“At least 107 bodies were found following the attack, yesterday and today, of the villages of Drodro, Largu and surroundings, in the province of Ituri, by militiamen of CODECO. The vast majority of the dead are civilians” (Ekipe, 22.11.2021).
“Drodro (Ituri): the FARDC who had fled when the CODECO militiamen attacked yesterday Sunday finally returned to the locality on Monday, after the militiamen withdrew. The toll of this attack remains to be confirmed, but could be high” (LUCHA, 22.11.2021).
The CODECO isn’t the most known militia or guerrilla operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Kivu Security Blog has written this about CODECO for everyone who doesn’t know their history:
“CODECO is essentially active in Djugu, a territory of Ituri province long-scarred by community-based violence and tensions, effectively between the Hema and Lendu ethnic groups. This can be traced back to colonial times: steeped in racialist theories, the Belgian authorities supported the Hema community, whom they considered to be superior at the time, and who were mostly comprised of farmers (see the report “Violence and Instability in Ituri” by the GIC network), often to the detriment of the Lendu community, which is one of the largest of the province (just over 25% according to some estimates)” (…) “According to Floribert Njabu, the moral authority of the FNI, who was able to enter into dialogue with the CODECO militia in 2020, members of CODECO present their movement as “an army, a church, and a company” all at the same time” (…) “CODECO militia members do not clearly articulate their political demands, apart from their right to fight against the “harassment” by the FARDC who they accuse of having been “infiltrated” by foreigners, according to Floribert Njabu. Incidents caused by CODECO are not limited, however, to attacks against the FARDC: they have also committed many killings, particularly of Hema civilians” (Kivu Security Tracker – ‘In Ituri Province, the FARDC are Unable to Distinguish CODECO Militias from Civilians’ 15.11.2021).
So, now the CODECO have killed even more people in the Ituri region. This is clear now that they are continuing their rampage in the region. As the CODECO is settling the scores of old in the territory. This might be another one where the CODECO is targeting the Hema population in the Djugu territory of the Ituri region.
This is very tragic and the KST have registered 133 violent incidents between 1st April 2021 to the October 13th 2021. That is this year alone, but not since their inception and that should be worrying. The FARDC cannot run away from the region and return when the massacre is over. That is what happened this weekend.
Ituri region is one of the regions under State of Emergency and still the FARDC isn’t safeguarding the general public. That is a tragic result and so many innocent civilians lost their lives this weekend.
After this massacre, the CODECO should be known like M23 or any other guerrilla being active in the DRC. Peace.
Bosco Ntaganda aka the Terminator was today sentenced to 30 years in prison for his crimes. However, that is not enough. It is not enough to take out the Capo or an Underboss to stop the crime. You need to take out the Don. In concern of the Terminator. The ICC and the International Community only took the Capo.
The Terminator is fine and dandy, he did his deeds and he did his bidding in the Kivu’s. He caused havocs, murder and massacre. In the wake of this, he should answer to that crime and to the lives he took and the kids he raised to be child soldiers. All of that is good, that he answers for that.
However, his handlers, the ones who gave him weapons, the ones who traded favours and ensured that the Capo could do his livelihood are walking free. The ones who gave way and let him do his deeds. Are proudly summoning people, being at international functions and continuing supporting other War-Lords in the same region.
You took out one, but there are plenty more fish. Because, the state, the ones across the border from Kivu needs the rebels, the warlords to continuing to prosper and sell looted minerals on the world market. This continues, as the spoils and exploits continues. Even as Bosco aka Terminator has to rot for 30 years in Europe.
The salvation isn’t coming, because the saviours are not there. The state are allowing this and the MONUSCO is not powerful to restrain these armed groups and militias, that has outside support and trade-routes to ensuring wealth.
If it is the Ugandan President supporting militias through Kisoro or Rwenzori mountains or the Rwandan President supporting it through Gisenyi. We just know this is happening and the world let it go on. Because, it isn’t our problem and the Coltan we need for Iphone and Samsung is getting distributed just in timely fashion anyway.
So, its fine that the Terminator is charged for the crimes committed. But its not fine, that the ones supporting the weapons, the ones earning on the exploits of him are getting away. They are walking free and getting no trouble what so ever. That’s what bugs me, but I am special that way. Peace.
Today, the International Criminal Court sentenced warlord Bosco Ntaganda of 18 counts on crimes against humanity. This is a victory for the victims of his crimes and the things he did while being a general of militias within the Democratic Republic of Congo for years. However, even with him in the Hague, the sins his committed are still being done by someone else.
That is why the downfall of Bosco aka the Terminator haven’t had much affect. It isn’t like this has stopped militias from robbing, stealing, controlling, child-soldering and raping civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Because, the same ones that supported Bosco is still lingering around and have new henchmen to do their bidding. The same minerals are taken through the same routes to the same sort of illicit trade and securing that another warlord their cut. The only thing that changed was that Bosco went to Europe and had to testify in Court.
Just a friendly reminder of who he is: “Bosco Ntaganda was born in 1973 in Kinigi, which is a small village located in the Virunga mountains in Rwanda. Shortly after, his family moved to Ngugu in Masisi in North Kivu. In 1990, at the age of 17, Bosco Ntaganda joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebellion whose military wing was led by the current President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. Bosco Ntaganda will then successively be used in the Rwandan army (1990-1995), AFDL (1996), RCD (1999), UPC (2003), CNDP (2003), the Congolese army (2004) and finally M23 (2012). He knows too much about Kagame’s organized crimes in the African Great Lakes region. Peace and security in this sub-region require first an end to impunity” (FDU-Inkingi – ‘The transfer of warlord Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court and the deployment of the special intervention brigade in Eastern DRC are two most priorities’ 22.03.2013).
So, its not like Bosco don’t have handlers behind him or had a support system for his tricks and trade. No, Bosco had a powerful ally, someone whose been meddling in the DRC for years. Someone who has sent his troops and earned fortunes on the minerals in the DRC, Mr. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Therefore, it is not like nobody was giving him weapons and letting him get rich of the spoils. It was the man who trained him and gave him the military education for later using him as a militia man in the DRC.
Just to put in more in perspective, Mondiaal nieuws reported: “But Ntaganda is of use to Kabila as well. Berwouts: ‘With the CNDP, Kabila won the support of the only power that could somewhat stabilize East Congo and moreover serves his electoral interests. In the run-up to the election, only Kabila was able to campaign in CNDP areas.’ What was not part of the agreement, is that the CNDP remained a state within a state, establishing a proper administration in Masisi and considered a threat rather than bringing security by large portions of the population. So Ntaganda is taking care of both Kagame’s and Kabila’s interests. That explains how he became a general of the Congolese army in 2009, in spite of the International Court of Justice issuing an arrest warrant against him three years earlier for crimes against humanity, mainly because of child soldier recruitment” (Stefano Valentino, John Vandaele & Anneke Verbraeken – ‘The killer king of North Kivu’ March 2012).
This shows the world how connected the Warlord and General was in his time. It wasn’t like he was in a vacuum doing his deeds. No, he was connected to Kagame and Kabila, they both endured and earned fortunes on his services. They accepted his crimes and promoted him for what he did. Therefore, it is striking that none of them had to pay for his crimes, but only him. Like he is the only one who committed this and did these acts.
We should wonder why Kagame and what he offered in return for the surrendering of Ntanganda. Why the ICC didn’t get Laurent Nkunda and others, whose become forgotten or not worthy criminals for the Courts. Surely, there must have been something for Kagame and Kabila to offer the Terminator to let him go and let him answer for these crimes. Because, surely, they didn’t want it all uncovered, especially they didn’t want their secret shady agreements done in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This would all stain their political future and also their standing among their peers. That is something, Kabila and Kagame couldn’t have. Therefore, without certainty, the leaders must have offered Bosco something in return, as he did rat them out and is now eating the charges. Peace.
There are reasons for why there is easy to speculate about the meetings and the secrecy of the ones involved. As there are only one official story. That Foreign Affairs Minister of Uganda, Sam Kuteesa brought a Special Message to Rwandan President Paul Kagame. We don’t more from this meeting, as it not recorded or transcribed. There are no record or no protocol. That is why we know so little about this. Just like we know little about the meeting last week between Kuteesa and Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa.
The little we know from official Ugandan sources today is this: “Hon. Kutesa delivered a special message from President Yoweri Museveni to his counterpart. Mr. Kutesa had earlier met with Dr Richard Sezibera and congratulated him upon his recent appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community. They discussed issues of bilateral interest and pledged to work closely to broaden and deepen cooperation between Uganda and Rwanda” (Uganda Media Centre – ‘Hon. Kutesa delivers special message to President Kagame’ 25.10.2018).
We really don’t know what the cooperation or that Special Message was about, even if it was involving their mutual business and exports of minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Who knows right? Because there is no official communique, there are no minutes or protocol from this meeting. Even no statement of intent. The parties have been silent about it and the only message from Uganda is practically saying nothing.
Why I am thinking like this, it is only a week ago, this was the message from the meeting in Kinshasa between Kabila and Kuteesa:
“Also, he reassured the military leaders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda will use this meeting to solve the problems on Lake Albert to restore peace and security, and to allow the people of both countries to freely and peacefully conduct their fishing” (MediaCongo.net – ‘Un message spécial de Yoweri Museveni remis au Président Joseph Kabila Kabange’ 19.10.2018)
Whatever Kagame or Kuteesa was scheming isn’t easy to know, as the interests are there and they have all profited from the insecurity and the lack of building institutions and political stability in the region. Kuteesa could also ensure they are ready for action with Kabila.
We can wonder as the DRC are scheduled an election in December. That a new form of militia will appear “out-of-nowhere” from these nations to destabilize either in Ituri, South Kivu and North Kivu even more if they get lucky. That wouldn’t be surprising if there is coming weapons from Kisoro or Gisenyi in the coming future. If it would be familiar faces from FDLR/CNDP/M23 coming out of the wood-works too. That wouldn’t be shocking (!!). To create enough insecurity, so that the Democratic Republic of Congo has to postpone the elections again.
Because that would seem likely, as a major insecurity and use of militias to create troubles within the Kivu’s and Ituri. Would give Kabila a reason for even launching a “State of Emergency” and relinquish all power until it is over. Hence, stopping the need of the two year long postponement of election. As he is on overtime in his role the President. No one would complain if he had to fight a civil war to stay in power, especially not foreign sponsored ones from former allies. That he happen to meet just in mere weeks before they assembled on Kisangani, Bukavu and Goma. I wouldn’t be shocked if that is the next step.
At this moment, it is just my wild thoughts, which sadly enough isn’t far fetched. As there are enough of freed former militia men walking about and such. Right now this is just my mere speculations, as there are no official statement/communique/document from the meeting in Kigali today and nothing from the one in Kinshasa. But these gentlemen tries to keep thing low-key, but at a later date. It suddenly explodes. If there would be weird activity in Kabale, Rwenzori or in Gisenyi in the coming weeks. I wouldn’t be directly shocked. As the timing is perfect to secure a “valid” reason to postpone the election and ensure a new “process” for yet another election. Because Kabila feed of the insecurity and needs it. Since he has no legitimate power and kills of the activists and the sends the political operatives that matters into exile. Peace.
BTW: I hope I am terrible wrong and out of line. That these meetings means they enjoyed some posho/ugali in each others company and served high quality tea afterwards. But there are often a reason for these meetings. I just start bugging when I don’t know why!