There is a sense of an anti-climax in the region and Rwanda in particular, after the Luanda Mini-Summit and the UN Security Council reached resolutions that only address one side of the conflict, but largely ignored the threat of FDLR terrorists who are fighting alongside the Congolese army, FARDC. If indeed the objective is to achieve sustainable peace in Eastern DRC, why are the stakeholders demonstrating bias in their approach?
Worryingly, the two resolutions have not clearly elaborated that the FARDC, which works with the genocidal, terrorist FDLR which is blacklisted as a terrorist group that’s one of the main causes of regional insecurity.
The implication of the latest developments is that FDLR and FARDC could attack the M23, as the latter disarm, and in that the M23 can even be attacked by the East African Regional Force-EARF. They are damned if they do, they are damned if they don’t! But the M23, it cannot be denied, are fighting for a cause. They are fighting for a people – Congolese citizens of Tutsi ethnicity – that their government of RDC has targeted for genocide, and even now is inciting mobs to genocidally exterminate.
Yet, even as it is widely known that the DRC regime and its army-FARDC are not exactly the victims they pretend to be, the decisions being taken seem to be influenced by what the Kinshasa regime proscribes. This is unconscionable!
Without a doubt, if the region and the International Community decide to place the Kinshasa regime at the Centre of the efforts geared towards achieving sustainable peace, the outcome will definitely be a vicious cycle of conflict. Unfortunately, the International Community and the region seem to not have picked any lessons from the mistakes made in 2013 under the same scenario. 2013 is on repeat, 10 years later!
In 2013, when the M23 rebels had failed to reach an agreement with the Kinshasa regime to accord Tutsi Congolese citizens their rights, which led to their taking up arms and captured of Goma. They were then made to withdraw, and were promised a ‘political dialogue’ which among other things would address the issue of FDLR that was terrorizing their communities. What they got instead was heavy bombardment by Tanzanian and South African troops after they disarmed and assembled like the Luanda and UN Security Council resolutions are ordering them to do once again.
The FDLR, an outfit categorized as global terrorists has committed numerous atrocities in DRC over decades, including the slaying of the Italian Ambassador to DRC. However, it doesn’t seem to worry anyone even when they fired rockets into Rwandan territory as they fought alongside FARDC. Nobody seems to be moved by their presence in Congo, even after M23 has raised the alarm about the collaboration between FDLR and FARDC.
It is also a worrying state of affairs when the UN Security Council condemns ‘hate speech in both sides’ when it’s known that hate speech inspired by genocide ideology sowed in the Eastern DRC by genocidaires elements like FDLR, emanates from the Congolese leadership towards the Congolese Tutsi community.
From a Rwandan standpoint, the trend isn’t one that leads to sustainable peace and stability that the region craves.