That the man gets to duplicate a government office and safety commission for exports of minerals from South Kivu. Abbas Kayonga was able for years to duplicate and double commission for checking and securing exports of minerals between South Kivu and Rwanda. Clearly, he was wise enough and used his connection within the local government of South Kivu. But, they must have been tired off it and also the tricks that has been done. As some has been caught by his duplicated commission like in 2015 and others has worked together with him.
Kayonga, must have had connections with the miners and the mineral extraction industry, which means they were able to work with him and also make the documentation legalized through his duplicated operation. That must have been the reason of the colonel Kayonga rise to fortune and possible collections of weapons, as he could have a stand-off with the army after desisting to stand down from his commission. Something he didn’t want to do. But first some context, before what happen today in Bukavu, as he wouldn’t accept, because it has been his racket for years. Take a look!
South Kivu export of Minerals to Rwanda:
“The situation in South Kivu is a little more difficult because of the confusion between the
commission against mining fraud, the SPC / South Kivu and the cell fight against mining fraud in
South Kivu led by Mr. ABBAS KAYONGA” (…) “ In Bukavu
information report that the head of the fight against mining fraud cell itself would be involved in
facilitating the smuggling of minerals to Rwanda. 3 main reasons seem to confirm this:
1. The people worked with the RCD (Congolese Rally for Democracy);
2. She lived in Rwanda for several years after reunification;
3. The creation of an anti-cell against mining fraud by the Governor of South Kivu parallel to
the national commission against mining fraud that has a focal point in South Kivu. To understand how the smuggling of minerals between the DRC and Rwanda was being harvested reliable data on the operation of networks operating in the minerals transit areas in Rwanda to Kigali Gisenyi, Kibuye and Shangugu” (SAM-PPA, 2015).
“The technical unit in charge of the field operations of the South Kivu mining commission, Kayonga Abbas, seized 60 tons of cassiterite, coltan and olfram in 2015. It handed over these minerals to the Police of the Mines. Their owners paid the public treasury a sum of 33,380 dollars to recover their parcel. Kayonga Abbas laments the involvement of some military officers in mining fraud” (Nyota, 2016).
“The Civil Society Coordination Office of South Kivu is delighted by the dismissal of Mr Abbas Kayonga from the Anti-Fraud Unit in South Kivu. Yesterday Wednesday night evening of the dead city around 19h, he would have been surprised to cross in Rwanda, a large shipment of tourmaline. He would have resisted the agents of the DGDA to the point of trying to come to arms. Fortunately he has been mastered. It is a sigh of relief for the population and especially the traders of South Kivu who were hunted down by the latter with imposition doublet, “says the message of Patient Bashombe” (…) “Remember that the anti-fraud cell of the province was a pure duplication of the DPMER. Thing that the civil society through the FEC have always lambasted. Despite the length of the night, the sun finally appears. Beware of all accomplices of fraud, embezzlement, corruption, … and other antivaleurs in the DRC, and particularly in South Kivu. These suicidal practices only accentuate the suffering of the people. The watchful eye of civil society is open and active. Here the opportunity to draw the attention of Governor Claude Nyamugabo to put order in the mining sector. There is food and drink, “says Patient Bashombe” (Lubambo, 2017)
“According to security officials, the police officers were deployed to the home of the head of the Anti-Fraud Service which had been suspended on 2 November by Governor Claude Nyamugabo for harassment. This official, prosecuted official sources, is being guarded by armed men who are known neither of the Army nor the Police. The same sources reveal that there would be a cache of weapons at his home in Muhumba” (Radio Okapi, 2017).
“Reports indicate that gun battle broke out following an attempt by the Governor of South Kivu province, Claude Nyamugabo, to arrest the provincial anti-smuggling Unit boss, Abbas Kayonga at his home in Muhumba Island. Sources on ground indicate that the Governor allegedly accuses Kayonga of involvement in fraudulent mining and asked him to resign after smuggled minerals were intercepted. It is believed that Kayonga refused to resign and resisted any attempt to arrest him, alleging that the confiscated smuggled minerals belonged to the sister of the area governor. Kayonga, guarded by private security, was seen with a fully loaded machine gun in his garden during the standoff in which grenades and bombs were going off in the area. The crossfire left two of his guards wounded and one of them later this afternoon was reportedly dead from bullet wounds. Eye witnesses say residents in the area were seen fleeing to avoid being caught up in the fracass. Meanwhile, other residents have taken advantage of the situation and looted a church and shops. “This has created losses for Rwandan traders.We have asked residents on Rwandan side to stay calm. We are talking to DRC officials who say that it’s an issue of indiscipline and it will resolved,” the Mayor of Rusizi, Harelimana Frederic said” (Sabiiti, 2017).
So clearly, the gig was up and the time for it stop had to appear. There been rumors of his connection to Rwanda and that he used his connections to build houses and buy land in Rwanda. While could clearly be connected with the mineral industry of Rwanda and their export networks, which is connected with the Kivu provinces. That has been going on for decades. He has just used the commission to make agreements and funds. If not he wouldn’t have all these guns and guards as a civil servant in Bukavu.
This is clearly stopping one racket out of plenty, who are living off and sponging off the mineral extraction and export from South Kivu province to far hinterland. Kayonga is just one out of many, but his story is an example of someone trying to make a government institution, when there already are one and is able to live off it for years. That is what the government has accepted and wonder why it took so long to stop it as well. Since they must have known about the double check-up and commissions who looks into the matter of mineral exports in the province. That is really unique and that Kinshasa has accepted this behavior is something you also should think about. I don’t have the answer, but a reasonable pay-off and envelopes between them might have occurred now and then. Peace.
Nyota – ‘Fraude minière: 60 tonnes de cassitérite et de coltan saisies au Sud-Kivu’ (17.02.2017) link: http://www.nyota.net/2016/02/17/fraude-miniere-60-tonnes-de-cassiterite-de-coltan-saisies-sud-kivu/
Lumbambo, Adonis – ‘Suspension d’Abbas Kayonga : Le bureau de coordination de la société civile du Sud-Kivu jubile et charge l’incriminé’ (02.11.2017) link: http://www.laprunellerdc.info/2017/11/02/suspension-dabbas-kayonga-le-bureau-de-coordination-de-la-societe-civile-du-sud-kivu-jubile-et-charge-lincrimine/
Radio Okapi – ‘Sud-Kivu : des tirs entendus depuis le matin à Bukavu’ (05.11.2017) link: https://www.radiookapi.net/2017/11/05/actualite/securite/sud-kivu-des-tirs-entendus-depuis-le-matin-bukavu
Sabiiti, Daniel – ‘Rwandan Traders Stranded At DRC Border As Gunfire Rocks Across’ (05.11.2017) link: http://ktpress.rw/2017/11/rwandan-traders-stranded-at-drc-border-as-gunfire-rocks-across/
Save Act Mine (SAM-PPA) – ‘INTERIM REPORT OF MONITORING PROGRAM OF THE CHAIN
APPROVISIONNMENT MINERALS’ (August-September 2015)
The instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been used by the other states in the Great Lakes Region. This has been done in the past by both Rwandan and Ugandan forces, even South Sudanese rebels has been on DRC territory at some point. Therefore, its a massive change that the Burundian support of rebels. Seems like it been used as propaganda tool by the Bujumbura government. That President Pierre Nkurunziza is using his CNDD-FDD youth militia the Imbonerakure, to create havoc at the neighbor country in collaboration with the Mai-Mai Yakutumba.
There is even an agreement flooding online between Mayi-Mayi Jejero Pelican and representative of the Burundian government Eltienne Ntakuratimana, who wrote an agreement on the 8th February 2017, where the Burundian counterparts would supply guns, ammunition and radios to the Mayi-Mayi group in response of taking out the Rwandan counterparts in the region.
So first after giving a short insight to who the Mayi-Mayi militia is, I will give one report on the Burundian enterprise in the Democratic Republic of Congo, before showing my thoughts on the manner. Where the different rumors are combined with critical thinking on the actors in the conflict of the Kivu’s. Who earns and what purpose. Take a look!
A tale of who the Mayi-Mayi or Mai-Mai is explained nicely here:
“This inter-community power conflict is shaped by and shapes antagonistic identities, which are firmly rooted in specific worldviews. In the case of the Mai Mai Yakutumba, this worldview is constructed around the idea of “autochthony”, or the concept of being a “Son of the Soil”, the “original” inhabitant of a certain zone. In this perspective, which is shared by almost all Mai-Mai groups in the DRC, the self-styled autochthonous groups are threatened by the Rwandophone communities (Hutu and Tutsi), who are seen as “foreigners” trying to take over their land and power. Betweeen 1996 and 2003, “autochthonous” and Tutsi (often Banyamulenge)-led groups clashed on numerous occasions in southern South Kivu, and there were several ethnically targeted massacres on both sides. The resulting mutual distrust and dislike continue to feed Mai Mai movements like the Yakutumba group, which serves to many Babembe as a psychological safeguard to avoid that the Banyamulenge will extend their power in Fizi and will come to dominate the Babembe” (…) “It is in part this function as a safeguard that makes Yakutumba fairly popular among the Babembe, although many do not approve of armed struggle and are tired of the war. What also contributes to Yakutumba’s popularity is that he is perceived to symbolize and embody what are seen as typical Bembe characteristics and values, such as resistance against domination and repression, not only from other ethnic groups, but also from the central government. This self-imagery is in part the product of a tradition of Bembe resistance dating back to the colonial era, the Mulele rebellion in the 1960s and the Fizi-based rebellion of Laurent-Désiré Kabila under the Mobutu regime. The Mai Mai Yakutumba place themselves explicitly in this tradition, which implies a strong animosity towards Kinshasa. They consider the regime of Kabila jr. to be complicit with the Rwandophones and their plan to ‘balkanize’ the DRC, backed by resource-hungry imperialist powers” (Verweijen, 2011).
This shows the plans and added support of the group from Burundi would serve their purpose, as well as give them strength to create havoc in the Kivu’s. Since they want power and be different than the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), also different from FDLR and ADF. Who all have been militias contributing to violence and weakening the control of these eastern states of the Republic. As well, being proof of the lacking control that the Central Government from Kinshasa has in the region. With all the eyes that we’re on M23 who has had armed insurgency and also tried to gain control of the area. It’s wouldn’t be the first try someone who has supported a group like Mayi-Mayi/Mai-Mai has done it in the Kivu’s, to show Kabila and his government, that they want to be a force to be recon with.
“Very few smart commentators aside. However, Gibert-Bécaud Njangwa, president of the association ONELOPE-Burundi (mobility) finds that the capture of Uvira by Yakutumba would destabilize peace and security in Bujumbura. He is not talking about a threat from some Burundian rebel group. But he suspects that behind Yakutumba is the invisible hand of the West: “It is very likely that Burundi is attacked by mercenaries from Congo Kinshasa so that the West can destabilize peace and security in the subregion. The Government of Burundi must be vigilant, if not the plan of destabilization is well conceived, planned, it can be executed from one moment to another” (…) “Another reading by the former communication commissioner of the Burundian opposition platform CNARED: “Uncontradicted evidence shows that Mai-Mai Yakutumba are working with Burundian intelligence, Imbonerakure militia in DRC, Interahamwe militiamen who are also allies of the Burundian regime. We have evidence that Mai-Mai Yakutumba are supplied with weapons from Bujumbura, we also know that elements of the regime are fighting alongside them. “(Ngendakumana, 2017).
If all of this isn’t bad enough, there are speculations that National pour le Renouveau et la Democratie (CNRD-Ubwiyunge) and Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), who is Rwandan counterparts in the same region. CNRD-Ubwiyunge have been an armed militia who has tried to gain control. While the FDLR has been more trying to recoup strength to go back and take their motherland back again from the Rwandan Patriotic Front(RPF). Therefore, the troubles of the region, also transpires in the Kivu States. So, the problems and the power-struggle of Burundi is now reaching the mineral rich Kivu’s and Uvira.
There reports that both CNRD and FDLR has been fighting together with Mayi-Mayi this month and in the battles for Uvira this week. If that is likely or true, than it wouldn’t fit the pattern and the history of the Mayi-Mayi, but they are accepting foreign support from Burundi, so if they would use help of Rwandan supported groups. It would be more powerful and even stronger, in the region where the FARDC and MONUSCO is lacking manpower and resources. If they had enough and if they could, they would have been able to banish these groups long time ago, but the Kabila government is keeping them. Just like he is accepting insurgency from Kisoro, Uganda into Southern Kivu, since its from the friends that brought him into power.
There is even further conspiracy that Pierre Nkurunziza is working together with Joseph Kabila to make instability and insurgency, so that there is no need for another election and end of his term. Secondly, the support and the instability is made to make sure the FARDC could get support from French Government, which they can use to invade and control the Rwandan Government. That is only plausible, if the French wants to challenge Paul Kagame, since he has distanced himself from Paris during recent years. Thirdly, the Burundian government would use their relationship with Kabila and Paris to gain proper capital to their struggling economy. So the trade of arms to militias in Kivu Provinces, would enrich the weak Bujumbura government.
Sidebar: We can just wonder if even Emmanuel Macron would care about these places, since he is more into make-up, then international politics, just remember his ignorance towards the African continent earlier this year. Therefore, parts of me doubt it, but French involvement in regime change on the continent isn’t new, but would a risky project for the newly elected French President to pull-off. Even more seasoned leaders has struggled with doing so.
Sidebar II: It is more reasonable to use this insurgency to enforce the need for Kabila, just as the running battles in Kasai-Orientale, which has killed dozens and made massive amounts of mass-graves. So that his leadership could again regain peace, but this is different. Just like the sudden movement of M23 from camps in Kisoro in 2016 and early 2017, that just fitted the paradigm of using militias as pawns. The innocent lives in the Kivu Provinces to let Kabila government rule a little longer. The same could be possible yet again. This time instead of having either Rwandan or Ugandan supported militias, it would be the cash-strapped Burundian government, who would need the financial support and the trade with the groups. Clearly, it makes it more plausible, as the net of well-wishers are dwindling for Bujumbura as well.
We just have to wait and see, what is fact and what is fiction. What we do know is that that Bukavu and Uvira has seen violence and insurgency this last few days. That the DRC/RDC has seen militias growing in strength and if foreign states are interfering in the Kivu’s. Peace.
Ngendakumana, Phillipe – ‘Et si les Maï-Maï Yakutumba prenaient Uvira, la ville de Bujumbura serait-elle menacée?’ (30.09.2017) link: http://www.ikiriho.org/2017/09/30/burundi-rdc-mai-mai-yakutumba-prenaient-uvira-la-ville-de-bujumbura-serait-elle-menacee-monusco/
Verweijen, Judith – ‘Guest Blog: Profile of Mai-Mai Yakutumba’ (01.08.2011) link: http://congosiasa.blogspot.no/2011/08/guest-blog-profile-of-mai-mai-yakutumba.html
Well, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the one who is on his unofficial third term President. He is running the country on a new cabinet, but not on a new mandate. As per today, the Constitution isn’t allowing him to re-run. He was temporary before his first term for a few years. He was running the Republic without elections between 2001 and 2006. Than he finally got elected in 2006 and than again in 2011. He was supposed to have ended his term in 2016, but that train has passed it due-date by a few months already.
President Kabila is already 160 days overtime, he is 5 months and 9 days. That is well over the supposed time. That is not counting the days he was in-charge without an official election between 2001-2006. So he has a history of running the 3rd Republic without any mandate. That is what he does today!
So the first he registered for an election without himself at the helm was back on the wonderful day of 6th May 2016. It is easy to forget that Kabila did that on a computer looking smart and ready. Vigilant like always, the vagabond ruling Kinshasa and the provinces as well. Today on the 28th May 2017. He was doing the same maneuver. Registering himself for an election. This time without CENI having set any dates, any regulations or credentials needed for candidates. Therefore this exercise was more PR than real. Surely paid lobbyist Bob Dole and others, who are working to better the image in the United States can smile. Since this act will make it more sincere that President Kabila wants to honor the promises of the CENCO agreement of 31st December 2016. So twice now, Kabila has registered himself to something he doesn’t plan to do. Because if he does, that means he loses and someone else will run it.
This is something Kabila knows and the world already knew. If the know the DRC and its situation this wouldn’t be surprising. At this point Kabila acts like he own the Republic and the Republic owes him a big deal. Therefore, he cannot leave and has no plans of exiting the throne that he inherited from his father. It seems like the time and present moment, that the instability and insecurity is also facilitated by the government. To create problems and make it worse. This to be able to postpone the elections and keep his ruling fist. It does seem plausible that by all means he wants to stay in power. Therefore, he has even been seen in the city of Lubumbashi with tanks in recent year, to prove to Moise Katumbi and his supporters. That this place is also ruled by Kabila.
I have no faith that Kabila will honor any agreement that doesn’t extend his rule. Not because he deserves to stay as the President. But because he has shown no signs of giving the mantle to anyone else or put some ready for succession. No-one has even been groomed, only people been doomed for wishing to become Presidential Aspirants, therefore they have ended in exile in Belgium. The nation that took DRC and built massive mansions on their looted fortunes. This is ironic, but the truth. Certainly, Kabila will not back-down and give-up quickly. He has no plan to give in. Peace.
On the 19th December 2016 the last term of President Joseph Kabila went out. The Democratic Republic of Congo we’re the opposition negotiation through Conférence Episcopale Nationale du Congo (CENCO) agreement on the 31st December 2016. Still, the President hasn’t left any sign of leaving. As the Army are fighting on different front, are trying to avoid more problems, but having civil war situation in Kasai-Oriental, where the province has rebels killing and the army doing the same.
There are not been any visible signs that he is stepping down or giving way. Neither any clear signs of up-coming elections. Like there are just figment of imagination that his term went out in December 19th 2016. That is 4 months and 20 days that he is on overtime, without any consideration of the violation of the Third Republic. The Democratic Republic of Congo deserves better and should have legitimate President. Also, if you count days he has already spent total 141 days, which he shouldn’t be the Commander-in-Chief and President.
Therefore, 141 days on overtime, the news that he has unleashed a new cabinet and new set of ministers. Proves the violation and the rights of the Republic is being misused and misguided. I don’t care to look into the men and woman appointed, because that isn’t fair to the citizens of the DRC. They deserve a legit President and a regime they have elected. Not someone using the army and the resources as their personal business.
Even if on this date that the President appointed 47 Ministers and 11 Vice-Ministers. They are surely all loyal to Kabila, as they doesn’t care about the constitution, nor the laws that the Third Republic are supposed to have.
The Constitution of 2005 says clearly:
“Article 70: The President of the Republic is elected by direct universal suffrage for a term of five years which is renewable only once. At the end of his term, the President stays in office until the President-Elect effectively assumes his functions” (Democratic Republic of Congo – The Constitution of 2005).
So he has had two terms, plus the waiting term after the assassination of his father, who also was President. Therefore, because of that, he has already had three terms in that respect, but only elected in two. Now he is on his fourth without any consent or ballots. That because cannot be elected as long as the Constitution is written like this. The thing that he didn’t do, like many other totalitarian leaders, they change the laws to fit their paradigm and continues “legally”. He is functioning as President while waiting to President-Elect assumes his functions. But with no election and no plan of doing so, there is no evidence of him leaving.
That is even more evident as he changes and appoint a new Cabinet, with lots of ministers loyal to him. It is within the law that he appoint ministers. Still, it is 141 days since he had legitimate powers and was the President. Right now, he shouldn’t be preoccupied with who leads Communications or where Lambert Mende is working. President Kabila, should be come a civilian or join Yayah Jammeh in Equatorial Guinea, even go to Togo like Mobotu!
“After a weekend of confusing reports on Mobutu’s whereabouts, CNN confirmed on Monday that he was in Togo, escaping there early Sunday just ahead of rebels advancing on his home in the northern Zairian village of Gbadolite” (…) “Mobutu — who fled Kinshasa on Friday, the day before rebels entered the capital in force — was resting in a residence belonging to his old friend, Togolese dictator Gnassingbe Eyadema, government officials in the West African nation said” (Arnett, 1997).
So if he would do the 3rd Republic a favor, he would leave the Presidency and leave the Nation. It doesn’t seem to be possible at this point. President Kabila has not conceded or tried to give way. Therefore, the trust of him leaving power, seems day-by-day unlikely. President Kabila shows that he uses his power and capacity, as the army are loyal to him. This proves that the elections seems far-fetched, since he has not showed anything feasible or even tried to even get tenders for ballots.
That President Kabila will say elections are expensive, the are to many rebellions, that the M23 are in the Kivu’s, that FDLR are doing their thing, that ADF-NALU still existing, that the Kamunia Nsapu and other groups killing in different provinces. This will all be used as tactics to postpone the elections and make sure there are no official date for elections, nor ordering ballots or securing funds for the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI). They will all be left behind, since there are no plans or wish of the President to get a successor. That means he will leave all his power behind!
This new government is just a disgrace… and not respecting the Constitution of the 3rd Republic. Neither, it is clear disrespect of the people and republic. President Kabila doesn’t own the nation and the public doesn’t owe him anything, they deserves some who legitimate rule them. Time for Kabila to follow the fleeing President and leave for Togo! Peace.
Arnett, Peter – ‘Mobutu in Togo as Zaire rebels assume leadership’ (19.05.1997) link:http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9705/19/zaire/index.html?eref=sitesearch
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.
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.
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-
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
“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.
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