash.tASR20cH.dpuf