November 27, 2008

Apolinaire Malu-Malu, the coordinator of the Amani Program, which resulted in the signing of the Goma peace accords between the government and rebel groups in January, has said in an interview with Belgian newspaper Le Soir that warlord Laurent Nkunda “has the power to annoy” but lacks the means to overthrow the government.

The rebel leader has threatened to remove the government by force if it does not hold direct negotiations with him. Lambert Mende, the government spokesman, said on Tuesday that there will be no direct negotiations with Laurent Nkunda and his CNDP movement outside of the Amani framework.

Malu-Malu also told Le Soir that Laurent Nkunda won’t be able to go to Kinshasa and overthrow the government. He also said that it is important “to stop the massacres, such as those committed by the rebels in Kiwanja and the attacks on refugee camps”, which he called war crimes.