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Archive for the tag “Protection of Civilians”

South Sudan: The Political Opposition Forces – Communique (19.10.2017)

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Position of South Sudan Council of Churches Regarding the Revitalisation of the Implementation of the Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) – (13.10.2017)

CEPO of South Sudan: “Working Points for IGAD-LED Revitalization Porcess” (15.10.2017)

South Sudan: “Subject: Appointment of Party’s General Secretary and Executive Secretaries of South Sudan United Movement” (07.10.2017)

SPLM Leaders Former Political Detainees (FDs) letter to IGAD: “Visit of IGAD Foreign Ministers Delegation on the ARCSS Pre-Revitialization Consultation Forum” (07.10.2017)

President receives special message from South Sudan’s Salva Kiir (03.10.2017)

President Museveni and General Ajong discussed UPDF – SPLA security cooperation and training.

KAMPALA, Uganda, October 3, 2017 – President Yoweri Museveni has today met a delegation of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), led by General James Ajong Mawut who is the Chief of Defense Forces of Republic of South Sudan.

During the meeting which took place this afternoon at the State Lodge in Mbale Municipality, Eastern Uganda, General Ajong conveyed a special message and a letter of appreciation from President Salva Kiir of South Sudan to President Museveni, commending him for the continued support and solidarity with the government of South Sudan.

President Museveni and General Ajong discussed UPDF – SPLA security cooperation and training.

Uganda and South Sudan have long standing economic and security interests. Uganda is also host to over one million refugees fleeing from the instability in South Sudan.

Opinion: Burundian government support of Mayi-Mayi in Kivu Provnices; is it a ploy to keep Kabila in Power?

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.

Reference:

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

MONUSCO is gravely concerned by the use of lethal weapons by Congolese defense and security forces in a crowd control operation in Bukavu (26.09.2017)

Congolese defense and security forces reportedly fired warning shots to disperse demonstrators protesting against rampant insecurity and repeated cases of armed robbery in the locality.

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, September 26, 2017 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of MONUSCO, Maman Sidikou, is gravely concerned by the use of lethal force by Congolese defense and security forces in response to public protests in Bukavu, South Kivu province, leading to civilian casualties including children.

This morning, in the Panzi neighborhood of Bukavu, Congolese defense and security forces reportedly fired warning shots to disperse demonstrators protesting against rampant insecurity and repeated cases of armed robbery in the locality. An 8-year girl, on her way to school, was reportedly hit by a stray bullet and subsequently died. According to credible reports received by MONUSCO, there are additional casualties and the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office is investigating to collect more detailed information.

“Defense and security forces have an obligation to use force only as the last resort, in compliance with the principles of necessity, proportionality and legality, pursuant to the international standards. Alleged violence perpetrated by protestors should never be an excuse for the use of lethal force”, said Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of MONUSCO.

“Furthermore, I urge Congolese authorities to ensure that law enforcement personnel is adequately equipped and trained to engage in crowd-control operations, and call on the authorities to urgently carry out prompt, credible and independent investigations into this incident, as a mean to prevent loss of civilian lives during future protests”, Sidikou concluded.

Opinion: CSO’s Paper to IGAD HLRF is revealing!

There were many insights and deep stuff in the CSO Report to IGAD, which has been written and submitted to Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has put their stakeholders, and their pride into trying to forge a peace, even after the peace agreement of 2015 has been shot into tatters recently. The IGAD are clearly on a mission to sustain their place and their negotiations with the parties in South Sudan. As the conflict and battles within becomes more dire, when the consequences of not doing it, is more life in danger and a more uncertain future for the republic. Clearly, all parties knows what at stake, as the IGAD have proven not to be to impartial, as well as the foreign intervention from Uganda, has been in favor of the SPLM-IG, clearly, there are many more obstacles to fix before the due date of the newly proposed peace mediation. That is why the paper from the CSO is revealing, especially, the part if IGAD fail, which I think it will do, as long as people are sidestepping the SPLM-IO and the newly created militias and opposition forces. Look at their take if the IGAD fails, which is such a dossier.

“IGAD faces a daunting task in securing a political settlement through the HLRF process. Not only must it contend with the fracturing of armed groups and the proliferation of new political formations, but divisions among IGAD member states themselves undermine the diplomatic leverage that mediators have at their disposal. From the very start of the conflict, it has been clear that the four frontline states of Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda are essential to the solution of the conflict in South Sudan. Only they can offer the incentives and disincentives that are needed to bring the various factions together behind the terms of a political settlement. To date, the vested interests of some political elites in the region have prevented IGAD from mounting a united response. The next few months will show whether the situation in South Sudan has reached a point at which it poses such a serious threat to regional peace and stability that the region is forced to respond accordingly, or whether IGAD’s ability to respond will once again be undermined by narrowly defined state or personal interests” (CSO Paper, September 2017).

“If the HLRF process fails, the IGAD region must accept that it is unable to resolve the crisis in South Sudan and hand over responsibility for the mediation effort to the AU. The four frontline states can still engage in the context of an AU-led mediation, but they should not be able to dominate the process and use it as a forum to promote their own narrowly defined interests. The AU should start preparing itself now by developing a political strategy for a possible AU-led mediation effort. This strategy should go beyond any eminent personalities that may be appointed to lead the process to consider how the AU approach would differ from that of IGAD. In addition, IGAD and the AU should make clear to the warring parties that if they fail to agree on a political settlement in the context of the HLRF, IGAD and the AU will request that punitive measures be imposed on parties who undermine the process. Such punitive measures are long past due and are the only means to communicate to the leadership on all sides of the political divide that the African region will no longer allow the people of South Sudan and the region to be held hostage to their leaders’ pursuit of power” (CSO Paper, September 2017).

It is really telling how they are explaining in these passages, the reality of the daunting task ahead, as the SPLM/A and SPLM-IO are the key component to the crisis and stalemate, but this in effect has created many more enemies of both. The former SPLM/A and SPLM-IO who has become their own parties and their militias, are within all reason making the road-map for peace more hectic. As there isn’t just two leaders who wants to be supreme. But a dozens who wants to topple them both, by all means and with full force. This should not overshadow the need for diplomatic and negotiations between SPLM/A and SPLM-IO, neither stop the SPLM/A reunification project, even how flawed both has been.

The marginalized and silenced parts of the discussions, the rebellions against both parties, should be looked at if the IGAD HLRF Process is a honest one. If the IGAD approach should bear fruits, the SPLM-IO ghost is haunting the process and the dialogue. As well as all the former generals who has created their own outfits, who needs to included, unless they want to create a new fragile peace. That could blow up any second after the ink has run dry. Peace.

Reference:

CIVIL SOCIETY OPTIONS PAPER ON THE IGAD HIGH-LEVEL REVITALIZATION FORUM (September 2017)

 

Communiqué of the 720th meeting of the PSC, at the ministerial level, on the situation in South Sudan (20.09.2017)

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