The situation in the Eastern DRC is fast approaching the insecurity of 2003/4 and of 2007/8 when both Kivus were caught in a vicious cycle of violence and violent defense by a profusion of armed groups, both of Congolese and Rwandan origin. Today, Congo is once again facing increasing insecurity, fast proliferating armed groups and self-defense groups, and sizable violent skirmishes leading to significant and multiple population displacements. Threats have been noted not only in the East but also in the West of Congo.
The UN has been on the ground for nearly 12 years and has done a lot to support the country in its bid to stabilize, foster state institutions and a working parliament, and start the arduous process of peace building. But over last two years, the situation has started to unravel with the Goma peace accords of 2008 in tatters (the cornerstone of UN’s security and stabilization strategy in the East). ICG’s claim (see letter below) that MONUSCO needs urgently to review its strategy is on target – MONUSCO needs to overhaul its approach and its objectives in the next phase of its operations in the DRC in order to support the Congolese people to stabilize the situation, decrease violence and human rights violations, encourage freedom of movement and most importantly, start to rebuild the confidence and the relationship of the people of Congo with its Government. MONUSCO cannot continue on its current “ditto” stabilization policy which was developed under the premise that conflict was in abeyance. Now, with SGBV and armed attacks against unarmed civilian populations increasing at an alarming rate, MONUSCO and the UN need to review their strategy. Read ICG’s recommendation below in their Open Letter and note their important recommendations! Please also read my earlier blog posts!
International Crisis Group : Open Letter to the United Nations Security Council on the Situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo
History is again repeating itself in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC. There is a risk of serious escalation of violence and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Congo MONUSCO is failing in its core mandate of stabilisation and protection of civilians. This months renewal of MONUSCO presents a vital opportunity for the Security Council to review its strategy in the DRC.
Eastern Congo is again rapidly destabilising with the defection of Bosco Ntaganda from the Congolese army and the formation of the M23 Movement, another Tutsi-led rebellion allegedly supported by Rwanda. The government, weakened by presidential and legislative elections last November that were widely recognised as deeply flawed, is seizing the opportunity to please the international community by at last pursuing the capture of Ntaganda. President Joseph Kabila seems to be gambling that this is an opportunity to break the parallel structures maintained by the Congo’s national pour la defense du peuple CNDP within the army, and to remobilise domestic support around anti-Rwanda sentiment by pursuing a military defeat of the M23. In
Categories: Central Africa and DRC