Tag Archives: DR Congo

Limited impact of Europe and aid on DR Congo

African Arguments

Europe in the Congo: high ambitions, big money, limited impact – By Kris Berwouts

Berwouts

After the Congolese elections of 2006, the European Union stood as the proud godfather beside the cradle of Kabila’s Third Republic. Together with its member states, the EU had mobilized about 85% of the funding for elections which were widely recognised as being the most expensive in the history of the planet.

Through its humanitarian and development programmes, Europe invested enormous sums in the Congo. It had the ambition to take the lead in long and complex processes of reforms for the army and the police, and the rehabilitation of the judiciary system.

Today, seven years later, Europe has faded away in to the wings. Not only has the European architecture suffered severe damage in the different political, economic and financial storms that scourged the Union, also other ambitious potential partners of Congo stepped into the ring. China, of course, sits in first place with the multibillion contract it offered the DRC in 2007. But also countries such as India, Tanzania, South Africa and others rapidly gained visibility and influence.

Audit

A few days ago, a report of the European Court of Auditors was published which examined the EU support between 2003 (the start of the transition after the end of the war) and 2011 (the re-election of Kabila).  The EU’s assistance to Congo in that period was about 1.9 billion euro. The report focused particularly on EU support for the electoral process, the justice and police and public finance management reforms and the decentralisation process.

The judgment is harsh.  Two quotes from the report:

“The Court concludes that the effectiveness of EU assistance for governance in the DRC is limited. EU support for governance is set within a generally sound cooperation strategy, addresses the main needs and has achieved some results. However, progress is slow, uneven and overall limited. Fewer than half of the programmes examined have delivered, or are likely to deliver, most of the expected results. Sustainability is an unrealistic prospect in most cases.”

“The absence of political will, the donor-driven dynamics of the programmes and the lack of absorption capacity account for these failures. However, while the Commission is well acquainted with the main causes and consequences of state fragility in the DRC , it did not take sufficient account of these challenges when designing EU programmes. Risks have not been adequately addressed, programme objectives tend to be overly ambitious, conditionality has a weak incentive effect and policy dialogue has not been exploited to its full potential and adequately coordinated with EU Members.”

Ambiguity

The European Union did not fulfill its ambitions in the fields of democracy and security. This was in part due to the ambiguity in the signals they have sent concerning democratisation.

For example, the EU insists a great deal on the holding of elections, but goes quite far in accepting non-democratic practices. This behaviour is partially based on looking for a difficult balance between the desire to really contribute to the development of democracy on the one hand, and on the other hand concern about not damaging a stability that is relative and precarious. The result is often a choice between what is considered the lesser of two evils. Of course this pragmatism is also based on a good understanding by each international player of its own bilateral interests.  The ambiguity of the Congo’s Western partners is well understood, both by political players in the region and the local population.

If Europe wants to make a difference in security, democracy and governance in Congo, it will have to ensure the credibility, quality and transparency of the different processes and reforms it supports, and not limit itself to the technocratic accompaniment of some formal exercises.

Kris Berwouts has, over the last 25 years, worked for a number of different Belgian and international NGOs focused on building peace, reconciliation, security and democratic processes. Until recently, he was the Director of EurAc, the network of European NGOs working for advocacy on Central Africa. He now works as an independent expert on Central Africa. aa

DR Congo – M23 says attacks on them could stop peace talks

Mail and Guardian
M23 rebels in the DRC have warned that attacks in the eastern part of the country may derail peace talks.

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s M23 rebels said attacks on areas under the movement’s control in the eastern part of the country may derail peace talks under way in Uganda’s capital Kampala.

A second round of meetings were concluded on Tuesday. At the beginning of this week the M23 lauded the progress being made at the talks, but are now bemoaning the attack on their positions, which they accuse the Congolese government army FARDC of spearheading.

The United Nations peacekeeping and stabilisation force Monusco on Thursday reported renewed fighting in the North Kivu province between the M23 and the Congolese army.

Monusco’s Alexandre Essome said fresh violence had erupted near the town of Mabenga, north of the North Kivu capital Goma.

While Monusco blamed M23 for causing the latest round of fighting, M23 claimed that a coalition of FARDC and some Mai Mai militias on Wednesday night attacked Mabenga-Kiwanja and Kinyandoni Ishasha, areas the movement controls.

“This is the way of the Congolese government to undermine the peace efforts undertook in recent days by the international community,” said M23 chairperson Bertrand Bisimwa in a statement.

He added: “While reiterating our commitment to the Kampala process as the only way to resolve the crisis in our country, our army will defend the population living in our administered area against any threat.”

M23 accused the FARDC of having a “warlike desire, which favours the bloodshed of our people” instead of resolving the stand-off that has turned eastern DRC into a warzone.

South African soldiers form part of the SADC intervention brigade that has been put together to help the Congolese army push rebels out of residential areas. The SADC forces were however not involved in this week’s fighting, though they remain on standby.

The M23 earlier expressed hope that if the Great Lakes region, Monusco, the African Union and the European Union provided the requested political and technical support to the Kampala dialogue, an agreement would be reached soon.

The movement declared a unilateral ceasefire after just over a week of fighting last month. The M23 has since requested an independent investigation into that battle, claiming the movement was only trying to protect its positions.

A mutiny by FARDC soldiers early last year resulted in the formation of the M23 after members from disbanded rebel groups who were integrated into the army complained that Joseph Kabila’s government had failed to implement key agreements of the peace talks that ended hostilities. Since then peace talks have repeatedly stalled.

Mmanaledi Mataboge is senior politics reporter for the Mail & Guardian.
Read more from Mmanaledi Mataboge
Twitter: @MmanalediM http://mg.co.za/article/2013-09-29-m23-rebels-say-attacks-threaten-peace-talks

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DR Congo conflict: M23′s Bisimwa reject UN force

BBC

UN troops in DR Congo (file photo)The UN-mandated force is to hunt down and “neutralise” rebel groups

The main rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, M23, has rejected the UN’s decision to deploy a special attack force to the area.

M23 political leader Bertrand Bisimwa said the UN had chosen the “war option”, rather than promoting dialogue to end the conflict in eastern DRC.

The M23 briefly captured the regional capital, Goma, last year, with little resistance from UN peacekeepers.

Various armed groups have wreaked havoc in eastern DR Congo for two decades.

The M23-led rebellion flared up a year ago and has forced some 800,000 people from their homes.


From now on, peacekeeping forces will wage war on groups of citizens who are demanding good governance”  Bertrand BisimwaM23 political leader

Last week, the UN Security Council approved plans to send an Intervention Brigade of about 2,000 troops to DR Congo in July to “carry out targeted offensive operations” to “neutralise” armed groups in eastern DR Congo.

The UN currently has about 20,000 troops in DR Congo, but they were widely criticised for failing to prevent the M23 from capturing Goma last November.

The M23 later pulled out of the city, following pressure from neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda.

In his first reaction to the resolution, Mr Bisimwa said that “from now on, peacekeeping forces will wage war on groups of citizens who are demanding good governance in our country”.

Instead of encouraging the M23 and the government to resolve the conflict through talks being brokered by the Ugandan government, the UN had “unfortunately chosen to wage war against one of the partners for peace”, Mr Bisimwa added.

map

Last week, the DR Congo government welcomed the UN’s decision to deploy the new force.

Its main mission should be to secure the border with Rwanda and Uganda, the government said.

The government and the UN have repeatedly accused the two countries of backing the M23 – an allegation they deny.

Last week, a key figure in the M23, Bosco Ntaganda, was charged at the International Criminal Court with war crimes and crimes against humanity for alleged atrocities committed in 2002 and 2003.

He had surrendered to the US embassy in Kigali, following heavy fighting within the M23.

Gen Ntaganda’s faction lost control of the group to Mr Bisimwa and M23 military chief Sultani Makenga. bbc

DR Congo – M23 rebels start pulling out of Goma

BBC

M23 rebels leave Goma in eastern DR Congo, 1 Dec The Rebels are pulling back under a deal mediated by Uganda

Rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have begun to withdraw from the key city of Goma under a regionally brokered agreement.

The M23 rebels were seen boarding trucks and heading out of the city, 11 days after seizing it from government troops backed by UN peacekeepers.

The deal calls for the rebels to withdraw towards the town of Kibumba.

The M23 rebels deserted from the army in April, with some 500,000 people fleeing their homes in ensuing unrest.

Who are the M23 rebels?

Map

  • Named after the 23 March 2009 peace accord which they accuse the government of violating
  • This deal saw them join the army before they took up arms once more in April 2012
  • Also known as the Congolese Revolutionary Army
  • Mostly from minority Tutsi ethnic group
  • Deny being backed by Rwanda and Uganda
  • Believed to have 1,200 to 6,000 fighters
  • International Criminal Court indicted top commander Bosco “Terminator” Ntaganda in 2006 for allegedly recruiting child soldiers
  • The UN and US imposed a travel ban and asset freeze earlier this month on the group’s leader, Sultani Makenga

 

The UK has suspended aid to Rwanda, amid concerns about the country’s role in the conflict.

Both Rwanda and neighbouring Uganda strongly deny UN accusations that they are backing the M23.

Humanitarian crisis

Reports on Saturday spoke of a number of flat-bed trucks carrying several hundred rebels out of Goma.

Some 1,500 M23 fighters were reported to have occupied the city.

M23 deputy spokesman Amani Kabasha told Reuters: “The M23 is leaving Goma.”

According to the withdrawal accord, mediated by Uganda, the rebels are to pull back to a 20km (13 mile) buffer zone around Goma.

The accord had stipulated that the M23 would leave behind 100 soldiers to guard the airport in conjunction with a UN contingent and a government unit.

However, Sy Koumbo, a spokesman for the UN in Congo, told Associated Press that the rebels had tried but failed to force their way into the airport to seize weapons on Friday.

The rebels said recovering the materiel was part of the withdrawal process.

More than 270 Congolese policemen have arrived in Goma’s port as part of the transition.

The UN has warned of a growing humanitarian crisis in the region because of the recent fighting.

Goma is the key city in an eastern border area that has seen years of conflict sparked by ethnic and political differences, and grievances over mineral resources.

Some five million people died during the 1997-2003 DR Congo conflict, which drew in several regional countries, including both Rwanda and Uganda.  bbc

DR Congo president to consider rebel grievances

BBC

The leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo says he is prepared to study the grievances of rebels who have taken the country’s main eastern city, Goma.

Speaking after talks with his Ugandan and Rwandan counterparts, Joseph Kabila also said he would consider negotiating with the rebels from the M23 movement.

But the three leaders called on the rebels to stop their offensive “immediately” and leave Goma.

Earlier, the rebels threatened to march on the capital, Kinshasa.

On Wednesday they advanced on Sake, 27km (17 miles) west of Goma. They were reported to be preparing to head south to Bukavu, the city about 230km (143 miles) south of Goma.

The M23 rebel commander told a crowd in a football stadium in Goma that “the journey to liberate [DR] Congo has started”.

The BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse in Goma says it is unclear whether the rebels’ capacity matches their ambitions, but they currently have momentum on their side.

The M23 rebel group was formed in April following an army mutiny. The rebels said they were not given army posts promised in a 2009 peace deal.

The M23′s gains have raised fears of renewed war in DR Congo, where some five million people died in a conflict from 1997-2003.

 

Who are the M23 rebels?

M23 rebel in North Kivu town of Rubare near Rutshuru. 5 Aug 2012

  • Named after the 23 March 2009 peace accord which they accuse the government of violating
  • This deal saw them join the army before they took up arms once more in April 2012
  • Also known as the Congolese Revolutionary Army
  • Mostly from minority Tutsi ethnic group
  • Deny being backed by Rwanda and Uganda
  • Believed to have 1,200 to 6,000 fighters
  • International Criminal Court indicted top commander Bosco “Terminator” Ntaganda in 2006 for allegedly recruiting child soldiers
  • The UN and US imposed a travel ban and asset freeze earlier this month on the group’s leader, Sultani Makenga

‘Summary executions’

Meanwhile, the UN released a long-awaited report accusing both Rwanda and Uganda of backing the M23, saying the rebel chain of command culminates with Rwandan Defence Minister James Kabarebe.

Both Rwanda and Uganda strongly denied the accusations after the report was leaked last month.

UN envoy Roger Meece referred to suspicions of international support for the rebels as he briefed the Security Council on Wednesday.

“The M23 forces are well provisioned and well supplied with uniforms and a variety of arms and ammunitions, many of which have clearly not come from existing FARDC [army] stocks,” he was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

He also cited reports of rebel abuses.

“We have received numerous reports of targeted summary executions of those who stand in their way, including government and traditional leaders who resist or fail to co-operate,” he said.

The rebels entered Goma on Tuesday, skirting round a UN compound as Congolese army forces retreated.

France has heavily criticised the failure of the UN force, which has about 19,000 troops, to stop the rebels.

On Wednesday the UN defended its actions, saying it had fired hundreds of rockets in an effort to block the rebel advance on Goma.

Map

Mr Meece also said UN peacekeepers were stretched, and that the number of rebels advancing on Goma had suddenly jumped from 500 to 3,000 ahead of the fall of the city.

UN officials have said they wanted to avoid triggering a battle in Goma, and that they were limited by their mandate.

“Clearly, it is not the mandate of Monusco to directly hit the armed groups,” said UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous. “They have to be in support of the armed forces of Congo.”

The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution condemning the rebel seizure of Goma and calling for sanctions against M23 leaders.

The rebellion has displaced some 500,000 people since April.  bbc

DR Congo rebels advance towards Goma

UN News Service

UN troops continue support to DR Congo army as rebels advance on Goma

Thousands of people have been displaced by fighting in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: OCHA/Imane Cherif

18 November 2012 – United Nations peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today continued to assist the national army to halt the advance of the M23, while Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon called on the rebel group to immediately cease its attacks.

The M23 – composed of soldiers who mutinied from the DRC national army (FARDC) in April – resumed their attacks in North Kivu province early Saturday morning, uprooting thousands of civilians and prompting the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO) to deploy attack helicopters to aid the efforts of the national army.

The situation deteriorated further overnight, and M23 attacks have continued throughout Sunday near the provincial capital of Goma, according to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). The rebels are in the general area of Munigi, which is close to the Goma airport.

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns the resumption of hostilities by the M23,” his spokesperson said in a statement. “He calls on the M23 to immediately cease its attacks and any further military advances toward the city of Goma in North Kivu.

“The Secretary-General calls on all relevant States to use their influence on the M23 to bring about an immediate end to the attacks,” the statement added.

Mr. Ban also underlined that MONUSCO will remain present in Goma and will continue all efforts to “robustly implement its mandate to the fullest of its capabilities” with regard to the protection of civilians.

MONUSCO engaged throughout the day supporting the FARDC to protect civilians and in self-defence, using rockets, cannon rounds and helicopter gunships, said DPKO spokesperson Kieran Dwyer.

“The situation in Goma is extremely tense,” said Mr. Dwyer. “There is a real threat that the city could fall into the M23′s hands and/or be seriously destabilized as a result of the fighting.”

The latest fighting prompted an emergency meeting yesterday of the Security Council, which strongly condemnedthe resumption of M23 attacks and demanded their immediate cessation.

“It is imperative for the M23 to heed the demand of the Security Council to immediately cease any further advance toward Goma,” said Mr. Dwyer, who noted that the humanitarian situation in the region is deteriorating.

Humanitarian partners are reporting that at least 60,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the Kanyaruchina camp and the surrounding area are on the move and many are fleeing toward Goma.

“We strongly condemn the continued violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by the M23,” Mr. Dwyer stated. “The leaders of the M23 must and will be held accountable for their actions.”

There are more than 1.6 million IDPs in North and South Kivu as a result of fighting between the national army and rebel groups in the region. They are part of the 2.4 million IDPs in the country as a whole. UN

DR Congo – rangers, soldier and rebels killed in Virunga Park clashes

BBC

Two rangers and a soldier have been killed by rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo’s famous Virunga National Park, officials say.

Virunga National Park rangers and tourists

Five rebels were also killed in the attack in the park, which is one of the world’s last refuges for mountain gorillas.

Some of eastern DR Congo’s numerous armed groups are based in the park, where they often poach animals.

More than 130 park rangers have been killed in the park since 1996.

According to Reuters news agency, the M23 rebel group which has bases in the park, recently allowed tourist visits to resume.

This year’s rebellion by the M23 has caused some 500,000 people to flee their homes.

Park director Emmanuel de Merode said the rangers, who were travelling with an armed escort were ambushed by members of the Mai Mai militia.

“They came under attack from a quite substantial Mai Mai unit… It was very heavy fire received,” he told Reuters.

In July, armed groups fighting in the area agreed to let a search for mountain gorillas to proceed.

Virunga is home to 480 of the world’s 790 remaining mountain gorillas. It is one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth and is on the UN list of World Heritage sites in danger.

The mountain gorillas have been threatened with extinction because of expanding human settlements, the long-running conflict in the region, and possible oil exploration in the park.  BBC

Dr Congo – peace elusive in eastern Congo

International Crisis Group/allAfrica

The plan to resolve the conflict in the Kivu by emphasising a military solution is failing. Two years after the rapprochement between Congolese President Joseph Kabila and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, government soldiers are still battling militias for control of land and mines.

Neither side has the strength to win, but both have the resources to prolong the fighting indefinitely. Meanwhile, civilians suffer extreme violence, and the humanitarian situation is deteriorating. Ethnic tensions have worsened in anticipation of the repatriation of tens of thousands of Congolese refugees who fled to Rwanda during the 1990s. The UN Security Council has witnessed the deterioration of security in eastern Congo without opposing the decisions of Kagame and Kabila. A strategy based on secret presidential commitments, however, will not bring peace to the Kivu: the present approach must be reevaluated and broadened in order to engage all local communities and prepare the future of the region in a transparent dialogue that also involves neighbouring countries.

During summer 2008, the National Congress of the People (CNDP), a Congolese rebel group then led by the Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda and backed clandestinely by Rwanda, withdrew from negotiations with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A major crisis erupted in the province of North Kivu, catching the Congolese authorities and the UN peacekeeping mission (then called MONUC) off guard. The international community, concerned about the consequences of a CNDP conquest of the capital of North Kivu, Goma, launched multiple initiatives to prevent an escalation that could lead to confrontation between Rwanda and the DRC.

In November 2008, President Kabila reached out to President Kagame, his long-time adversary, to end the crisis. Without recourse to formal mediation mechanisms favoured by the international community, the two leaders negotiated an agreement whose content remains secret. The Congolese initiative surprised most of the international partners of the Great Lakes region. They were relieved, however, that discussions about international intervention to stabilise the Kivu could abruptly end.

Kabila and Kagame are now working to implement the bilateral commitments in their joint plan to resolve the conflict in the Kivu. This involves two major concessions by Kabila. First, he undertook to meet the political demands of the rebel group, the CNDP, that has in the past caused him most problems with his electoral base. Secondly, he agreed to launch military operations that serve more to meet the interests of those conducting them than to protect the population. The success of this plan, including its political and economic components, depends on the response of the Kivu population to the redistribution of local power as well as to the ability of the national army (FARDC) to achieve Kinshasa’s military objectives.

The Congolese-Rwandan rapprochement has altered the balance of power in North and South Kivu. General Nkunda was arrested in January 2009 and replaced by Bosco Ntaganda, a suspected war criminal for whom the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant in 2006. The CNDP, which was originally established to defend the interests of the Tutsi community, was integrated into and has become a major part of the national army. Its political agenda was put front and centre in the implementation of an agreement between the government and the Congolese armed groups in the Kivu. The new influence gained by the CNDP is resented by leaders of other communities who fear that it will disadvantage them in the general elections scheduled for 2011-2012.

But the limits of the politico-military approach designed in Kinshasa and Kigali have already been reached. Despite three successive operations conducted by the Congolese army, the humanitarian situation in the Kivu has deteriorated, and instances of extreme violence have multiplied. Women and girls, particularly, have suffered the consequences of impunity and of a highly militarised environment in which rape is endemic. The population is being victimised by both retribution campaigns of the rebels and unpunished human rights violations by Congolese soldiers.

The Rwandan Hutu rebel group, Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), is resisting forcible disarmament by forming alliances with Congolese militias that refuse integration into the national army. It has been chased out of many mining sites it previously controlled, but the natural resources have not yet been brought under legitimate control. Dissidents from Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi seek support in the Kivu or to create cross-border armed coalitions. In response, there are increasing signs of neighbours’ interference in the Kivu.

The rapid integration of former rebels, involving suspected war criminals, into the national army and their subsequent involvement in poorly planned military operations have done little to resolve the conflict in the East. The UN effort to correct course by implementing a new conditionality policy for its peacekeepers’ support has not affected the behaviour of Congolese forces. The credibility of MONUC – renamed MONUSCO in July 2010 – has been seriously undermined by its failure to protect civilians better.

Meanwhile, struggle for local power has made rule of law in the Kivu even more problematic. Land conflicts and inter-communal tensions have multiplied, exacerbated by repeated cycles of displacement. Unresolved inconsistencies between customary and statutory law put traditional chiefs in opposition to administrative authorities seeking to implement the CNDP agenda. The branches of provincial government are trading accusations of corruption, thus creating a crisis of local governance. Despite the growth of trade in cities along the border and the revival of regional economic institutions, long-term economic development remains elusive.  Read more…

Top DR Congo politician in Burundi seeks asylum in S Africa

Reuters Africa

By Jonny Hogg

KINSHASA (Reuters) – A top opposition figure in the Democratic Republic of Congo wanted by the government on treason charges is seeking asylum in the South African embassy in neighbouring Burundi, a spokesman for the Congolese government said on Saturday.

The government accuses Roger Lumbala, a Congolese MP and former rebel, of helping Rwanda support a rebellion in eastern Congo that has deepened political divisions in the capital Kinshasa, where the government and the opposition accuse each other of fanning the flames of the distant war.

The worsening political chaos threatens to undermine President Joseph Kabila’s ability to push through reforms in the country – a potential mining and oil giant – after his reelection in flawed polls last year.

Lambert Mende, a spokesman for the Congolese government, said Lumbala had been trying to win asylum at the South African embassy in Bujumbura, the Burundian capital, and had evaded arrest by Burundian security forces whom Kinshasa had asked to detain him.

“We’re convinced he is in a group who are helping the Rwandans in North Kivu,” Mende said, referring to the province where the M23 rebels operate.

Negotiations were underway to try to get Lumbala transferred to Kinshasa, Mende said, but there had been no response yet from South Africa. At least two other unnamed opposition figures were also being investigated for rebel links, he added.

Officials from South Africa and Burundi were not immediately available to comment.

The opposition has also accused President Joseph Kabila of The same alleged crime as Lumbala – of helping Rwanda back the rebellion in the east.

“It’s practically impossible that (Kabila) will be indicted (for treason), but it could still cause him problems.  Reuters.

 

Eastern DRC – ceasefire holds but no solution in sight

RNW/allAfrica

As a tentative ceasefire between Congolese government troops and rebel forces calling themselves M23 endures into its fourth week, a viable solution to the crisis caused by the latest rebellion to wreak havoc in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) seems as distant as ever. Regional fact-finding missions and summits have, so far, produced little more than vague gestures and empty words. Meanwhile, the M23 fighters continue to regroup, reorganise and plot their next move.

The latest meeting on the ongoing crisis in eastern DRC was held in Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu, between 14 and 16 August. Here, the army chiefs and defence ministers of the member states of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) attempted to hammer out the details of a ‘neutral’ force to be deployed in DRC to combat rebel group M23. This force had been proposed and debated at previous ICGLR meetings in Addis Ababa and Kampala, though the specifics were left unresolved.

Regional tensions

A significant hurdle to finding a regional solution has been the implication of Rwanda in the fomenting of this crisis. Rwanda was accused by the UN Group of Experts on the Congo of supporting M23, which is a re-incarnation of the CNDP (National Congress for the Defence of the People) rebel group that Kigali backed in 2008. Rwanda has subsequently seen aid contributions from many close allies cut or frozen. There have also been rumours of Ugandan links to M23. Both Rwanda and Uganda deny supporting the rebels.

This has meant that conflict, rather than consensus, has been in abundance at these summits. At the Kampala meeting Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni – presidents of Rwanda and Uganda respectively – pushed for a force made up of regional armies to fight M23. Congolese President Joseph Kabila, wary of his neighbours’ interests in the region, rejected that idea. The Rwandan and Ugandan delegations at Goma repeated their preference for a regional solution, but the Congolese managed to obtain an ICGLR resolution to implement an international force. Read more…