DR Congo’s President Joseph Kabila and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame have endorsed a pact seeking the creation of a new military force comprised of soldiers from “neutral” countries to fight and “eradicate” the armed groups operating in eastern Congo, including the M23 rebels led by warlord Bosco Ntaganda and the Rwandan rebels of the FDLR.
Rights groups are increasingly appalled at the support Mr. Kagame has continued to receive from those who claim to be the leading defenders of human rights around the world, while at the same time providing support and cover for a man many consider a dictator, involved in war crimes across the border in eastern Congo, not to mention the suppression of any opposition to his regime by any means necessary.
An internal UN report obtained by the BBC says that Rwanda is once again supporting rebels in eastern Congo linked to renegade general Bosco Ntaganda.
President Joseph Kabila and the Congolese Army Chief of Staff, General Didier Etumba, arrived in Goma on Monday to deal with the security threat posed by the defections of former rebels integrated in the army under a peace deal.
The Congolese government said on Thursday that “irregular troop movements” have been observed in North and South Kivu Provinces since last weekend. The troop movements are believed to be a show of force by General Ntaganda amid renewed calls for his arrest after his former boss in the FPLC, Thomas Lubanga, was convicted by the ICC on March 14.
With only 6 weeks left before presidential and parliamentary elections, President Kabila, at a wide-ranging news conference on Tuesday, said that he is confident he will win re-election in November. “I know one thing for sure, I will not lose,” Mr. Kabila replied when asked if he thinks there is a candidate who could beat him.
The United Nations Security Council imposed targeted measures including travel bans and asset freezes on four Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) leaders and a former Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) commander integrated in the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC), on Wednesday, at the request of the permanent missions to the United Nations of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
A report by a group of experts monitoring UN sanctions on the Democratic Republic of Congo has implicated former CNDP soldiers, now part of the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC), in the illegal exploitation of mineral resources in eastern Congo.
Warlord Laurent Nkunda, the eastern Congo rebel leader accused of numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity, has been arrested in Rwanda while fleeing a joint Congolese-Rwandan military operation to arrest him.
A United Nations panel of experts has once again accused Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and his government of supporting warlord Laurent Nkunda in his years-long killing spree in eastern Congo.