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Archive for the tag “M23”

RDC: Communication du Bureau Politique de la Majorite Presidentielle (22.04.2017)

RDC: Declaration de la Conference Episcopale Nationale du Congo sur la Situation Socio-Politique Actuelle en RD Congo (20.04.2017)

Kasai violence drives over 11,000 Congolese to seek refuge in Angola (21.04.20017)

The brutal conflict in Congo’s previously peaceful Kasai region has already displaced more than one million civilians within the country since it began in mid-2016.

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 21, 2017 – A spike of violence in the Kasai Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has now forced over 11,000 refugees to seek safety in Angola. Border points and villages inside the Southern African nation have seen a sharp increase in refugee arrivals with over 9,000 arriving so far in April. The brutal conflict in Congo’s previously peaceful Kasai region has already displaced more than one million civilians within the country since it began in mid-2016.

Those fleeing into Angola continue to arrive mainly in Dundo, the capital of north-eastern Luanda Norte Province.

Refugees reported fleeing attacks from militia groups, who are targeting police, military officials, and civilians who they believe are supporting or representing the Government. After running away from fighting rebel and Government forces, some refugees had to hide in the forest for several days before fleeing to Angola. Refugees are arriving in desperate conditions, without access to clean water, food or shelter.

The situation among children is dire, as many arriving malnourished and sick – suffering from diarrhea, fever and malaria. Two children are reported to have already died from severe malnutrition. UNHCR is concerned for the fate of others suffering from worrying levels of food insecurity and illnesses.

The new arrivals are terrified and still fear for their lives and mentioned they do not have any immediate plans to return home. Some parents have reportedly sent their children across the border, worrying they would be forcibly recruited by the militias if they had stayed in the DRC.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is currently coordinating refugee response with the Government, local authorities and partners on the ground. We are also negotiating with the Government for proper hosting sites as the current border locations are overcrowded and not suitable. UNHCR is sending an additional emergency team to Dundo this Saturday to support relief efforts.

UNHCR is in the process of shipping family tents, kitchens sets, blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats and other essential relief items to the area.

Further aid is urgently needed, as refugees are forced to stay in makeshift buildings in the border villages. Angola’s wet season peaks in April, and UNHCR is especially worried about the ongoing rains –– which could further complicate living conditions and the health of refugees, especially the most vulnerable such as women, children, the elderly and the disabled.

UNHCR welcomes the response of the Government of Angola in keeping its borders open for continued refugee arrivals. We hope that this gesture of goodwill will continue as the situation remains dire in DRC’s Kasai region. UNHCR is also underlining the importance of not returning people in need of international protection to the DRC.

Rwanda 1994: Gen. Paul Kagame letter of 10. August 1994 (Confidentiel)

DRC: “Further mass graves and killings discovered in Kasais” says Zeid (19.04.2017)

This brings to 40 the number of mass graves documented by the UN in Kasai Central and Kasai Oriental Provinces since August 2016.

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 19, 2017 – UN investigators in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have confirmed the existence of at least 17 further mass graves in Kasai Central Province, which has been the scene of clashes between soldiers and members of a local militia known as Kamuina Nsapu. This brings to 40 the number of mass graves documented by the UN in Kasai Central and Kasai Oriental Provinces since August 2016.

The presence of the additional graves was confirmed during an investigation mission to Kasai Central between 5 and 7 April by staff from the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) and UN Police (UNPOL).

Fifteen of the mass graves were in a cemetery in the town of Tshimbulu and two in the locality of Tshienke. The UN team gathered information that soldiers from the Forces armées de la Republique démocratique du Congo (FARDC) had reportedly dug the graves, after clashing with presumed elements of the Kamuina Nsapu militia between 26 and 28 March. At least 74 people, including 30 children, were reported to have been killed by soldiers as a result of these clashes.

The UN team also visited Kananga to gather information about alleged abuses and violations there. Between 28 and 30 March, FARDC soldiers were reported to have shot dead at least 40 people, including 11 children and 12 women, in the Nganza commune of Kananga, and injured at least 21 others. The majority of the victims were said to have been killed in their homes as soldiers went door to door looking for militia members.

Two of the victims died in hospital, while the remaining 38 were reportedly buried by the local population in three mass graves. FARDC soldiers were also reported to have buried an unknown number of bodies in a fourth mass grave in Nganza cemetery.

UNJHRO also received reports that at least two women and three girls had been raped by FARDC soldiers during the same operation in Nganza. Defence and security forces were alleged to have arrested and detained 27 people, including 10 boys and a 15-year-old girl.

The UN investigators, who also visited the Katoka commune of Kananga, heard reports that during search operations by officers from the Police nationale congolaise (PNC) on 28 March, a 23-year-old man, a 17-year-old boy and a one-month-old baby had been killed. The UN team was told that the baby had been fatally injured after being trampled on by police officers searching their house.

The Kamuina Nsapu militia, which is loyal to a local customary chief killed by the army on 12 August last year, has been accused of recruiting hundreds of children into its ranks, and targeting state agents and symbols, including government premises, schools, hospitals, police stations, as well as churches. An example of such violence happened on 30 March when about 30 alleged Kamuina Nsapu militiamen attacked the parish church of Saint-Jean de Masuika in Luiza territory, where they ill-treated at least three nuns and a priest, threatening to kill them. In addition, the priest and one of the nuns were reportedly abducted and then released the next day after money was paid. The militiamen also vandalized the church, breaking doors and windows, and burning the priest’s chasubles.

“The discovery of yet more mass graves and the reports of continued violations and abuses highlight the horror that has been unfolding in the Kasais over the last nine months,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

“It is absolutely vital that the Government of the DRC takes meaningful steps, which to date have been lacking,  to ensure that there is a prompt, transparent, and independent investigation to establish the facts and circumstances of alleged human rights violations and abuses perpetrated by all parties, and other abuses of justice. My Office has offered its assistance in conducting such a credible investigation. We reiterate our request for access to all sites of mass graves, as well as to all witnesses, including those in detention, and other relevant information necessary to determine responsibility at all levels,” Zeid said.

“The scale and nature of the violence increasingly underscore the need to monitor the situation closely. Should there be no effective national investigation, I will not hesitate to urge the international community to support an investigation by an international mechanism, including the International Criminal Court, which recently reminded the DRC authorities of their primary responsibility under the Rome Statute to investigate and prosecute the alleged acts of violence in the Kasais,” the High Commissioner said.

Opinion: Maj. Gen. Elewu shouldn’t be interviewed as he deserves ‘to be put on trial’!

A poor person is very dangerous. He can do anything to survive. We need to support projects such as Operation Wealth Creation and others that focus on the socio-economic development of this country,” Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Commander of Land Forces, Maj Gen Peter Elwelu (Daily Monitor 17.04.2017).

Let me be clear, when Brig. Peter Elwelu was a bit unknown his voice and opinion might have mattered to me, as then he would just be another fellow human being with an understanding of the world. But people like him, now after the crime, I cannot let him discuss state and government matters and not talk about what overshadows for me.

Brig. Elwelu or Maj. Gen. Elwelu now, is for me until proven innocent, a man who was in-charge of unlawful attacks on the Royal Palace in Kasese and the massacre of unknown amount of guards, police officers, civilians and others. So while the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere is in house-arrest in Baganda. The army commander in charge of the operation, the one that killed innocent and burned the palace without any forewarning is looming the streets.

That the army man who was in-charge has since than been promoted, while the families of Kasese does not know the consequence and the reason for their death. Other than the salaries and that the state sanctioned the army to do this at one point. That the Kasese attacks and tragedy escalated quick is easy to understand, that it became is evident and that the army had to hide their crimes with even burning. Letting the dead decompose while the “evidence” of it all was collected. Since the knowledge of who ordered it and who wanted it come from up-high.

That Brig. Elwelu just followed orders might be true, still he completed and directed the mission, with bravado as the dead was dug into mass graves while the priests we’re praying for the lost souls. They should have also prayed for the soldiers who killed innocent men and woman on the compound in Kasese. That Brig. Elwelu made happen with his ordered and persistent attitude during these days of violence.

That Brig. Elwelu believes poor people can be dangerous is true, but his voice on the matter. Shouldn’t he important. As he has poor record of caring about how people has it and how people live. He had no issues with burning and killing in Kasese, he could do the same in Teso, Tooro and Busoga, why not?

I do not trust this man and I can surely not be alone. His voice shouldn’t have space in the Daily Monitor, as Brig. Elwelu suddenly deserves to be in the public sphere. Lets be clear he don’t! Not until he has answered and maybe cleared his name for his possible, and most likely crimes against humanity in Kasese in 2016! Peace.

President Museveni sanctions now all information on emergencies from the State House!

If you ever needed proof that the departments, ministries and institutions don’t have values in Uganda, than you need the newest revelation. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), who has run the nation for over three decades. This is proven with the Presidential Handshakes, the growing amounts of MP’s, Ministers and of newly created districts and sub-counties. That sort of government both state-wise and locally has grown out of proportions, this to make it possible to have enough cronies close by and hire them. The government has been built around President Museveni, still he has to control it even more. Take a look!

President Museveni has ordered ministries to stop declaring state of emergencies without his prior approval of their messages to the public. He accused government officials of using loose words which have ended up scaring away potential investors and tourists. President Museveni voiced his concerns in a letter he wrote to the Vice President and copied to all permanent secretaries of all ministries on January 20, this year” (Ahimbisibwe, 2017).

So the controlling behavior of President Museveni, now is to another level since he cannot even trust that the message spread by his ministers are sound enough. He is now controlling the releases of information and vouch for the ones spread from the NRM. The Government is so controlled by him, that it all has to pass by him. Because his rubber-stamp has now to be on the messages.

That the President needs clearance and cannot trust in his ministers, not the agencies or state institutions, proves the lack of transparency, as even the messages has to pass by him before the public gets to know. If it is first in emergencies, than it will on the Presidents desk and he will rewrite it, so that it fits his understanding of it. So if it needs to be addressed as enclave, a colonial relic or even if it is climate change, the President has to speak his peace.

That the Police Force, the Army or any of the ministers can address the matters first in public, to regain trust or even try to amend in the emergency that arrived. That the President shouldn’t have the capacity to control each and every single message the government spreads out. Surely, the President cannot have capacity to follow Hon. Frank Tumbewaze or Uganda Media Centre Chairman Ofwono Opondo’s remarks on the matters. As much as the President cannot have the time or the ability to understand the different events that occur in the Republic.

This here proves that President Museveni only trust himself and no-one else, all his vision has to be spread and people have to believe him. President Museveni wants to control it all and not give way, it is all him and his behavior. Not like Museveni wants to trust anyone. They are only around for Presidential Handshake’s and Brown Envelopes, that is because they follow his system. They know if they stay around and needs it, he will help them out and also create needed jobs for the closest associates.

President Museveni proves with this what we have known for long, that the institutions and the ministries is shell-organizations for the supposed operations of the state. Museveni has to be informed and engaged before actions happens. If it doesn’t happen that way, it is the wrong way and his feels betrayed by his own. Therefore, the ones that falls stopped informing and being independent of their master. Which is Museveni, who feels he is more important than the institutions. Museveni thinks he is the pillar of the State and the key to all the works of the State.

That is why the newest order of controlling information and the flow of information to the public, the enforcement of this proves the systematic control that he has from the Okello House. This proves how belittling the state is and how important the President thinks of himself. The way the State is now his playground and no-one else can play like he do. Peace.

Reference:

Ahimbisibwe, Patience – ‘Museveni set to vet government messages’ (04.04.2017) link: http://mobile.monitor.co.ug/News/Museveni-set-vet-government-messages/2466686-3876432-format-xhtml-5i5i9oz/index.html

DRC: Now up to 30 Mass Graves in Kasai-Oriental Province and other reports!

The endless violence that has occurred in the Province since March 2016 to April 2017 has to stop. The killings of innocent civilians as the United Nations finds more and more mass graves in and around Kasai-Oriental. That the Kamunia Nsapu rebels are dangerous is an understatement, but the Armed Forces of Democratic of Congo (FARDC) has really made a manslaughter and something that must reminisce of a genocide. The amount of killings and the systematic destruction of society as the amounts of dead and findings of graves, is only the beginning. With the coming reports of the villages that is looted and the senseless tyranny, that has appeared in the region should worry anyone who care about somebody. There are also towns who has been taken for granted that has gotten issues by the armed insurgency. So the end-game right now is scores of dead and the mass graves as the armed violence continues.

While the International Community condemns the killings of the UN Experts and their interpreter, there isn’t much else than a weaker UN Peacekeeping Mission tabled from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and an unsure political process underway. As the local reports will tell about both condemnation from CRONGD and Reprodhoc, but also other mere facts of the dire situation that is healthy to know.

CRONGD condemns the killings:

The Regional Council of Central Non-Governmental Organizations (Crongd) of Kasaï Central and the Provincial Network of Human Rights Organizations (Reprodhoc) say …” (…)Condemn with the utmost energy the violence, the exactions, the stalking, the killings and the massacres of the populations and the villages in the Kasai space, vigorously protest against any pretension to want to resort to and impose peace by force, knowing that the force Has never produced lasting peace, “they denounced” (…) “… Call for an independent international investigation into the killings and massacres of those currently buried in nearly 30 mass graves, calling for justice..” (Ngonga, 2017).

The Situation in Luebo, Kasai:

The administrator of Luebo regrets that the enlistment kits have been set on fire and even feared the holding of elections in this part of Kasai. He explained that the National Police is not armed to face such an attack: “The police are not equipped to deal with a war that is happening. Under these conditions, the police could only intrench themselves because they were not an army. In Luebo, there were never any soldiers, “concluded Joseph Mbuyi Mubenga” (Ntambwe, 2017).

Government disclaim the reports from Catholic church in the Kasai province:

But in Kananga, it is the brutality of the army that is pointed at, notably by the Catholic church, in the front line on the ground. “It is difficult to understand these reactions of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church speaking of the disproportionate use of force, whereas we do not have the elements on what exactly happened …, “Said Lambert Mende, spokesman for the Congolese government, by telephone” (TV5Monde, 2017).

Government proclaims order:

The military is patrolling to restore order in the region, according to Justin Milonga, who recommended that local people report any cases of slippage in these operations. “If there are cases of slippage, all of us, we are called to denounce them so that sanctions are inflicted on these elements of order. I reassure you … that there are even some officers who are in prison for having slipped on the ground, “he said before calling the residents who fled their homes to return. This deployment is part of the “restoration of public order disrupted by militia activism and not to bother the population,” said Justin Milonga at a press conference” (Radio Okapi, 2017).

So there are reports that are worrying, but there some concern of the matter. It is hard to believe Lambert Mende and Vice-Governor of Kasai Central Justin Milonga, as the amounts of mass graves and the scores of death is arising, the violence and uncertainty isn’t something that seem real. That the army is there and trying to monitor the situation is clear, but the control of the different battalions and knowledge of the rebels activity seem unclear. Even if some of the soldiers are having mutiny can also be asked. Since there reports of military personnel behind bars. Therefore the spokesperson shows there has been transgression within the army of both violence and otherwise, if not the men wouldn’t serve time.

There are so many questions as the numbers of mass graves comes in Kasai-Oriental or Kasai Central, as the brutality and violence aftermath and current state appear. As the local reports of both looting and vandalism, as well as towns feeling unsure about the armed insurgency like in Luebo. The civilians and people Congo, deserve better and the Congolese Authorities has to take action, as their inaction and the probable causes for the breaches against crime against humanity should be looked into. The Presidency of Kabila should not able to walk away from this without a scratch, as his rule is questioned and deservedly so. Peace.

Reference:

Acualite.cd/ Ngonga, Franck – ‘Kasaï Central : Un collectif d’ONG parle d’environ 30 fosses communes et demande une enquête internationale’ (03.04.2017) link: https://actualite.cd/2017/04/03/kasai-central-collectif-dong-parle-denviron-30-fosses-communes-demande-enquete-internationale/

Ntambwe, Stanislas – ‘KASAÏ: LA CITÉ DE LUEBO SOUS CONTRÔLE DES HOMMES ARMÉS’ (03.04.2017) link: http://www.lepotentielonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16740:kasai-la-cite-de-luebo-sous-controle-des-hommes-

armes&catid=90:online-depeches&Itemid=517

Radio Okapi – ‘Kasaï-Central: la population appelée à dénoncer les dérapages des militaires’ ((03.04.2017) link: http://www.radiookapi.net/2017/04/03/actualite/societe/kasai-central-la-population-appelee-denoncer-les-derapages-des?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+radiookapi%2Factu+%28Radiookapi.net%29#sthash.ZffUtZla.dpuf

TV5Monde – ‘RDC : 7 mois de violences au Kasaï’ (03.04.2017) link: http://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/rdc-7-mois-de-violences-au-kasai-162430

Weaken mandate of MONUSCO is a gift-wrapped surprise to Kabila!

We don’t want to just cut for the sake of cutting. There are places we can cut. Everybody knows there’s fat at the U.N. Everybody knows there’s fat in the peacekeeping missions. So that’s why we’re taking each one.” – Nikki Haley U.S. Ambassador to the UN (Westcott, 29.03.2017).

There is something very wrong with our current day of leadership and their pride. If a mission had been finalized and done, than I would understand why they decided to change the mandate or suspend it. What happen at the United Nations Security Council this week, the 31st March 2017 is a mystery to me. It is a unique act of ignorance and lack of understanding, as if the less is better when the acts of oppression and killings happens on a day-to-day basis. When villages and towns are silenced by either government forces or rebels. That the UNSC see it fit to cut their mandate and have less soldiers to be there monitor and control the acts against the civilians. Take a look!

The worrying news from the United Nations:

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for another year but reduced the number of troops” (…) “In a resolution unanimously adopted, the 15-member body decided to keep the UN Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) until 31 March 2018, but approved 16,215 military personnel, 660 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050 personnel of formed police units” (…) “In a previous mandate extension, the Council approved 19,815 military personnel, 760 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050 personnel of formed police units” (MONUSCO, 2017).

That the United Nations Security Council cuts with 3,600 military personnel into the MONUSCO Peacekeeping Operation mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is like a wrapped Christmas gift in early March. Also the cut in in military observers by a 100, only keeping the same amount of police personnel and police units, shows the lack of understanding the fragile situation inside Congo. The Congolese Authorities are oppressive and silencing the citizens, while citizens are dying and even mass-graves are appearing in Kasai-Oriental, as M23 have resurfaced, the Mayi-Mayi creating issues, Kamwina Nsapu rebellion, the ADF-NALU inside the Kivu’s. There are so much violence and killings, still the International Community play foul by stepping down their mission as the situation isn’t becoming clearer or better.

There been issues in North Kivu and South Kivu for long as Rwandese and Ugandan based rebel groups, together with relics of the great-wars of the 1990s are still at large, these are done in systematic oppression, as well as the resources have been exported through channels that even lead to the building of gold refinery in Entebbe recently. Still, this is all happening under the nose of the United Nations Security Council, they know this as of late two of the UN Experts together with their interpreter lost their lives while following up on the mass-graves of Kasai-Oriental. Therefore, that after months of killings in yet another province, that the MONUSCO getting weaker is gift to President Kabila and his violent oppressive army FARDC.

Important cuts of MONUSCO according to the U.S. Ambassador to the UN on the DRC Mission:

““We can reduce the troops tremendously,” Haley would later tell a gathering of foreign-policy mandarins and reporters at the Council on Foreign Relations. President Joseph Kabila’s “corrupt” government, she suggested, may be unworthy of international support from the United Nations. And the U.N. mission, she added, might be compromising its integrity by “aiding a government that is inflicting predatory behavior against its own people.” (Lynch & McCormick, 2017).

Well, what the new Ambassador Haley doesn’t see that if the UN didn’t have a genuine mandate and forces there, than the escalation and the possible worsen efforts from the government could have appeared, as the price of power from the central government hasn’t really showed lack of use of excess force in the past. As well as giving way to rebels to steal and take resources so they can export it to Rwanda and Uganda. That has happen over a decade and shaped the mineral industries, as well as the relationship between the Republics. But I am sure that Haley haven’t read the bloody history or the extended warfare and warlords that has affected the Congolese heartland. That would surely make her think of other than corruption, but also of the amount of innocent people killed. She and the U.S. can replicate their dollars and drop silver dollars again to crash economies as they did in the past. But, to use economy as a reason to give way to President Kabila, seems futile and like monkey-wrenching the UN Peacekeeping mission.

So the cutting of the fat, will also cut the will and possible effects of the UN Mission in the DRC. They are maybe saving some funds, but even creating most likely unknown effects where the stakes are higher than a service adjourned and continues peace. The Kabila Government are far likely fearing the UN and their MONUSCO while knowing that the UN will cut their support and their mandate to save U.S. Tax payers monies. Instead of seeing the benefit of securing the peace in the Congo. Certainly, the nation who was partly involved in the killing of President Patrice Lumumba, should feel their needed support of a peaceful transition and recognize that they also kept the funding of President Mobutu Sese Seko for decades upon end. So the US history in the DRC comes with a price and they should not talk budget, but talk on how to strengthen the MONUSCO’s mandate to secure the civilians, who are used as pawns on the chess-set, while the leaders are trading favors and finding paths to stay in power. Kabila knows this and using all tricks to be able to stay without holding an election or respecting the CENCO agreement. Therefore, the weaken MONUSCO by 3,600 military personnel is gift, a splendid gift to Kabila and his cronies.

Kabila, should be delighted and have an afternoon delight with some liquor and prime cut beef. However, the US administration shows that they are not thinking long-term in policies in their respects to the UN. This will cost more and take more time on their involvement in peacekeeping mission in the future, as the resolving mechanisms and the results of stifling the powers are gone. The mission themselves sometimes doesn’t deliver great results in change, but they keep the violence at bay and also make sure the governments doesn’t extended their power grab. That would change if the weaken mandate of MONUSCO would be even more axed. Peace.

Reference:

Lynch, Colum & McCormick, Ty – ‘Nikki Haley Threatened to Withhold Backing for U.N.’s Congo Mission, Then Blinked’ (30.03.2017) link: http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/30/nikki-haley-threatened-to-withhold-backing-for-u-n-s-congo-mission-then-blinked/

MONUSCO – ‘DR CONGO: SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS PEACEKEEPING MANDATE, BUT REDUCES TROOP STRENGTH’ (31.03.2017) link: https://monusco.unmissions.org/en/dr-congo-security-council-extends-peacekeeping-mandate-reduces-troop-strength

Westcott, Lucy – ‘U.N. AMBASSADOR NIKKI HALEY: ‘I BELIEVE YOU WILL SEE CUTS TO THE U.N.’ (29.03.2017) link: http://www.newsweek.com/nikki-haley-un-budget-cuts-peacekeeping-575967

RDC: MSR/G7 Afrique du Sud – Communique de Presse du 29 Mars 2017

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