Category Archives: Great Lakes Region

Information and news of the Great Lakes Region of Africa

DRC “Timely Organized Elections”: Is the US Pressing on the Right Button?


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is hitting constitutional deadlines of holding presidential elections. As states by the constitution, we would have legally been invited to enroll for polls within few months ago. The convocation of presidential election has to take place 90 days before the ongoing mandate expires, states the constitution (see Article 73). However, it’s obvious that observers would unlikely agree that these elections can be held in November 2016. Whether the failure to timely organize elections is due to financial/technical challenges or the lack of the willingness from rulers, the fact is that it would probably be taking a time to have them run.

Since a decade, the socio-political context in DRC as well as that of the Africa Great Lakes Region has interested key international partners; the US being on the forefront. In order to closely watch the region stability, the US has nominated a Special Envoy who had a short Twitter Q&A session on 07/07/2016. The discussion can be found on the US, Special Envoy to the Great Lakes official twitter account @US_SEGL. Though the session took a short time of discussions, Tom Perriello has once again underscored the timely organized Presidential/Parliamentary elections in DRC. That’s, respecting the constitutional deadlines.

If not mistaken, it might be that twitter users weren’t well informed on the forthcoming session as it was announced few hours before it went on. There is also a possibility that the US stance regarding the DRC isn’t currently meeting more Congolese’s interests? I’m likely unable to respond to the question. The following are Tom’s responses to roughly 5 questions that were asked to him.

Briefly, it seems that the US is still underlying and believing that timely elections can take place.

The US still considers an option of targeted sanctions to DRC as well as Burundi officials responsible of human right abuses. The US would consider also cutting aid to these countries in case of wide rights abuses.

The US supports the AU position and Edem Kodjo’s actions to have Congolese actors around a table in order to finding solutions on these challenges ahead. It can be interpreted that the US feels that political dialogue in DRC would contribute to easing tensions. However, Tom’s statement seems confirming that the US supports only one dialogue scheme contrary to what Genval tried to put forward.

In his mission as US Special Envoy, Tom described challenges and favorite moments that he came across:

And then:

What to draw from the Twitter Q&A session. The mostly noticeable aspect falls on “what’s called constitutional timely organized elections”. Is it possible that within 2-3 months would the Electoral Commission be able to organize them? The blogger thinks that it’s reasonable to question the US practical meaning of “timely organized elections”. It brings also forward the curiosity of seeing what button the US is pressing. Is that the right one? Possibly! The reason behind is that we all agree that choosing leaders on our own is a primary right. However, it could be that someone from top presses on the right button while the devise is somewhat “fallible”. Do you think the US has to push until the device functions?

NTANYOMA R. Delphin

Secrétaire Exécutif & Coordonnateur

Appui au Développement Intégré &

à la Gouvernance

Twitter : https://twitter.com/Delphino12

Blog: www.edrcrdf.wordpress.com

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Joseph Kabila: Too Young to Leave the State House or Being a Role Model?


Whereas power gives more advantages to access resources, there is a possibility of getting it concentrated as well as becoming a source of confrontation. That is why it would be advisable to review power sharing between institutions but also narrowing channels that would make people becoming powerful individuals. Practically, I would suggest that some context needs to understand why there is so much confrontation around power exercising while citizens suffer from it.

It doesn’t require being as much as old to realize the obligation of complying on laws and regulations, especially the constitution. It’s simply a matter of understanding the necessity of having laws above individuals’ intentions-aspirations for the better of a society. However, politics goes beyond the conceptualizing and try to explain things in terms of forged meanings. Nonetheless, an experience as well as trajectory of country must be taken into account to get it run for the future of next generations.

Currently, the headlines within the DRC context as well as in the region are likely the clingy on power from our presidents. It is on top in Burundi, leading to heavy demonstrations to extent of targeted killings, assassination, use of violence/repressions have become a daily ‘diet’. On the other hand, Rwanda has initiated a constitution revision under a form of maneuvering demands from local population requesting the stay on power of their ‘unique’ president. In latter context, it remains hard to voice against what is labeled as the ‘willing and decision of Rwandans’. At the same time, Congo Brazzaville has announced a call on referendum to review the president term mandates. Besides opposition to the third term of President Denis Sassou Nguesso, there is a possibility that a referendum may take place and the winner can easily be predicted. Furthermore, cases of violent conflict in Soudan, South-Soudan, Central African Republic bring skepticism on the stability and life presidency.

Dos Santos & J. Kabila
Dos Santos & J. Kabila

The specific context of DRC has seen recently emerging the so-called G7, a group of dissidents from the presidential majority. The stumbling question affecting the majority on power is simply an agitation over a possible constitution revision that would allow the incumbent president to run for the third term. The dissidence led to an unprecedented resigns and demise of key figures from that coalition on power. After Olivier Kamitatu, JC Kibala, Sama Lukonde ministers at central level; there are also ministers at provincial levels in Katanga and Equateur who have also resigned. On the same list comes Mwando Simba the vice-president of the parliament, lower chamber who too has resigned.

A fascinating feature is that the contention over a third term has become an internal-struggle within different interest political groups. It’s no longer a question raised by the opposition or civil society’s activists. Therefore, it looks like in a near future there would be wide confrontation around the subject, particularly when considering that the State House remains the enviable position in Congo as well as in the region. The confrontation would probably be concentrating the battle field around regions and community interested to hold or recover the power. The current announcement of Moise Katumbi on twitter might implicitly have intended to express a lot on the next battle field of the presidency contention in DRC.

Presidency Cortege
Presidency Cortege

The blogger considers that one of the ways leading to stability is to comply for the rules of the game. However, there might be a nuance in undertaking analyses regarding contexts facing these challenges. Consequently, there is a need of keeping in mind that we have to do the best for avoiding a backsliding while comprehending that national unity can’t be held wherever there is unequal wealth redistribution. Nevertheless, the aim of this post is to reminding how African socio-political environments have seemingly allowed individuals to stay powerful as if they are alone with that privilege. Strikingly, the blogger still feels that the main concern of contending, splitting, dissidence around these positions must stress on the supreme interest of the ordinary citizen. So long as this can’t be guaranteed or assured, from my viewpoint, the rest becomes a ‘childish game’. To some extent, I allow myself to call some actions as opportunism so long as players of the game have had an opportunity to better change our daily living but they didn’t for undisclosed reasons.

For the sake of recapitulating the African context, the blogger has thought to share with the reader the trend expressing the stay on power of the DRC presidents’ neighboring countries. The trend tends to convince in itself that leaving the state house isn’t an easy task for those who had the privilege to occupy that position. Thus, the same may generally arise in DRC as the incumbent is the youngest among his colleagues. However, the question is how can someone be a role model? The table below gives an idea on what is the presidency term mandate in the African context, especially from DRC’s neighboring countries.

Table presents how long have stayed our presidents in the state house office.

Presidents/Stay on power Dos Santos Ali Bongo (1) Bongo Family[1] Denis Sassou (1)[2] Denis Sassou (2) Kagame (1) Kagame (2)[3] Museveni Al Bashir Salva Kiir Kabila Kabila Family[4] Nkurunziza
Date of Birth 1942 1959 1935 1943 1943 1957 1957 1944 1944 1951 1971 1971 1963
President’s Current Age 73 56 80 72 72 58 58 71 71 64 44 44 52
Year of Entering the State House 1979 2009 1967 1997 1979 2000 1994 1986 1993 2005 2001 1997 2005
Number of Years on Power 36 7 48 18 31 15 21 29 22 10 14 18 10

On the other hand, the table can be viewed from the graph below. The graph recapitulates president’s age versus the stay onto power. Seemingly, the youngest president is Joseph Kabila; though having occupied the state house longer than Pierre Nkurinziza, Salva Kiir et Ali Bongo Ondimba. Nevertheless, at some point, when including years from which the families reigned, Kabila’s family comes ahead of these two first presidents cited above, Burundi and South Soudan.

Graph recapitulating Years on Presidency as compared to Presidents’ Age

Except few cases such as Central African Republic, Tanzania, Zambia… having their own models of power exercise, the rest of Zaire’s neighboring countries have their presidents on average 20 years old as compared to Joseph Kabila. That may sound that the DRC president would have to occupy the presidency at least ten years again to reach the Ali Bongo Ondimba’s age. On another way, he may have to stay longer than that until he reaches the age of Dos Santos or Sassou Nguesso; roughly 30 additional years reign. What does this mean for him and what would be his inheritance that the Congolese society will remind? The reader can have a viewpoint on what would be the response. Thus, I argue these presidents to bequeath stable countries having foundation grounded on the rule of law. They must keep in mind that we all need a better treatment as do those seemingly privileged. Beyond requesting better life, I surely confirm that ordinary citizens are unlikely bossy. What do you think?

Ntanyoma R. Delphin

Secrétaire Exécutif & Coordonnateur

Appui au Développement Intégré &

à la Gouvernance

Compte Twitter @delphino12

Blog: www.edrcrdf.wordpress.com

[1] Including the father Omar Bongo

[2] Two periods presidency

[3] Since 1994

[4] Since LD Kabila

What to learn from Burundi’s Spring & Niyombare Military Coup?


Since three weeks ago, Burundi has entered a decisive confrontation over the contested third term of the seating president Pierre Nkurunziza. Lawyers and constitutionalists can still convince the public while they are not even convinced themselves. Whatever has happened in terms of interpreting the constitution, the positive aspect was that the contestation remained mostly in the hands of the population. Additionally, the contestation of the third presidential term of Pierre Nkurunziza was organized by Burundians without considering their ethnic appurtenance. Claiming a people’s right beyond ethnic cleavages expresses a huge step in terms of establishing democracy in the great lakes region.

Few days ago, the world watched the exceptional pace of the Burundi crisis when military generals interfered within the contestation by announcing the ouster of President Pierre Nkurunziza. The public and observers have all applauded the initiative, though the latter was unconstitutional, hoping that the military coup would save Burundi to backsliding, putting the Arusha’s Accord aside. The blogger seems considering that applauding the military coup was as likely as normal because we, in the great lakes region, mostly have expected our leaders, to giving an interest on their population welfare instead of gripping on power. Therefore, anything that would halt holding forever the power, despite its constitutionality, may look as supportable.

The military coup has failed. Seemingly, most of military coup generals have likely surrendered to the loyalists. The president who spent few nights in Tanzania has returned back to Burundi; and the military confrontation around key strategic places-institutions has ended. Consequently, the fate of these renegades must concern observer as well as international community as they need to be tried without political interferences. Their motives to interfere into the demonstration is being right now debated as it may have strengthen the president’s position of running for the next term, third, second or even the new first one after Niyombare.

Beyond the failed coup, it remains unclear on what the public contesting the third term of Nkurunziza will probably be planning to do in such circumstances. The possible option is that the Burundian regime, especially partisans of the third term has found excuses of using any means to bind every attempting to invade streets again. Thus, the military coup might be seen as unconstitutional while it confines possibilities of demonstrating in Bujumbura and countryside. Subsequently, the military coup might have benefited to the 3d term partisans and the regime in general. That’s the first lesson to learn from mixing approaches and the use of force while contestation has been initiated by the public.

On the other side, the military confrontation in Bujumbura between loyalists and renegades has opened up breaches that in the short run will probably be affecting the Burundian security services. These breaches will probably create suspicious among key commanders, even though the failed coup did not have anything to do with supporting demonstrators. In addition, the suspicion among security service officers in Burundi will affect their functioning as well as their relations with neighboring countries as the crisis might intentionally be considered as a source of insecurity in the region. Specifically, the Burundi confrontation around the Nkurunziza third might be intertwined with the great lakes region current political climate. Burundi, while having a constitution interpretation problem, it may become a terrain of regional power exercise. Informed observers may recall the recent political skirmishes between Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda, while DRC being at center of confrontation. The reader would also remind statements, positions, interpretations as well as warning messages from these Burundi’s neighbors.

As the crisis in Burundi may wrap the great lakes regional confrontation, observers have to analyze it in the sense that it can lead to a regional and wide confrontation. Thus, informed observers won’t rule out the possibility that some individuals, military and regional powerful people would exploit this backsliding for their own interests. As the blogger has been advocating for the stability of the eastern DRC, the crisis in Burundi seems retaliating the fear that the Burundian crisis may expand and being an extra-border crisis. As most of countries in the region are likely facing the same confrontation around constitutional respect, the viewpoint above would express it’s important to halt such possible expansion of the crisis as it may be beneficial to some of those maneuvering to grip on power. The blogger thinks that when it comes to gripping on power, maneuvers around it won’t exclude the possibility of riddling some parts of their own power for the sake of reaching what they sought for long.

Finally, the reader would be considering that the military coup in Burundi will possibly contribute to delaying the electoral processes. This is another loophole that we need to understand when it comes to other contexts in the great lakes region. Subsequently, what has been lacking in one way can be gained in another one. Therefore, all claims around democracy and constitutional respect have to be a people concern rather than being militarized or politicized. The public willing to see constitutions being respected are advised to watch carefully interferences maneuvers and what the possibilities for being rolled by politicians are. On other hand, claims of the public wouldn’t only be circumstantial as if we all running for a leading position in politics. The blogger seems to believe that the main claim of the public would be turning around their country’s management, wealth distribution and redistribution etc. However, these are not question to be solved by powerful individuals and strong leaders. All these issues are rather questions of institutions function. Hence, we need to work on making our institutions as strong as possible than believing that some people are special to solve our problems. What do you think?

Ressortissants & Refugies Congolais au Burundi: La Communauté Internationale Faillira-t-elle en sa Mission?


Uvira et Bujumbura sont deux villes proches de ces deux pays de la région de grands lacs même si elles sont au différent niveau de développement. La première est dans l’Est du Congo au Sud-Kivu; alors que la seconde est la capitale du Burundi. Ces deux villes connaissent d’échanges en termes des personnes et biens. Particulièrement, les personnes congolaises vivent en grand nombre dans différents quartiers de la ville de Bujumbura. Toutefois, cette dernière connait une crise des manifestations liée au 3e mandat présidentiel de Pierre Nkurunziza. Cette crise prend d’ampleur qui pourra dans le bref délai dépasser les limites des mandats et embarquer dans la direction de clivage ethnique. Les déclarations politiques et injonctions sous régionales prouvent à suffisance que la crise pourra avoir d’effets inattendus.

 Refugies_2_New

La crise socio-politique Burundaise date de longtemps comme celle de l’Est du Congo. Ces crises ont eu des formes et dimensions multiples au point que le déversement d’une crise dans l’un de ces pays reste son voisin. C’est dans ce sens que les refugies Burundais ou Congolais peuvent se retrouvent de l’autre côté de la frontière. Cet article met l’accent sur les refugies car étant un groupe à qui les circonstances ont imposé de chercher un abri dans un pays voisin même si ce dernier n’était pas assez stable.

Ils sont nombreux, des congolais refugiés au Burundi depuis les années 90. Ils forment un groupe hétérogène car provenant des différentes communautés ethniques de l’Est du Congo, et surtout celles de la Région d’Uvira, ses moyens et hauts-plateaux. Ils ont traversé la frontière, non pas pour s’amuser car la capitale Burundaise se trouvant sur le bord du lac Tanganyika est presque embellie par rapport aux cités de la plaine de la Rusizi ou Uvira centre. Ils ne sont non plus en voyage de pèlerinage même si le pays de Rwagasore a aussi, comme l’est le nôtre, un nombre impressionnant des croyants.

Les refugies Congolais au Burundi sont à la recherche de l’abri et de la protection auprès de la communauté internationale comme le prévoit les conventions de Genève. Ils sont en gros victimes et rescapés d’atrocités qu’a connues l’Est du Congo durant les dernières décennies. Ces atrocités sont souvent liées aux manipulations ethniques, qui ont été de plus en plus politisées. De surcroit, les interventions/invasions régionales dans l’Est de la RDC ont fait pas mal des victimes et des déplacés dans les pays limitrophes du Zaïre. Ces refugies ont fait le choix du Burundi pas parce que ce pays était stable, mais plutôt car les choix étaient peut être limités. L’expérience de ce pays est riche en termes de dégâts qui sont liés aux conflits ethniques.

Refugies_1_New

Depuis quelques années, le Burundi a semblé aller dans la bonne direction. Les accords d’Arusha, bien qu’ayant différemment été interprétés, avait plutôt donné l’espoir comme quoi la stabilité est possible malgré l’ethnisation de la politique dans ce pays. Comme les malheurs africains ne se reposent pas, voilà ce petit pays entré dans la crise de mandat présidentiel. Personnellement, je soutiens que le respect de la constitution doit s’orienter dans le sens de l’intérêt public et non individuel. Les injonctions à caractère hégémonique doivent avoir aussi des limites car les donneurs des leçons ont été nombreux dans le temps et leurs issues n’ont pas abouti aux solutions voulues.

Cet article ne vise pas l’interprétation de la constitution Burundaise, au contraire, il s’agit d’un cri d’alarme en faveur de ces réfugiés et ressortissants congolais établis dans ce pays. Ils sont en nombre très élevé, allant à des dizaines de milliers. Ces refugies sont au moins 50 000 personnes. Ils se situent dans les camps de réfugiés de Musasa et Gasorwe dans la Province de Muyinga et Bwagiriza dans Ruyigi. Ils sont d’enfants, femmes et hommes sans espoir qui sont coincés depuis ces dernières décennies. Ils ont presque tout abandonné dans leur pays d’origine dans le seul souci de la survie, croyant qu’un jour ils vont rentrer et retrouver la dignité dans cette patrie mère qui ralentit aussi à se stabiliser, le Congo. Ils restent plus vulnérables par rapport aux conséquences de la crise politique-électorale que connait le Burundi. Cette vulnérabilité des refugiés devient de plus en plus inquiétante quand tout semble, dans ce pays à 90% chrétien, est revenu à la case de départ des années 90.

Massacre de Banyamulenge a gatumba
Massacre de Banyamulenge a gatumba

L’inquiétude reste fondée car l’expérience du passé montre clairement que certains d’entre ces refugiées ont été massacrés dans les camps qui étaient sous protection du Haut-Commissariat aux Réfugiés (HCR) ; une situation presque unique dans la région des grands lacs d’Afrique. En dépit de flagrance des preuves d’implications dans ces massacres ciblant les groupes ethniques ainsi que l’existence des rapports non publiés, la communauté internationale et le Burundi en particulier n’ont pas encore rendu justice aux victimes innombrables de ces faits macabres. Deux points à relever à ce niveau, il y a d’une part l’incapacité de protéger mais aussi de rendre justice, d’autre part. La liaison de ces deux aspects reste aussi discutable dans le fonds car les possibilités et capacités de le faire semblent ne pas faire défaut. Alors, quel est le problème dans le fonds ?

Dans le même ordre d’idée, il sied de souligner que la responsabilité de l’Etat et des autorités congolais sont à analyser minutieusement. Indépendamment de l’instabilité que connaissaient l’Est du Zaïre, certains de ces réfugiés craignant pour leur protection dans le temps, auraient décidé de rentrer au pays. La suite a été qu’ils en ont implicitement été empêché, alors qu’ils étaient à la frontière. La volonté de l’autorité congolaise est aussi à considérer dans le cadre d’efforts fournis par celle-ci pour stabiliser les contrées d’où proviennent ces paisibles citoyens afin qu’ils puissent revenir en paix.

Mais d’autre part, il est aussi à entreprendre dans la logique d’efforts fournis ces derniers jours par rapport à la crise que traverse le Burundi. Alors que d’autres pays se précipitent pour se rassurer de la sécurité de leurs ressortissants à Bujumbura et Burundi en général, l’intervention de l’autorité congolaise devait se faire remarquer au plus tôt. Au même moment, ceux-là qui en ont les possibilités peuvent traverser les frontières, donc les autorités congolaises devraient penser à des mécanismes d’accueil de ces concitoyens. Toutefois, il apparait que ces efforts restent à renforcer si pas à entreprendre.

Se basant sur l’analyse faite en haut, l’expérience du passé, les conditions et la vulnérabilité des congolais au Burundi, refugies ou autres ressortissants, leur avenir est aussi inquiétant et le bloggeur recommande :

  • La responsabilité de l’Etat Burundais et de ses forces de sécurité doit être interpellée dans le souci de mieux remplir leurs missions de protéger tout ressortissant etranger qui est sur ce territoire ;
  • La communauté internationale, les institutions des Nations Unies et le HCR en particulier doivent ménager tous les efforts pour éviter que de bains de sang coulent dans les camps de réfugiés car ces derniers ne sont pas vraiment concernés par ces mandats présidentiels ;
  • Les parties en confrontation dans la crise actuelle du Burundi doivent cesser tout amalgame liée à l’éthnisation qui impliquerait les ressortissants étrangers et congolais en particulier;
  • L’état congolais et ses autorités doivent se rassurer que les mesures sont prises pour sécuriser ses ressortissants vivant au Burundi et que les conditions d’accueil sont mis en place pour ceux-là qui auront la chance d’échapper;
  • Les manœuvres qui tendent à victimiser certains groupes vulnérables afin de trouver d’alibi doivent aussi cesser.

Ntanyoma R. Delphin

Compte Twitter @delphino12

Email: rkmbz1973@gmail.com

Blog: www.edrcrdf.wordpress.com

Neutralizing FDLR: Making the Beginning of the End of Eastern Congo Burden?


Two weeks ago, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has called on neutralizing the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), a Rwandese rebellion based in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). While most of the rebel group’s leaders are prime suspects of 1994 genocide against Tutsi; from then on now, the FDLR fled and has been operating, committing different crimes in Eastern DRC. Their establishment as well as military power in the region have likely benefited from loopholes of DRC governance, but also from interests of seeing the question persisting to serve as a pawn.

A quick glance would lead an observer to think that the call of UNSC is a step making the beginning of the end of “victimization” of Eastern DRC. However, the step might not be of that importance due to several challenges around the neutralization of FDLR. Nevertheless, considering the history of FDLR establishment in Congo; atrocities committed by members of the latter rebellion to local population as well as those connected to military operations intending apparently to get rid of them, a “swift neutralization” may breathe a bit DRC’s victims. Below is he viewpoint and contribution of this post:

It is unlike that FDLR constitute currently a huge threat to Rwanda as they do to Eastern Congo. The recent propos, as reported by Medias, of the Rwandese minister of foreign affairs can roughly be interpreted in that way. From the minister’s point of view, the threat of FDLR to Rwanda looks uncertain despite the support they may obtain from X backers. The backing aspect remains hard to independently be verified by the blogger; but there might rather be a reorientation of the way of understanding FDLR claims in relation to Rwanda internal political dynamics. In any case, there is a possibility of believing that FDLR nowadays existence affects largely Congolese local population than it is in Rwanda.

Additionally, despite the control over resources and power conflicts in the great lakes region, the FDLR question as a military group wouldn’t have lasted for 20 years. Informed observers will probably remind that the establishment of the FDLR in Eastern Congo had on first place benefited from the likely non-administered Zaire where they substituted themselves to administrative authorities. Therefore, as they became ‘rulers’ in some areas of the jungle, they got in touch of different means used to survive and increasing financial resources.

However, the reader will also remind that countless “joint” military operations have taken place to get rid of the rebellion with slightly successes due to the diversion of the primary mission. Sometimes, these military operations, agreed or not by both countries DRC-Rwanda had seemingly refocused on other interests than weakening or solving sustainably this matter. At some point, it sounds to observers including myself to interpret the issue as an ‘escape goat’ aiming to find excuses over reaching the main interests related to power and resources.

Back to the neutralization promised by the UNSC, military specialists discuss key challenges related to combat an armed group that is unconventionally organized. That is, fighting an armed force spread all around from Katanga to Grand-North/Kivu; while structured into small units. Eliminating the FDLR as currently organized while they are accompanied by children and women isn’t an easy task. Secondly, although called a “swift neutralization”, the reader needs to recall that FDLR is a military wing confounded with their families; while keeping hostage Congolese local population in some places.

Child_Soldiers

Besides the fact that FDLR is largely composed by young people who evolved within the jungle, disconnected with their home land Rwanda; it sounds that attacking such armed group, while the military operations will probably victimize women and children of their family members, remains a decision requiring to think twice. Moreover, there might be the possibility of even considering that those young soldiers went forced on way or another to join the FDLR having grounded claims. Thus, they might need an appropriate approach to serve them from being victimized too.

When undertaking the FDLR question, the existence of several actors working on the matter with divergent considerations has attracted less attention to researches while it might interrupt regularly the way forward. That is, the fluctuating position of DRC government with regard to FDLR, the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), MONUSCO-UN stances are likely conflicting around the strategies of implementing decisions with regard to their perspectives. Hence, the conflicting vision leads to postponing actions to be taken. As matter of proof, the reader can crosscheck the recent declaration of Special Representative of UN, Martin Kobler. Consequently, the appropriate way to handle the conflicting views would originate from the “willingness” of DRC government to terminate the matter and its possibilities to imposing it.

So long as the DRC government position remains unstable and keeps changing based on contextual circumstances, the FDLR matter may still take long time to get solved. Thus it recalls the state capabilities to run autonomously the country with little interference; meanwhile considering people’s interests. Unfortunately, in some cases, there might be those who can still boost their names within these messes. In the same vein, the Eastern DRC wouldn’t expect breathing if internal governance challenges in Congo are overwhelmed by electoral ambitions to occupy the president office. These challenges must occupy the first place for the sustainability of peace, stability and development.

Vilage_running_2

The chocking feature a military attack against the FDLR is mostly, from the consideration of the article, related to collateral damages affecting local population. It makes me sad and it raises gloomy when reminding how all these military operations from different actors have left Congolese, in its Eastern part, exposed to death, sexual violence, crimes, and impoverishment. It was either the FDLR, national army, armed groups operating in the region, foreign armies using proxies which are responsible of the insane criminality through keeping local population as a hostage. Hence, launching a military attack against the FDLR raises a fear of seeing these atrocities repeated again and again.

As the question is still under discussion process, the article suggests that any action to be taken against the FDLR has to be primarily in the local Congolese interests. Though there might be some parties/actors willing to see the status quo, there is yet a possibility of getting rid of the rebel group in DRC by particularly working on these paths:

  • The FDLR’s politico-military support seems originating from different actors to the extent that they get inflated by even those claiming to see them wiped off the map. Consequently, as different findings and reports have exposed channels through which they get supported, the easier way to neutralize them is by once breaking strongly these political and financial channels as it has been exercised to other rebel groups. Thus breaking the channels would lead more or less to bending them for a lesser militarized solution.
  • Crimes and atrocities committed by FDLR individual groups or their leaders in DRC have to be tried into courts. By doing so, the step requires to consider the “Congolese impunity culture” as well as regional armies’ role and responsibilities into atrocities committed in DRC.
  • It sounds unsustainable trying to wipe off the map a military group such as FDLR by using guns and forces only. The discernment would recall the internal dynamics in their home country and possibly considering an appropriate solution to grounded claims for sustainably establishing peace in the region. These internal dynamics can still predict a fear over the future; while the long term solution would be worth of value than the mid-term.
  • Contextually, the FDLR question is absolutely a drop in an ocean. Subsequently, solving specifically the eastern DRC problems in connection with the FDLR wouldn’t disregard the general political context of the country since long ago. Hence military options, international support… are advised to look at root causes of these perpetual crises with their internal and external origins. This consideration remains the only way to sustainably establishing mechanisms of long term stability. The point stresses slightly on 2016 elections; it’s rather underscoring how to manage Congolese socio-cultural diversities while halting illegal enrichment of rulers. In a nutshell, the long term solution of DRC crises lies within putting in place strong institutions than alternate strong leaders.

You have a different viewpoint? PLZ share by dropping a comment.

Ntanyoma R. Delphin

Twitter account @delphino12

Email: rkmbz1973@gmail.com

Blog: www.edrcrdf.wordpress.com