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Thread: Second Congo War 1998-2003 Africa's world war

  1. #21
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Stan

    He later says that another group of 100+ African-American, drug dealing, sexually deviate, less than honorably discharged former US Army soldiers were brought in for the 2nd war. Supposedly they were split-based at Bukavu and Iwawa (Wahu) island. He refers to Iwawa as a "former Peace Corps camp"; maybe it was much much earlier but in 1995 it was the rebel base the RPA cleared. I cannot imagine trying to use it as a rear base for operations in South Kivu but hey I am not Prunier. Here is a shot of the beach and the only buildings on the island. The map is a scan Ross Johnson and I used to plot our findings on in November 1995.

    best

    Tom
    There was actually some kind of PC camp on the island in the mid 80s (we took a few FMF Swiftships for a spin and got an "up close and personal" view of "going native" )

    Two things come to mind looking at this map of the grands lacs

    Why in God's name I let you talk me into the trip along the western frontier

    and, why Prunier and countless others never bothered reading open sources such as VAO, the Washington College of Law's field reports or even the Rwanda Gateway (since he wouldn't read your book).

    Well, there is one more thing... Tom, can you swim ?
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  2. #22
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    I read the review on the blog and really liked it (the review, that is!). It's not exactly comforting to know that such shoddy research can slip through all the publishing and editorial hoops.

  3. #23
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    Default Journey into Darkness

    This is a fantastic book. Well-written, informative, provocative and even (gasp!) entertaining.
    LTC Tom Odom was the Defense Attache in Kinshasa during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. When Rwandan refugees began pouring over the border into Zaire, Odom was sent to Goma as leader of the American embassy team. He saw first-hand the appalling conditions of the humanitarian crisis, as well as the political challenges of any attempts to address it. Many of the refugees were Hutu genocidaires, some of them still armed. After for the most part ignoring the Rwandan genocide, international attention now focused on the camps, where the persecutors were seen as victims.
    Odomís primary mission was to ďstop the killing.Ē But that was impossible. Odom predicted the violence would spill over into the Congo and possibly provoke a region-wide conflict. That prediction sadly proved to be true. Whether or not the USG could have stopped the Congo War, if Odomís warnings had been heeded, the U.S. and international community might at least been able to mitigate the violence. Instead, some five million people died.
    Odom offers a soldier/scholarís perspective, one that sees a humanitarian crisis as a logistical and political challenge, without losing sight of the human tragedy. The book should be read by all interested in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Great Lakes conflict, and Sub-Saharan Africa. It is also of interest to the Small Wars community, as the Congo War is one of the more complex and challenging conflicts of our time. And Journey Into Darkness is simply a great read. Odom has a gift for telling stories. He has a sense of humor that is never glib or disrespectful. His style is honest and hard-earned, the voice of a man who knows who knows who he is, and isn't afraid of the truth.

  4. #24
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    It'd be interesting to see an uncensored account of Zim's participation in the Pan-African War over in the DRC.

    Some tidbits -
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/zi...s-1081163.html

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/611898.stm

    https://mg.co.za/article/2004-09-11-...war-in-the-drc
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
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  5. #25
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Two pointers

    Adam G asked:
    It'd be interesting to see an uncensored account of Zim's participation in the Pan-African War over in the DRC.
    I don't recall such an account yet, this book might help (which I have not read):http://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/...des-go-to-war/

    This is a 2016 article on an unheard of before website:http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2016/10/...abila-the-drc/
    davidbfpo

  6. #26
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamG View Post
    It'd be interesting to see an uncensored account of Zim's participation in the Pan-African War over in the DRC.
    Try this one: Great Lakes Conflagration.

    It's based on interviews with 5-6 ZDF vets of that war, three Rwandans and few other participants - and is the military history of that conflict.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Try this one: Great Lakes Conflagration.

    It's based on interviews with 5-6 ZDF vets of that war, three Rwandans and few other participants - and is the military history of that conflict.
    Does your book discuss the death toll of the Second Congo War?

    What are your thoughts on the debate over estimates of the toll, which seems to range from less than one million, to over five million.

    See here: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/georg..._b_433552.html

  8. #28
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    I tend to 'touch' such topics, rather generally, but never go 'in-depth' in regards of them - except there is something like 'solid' data. In the case of this war, there was none I would have known as of that time that book was written (which was back in period 2000-2009; mind, it was published 'only' in 2013).

    What this book does mention is the ZDF's statistics for certain battles fought in the DRC. For example, the kill-to-loss ratio during the battle of N'Djili was 27:1 (in favour of Zimbabweans).

    BTW, this didn't change much for the rest of the war, no matter what calamities the ZDF went through there.

    EDIT: That all said, I tend to lean towards those who say the death toll in the II DRC War was much higher than during the Rwandan Civil War (including the Rwandan Genocide of 1994) - and primarily caused by Rwanda. For better understanding of 'how comes' (at least in regards of military affairs), it would be useful for any interested reader to go through 'slightly more'. Namely, thanks to efforts of Adrien Fontanellaz (a Swiss researcher with special skill in extracting most obscure details about various insurgencies in Africa), an entire series covering the inter-related wars in Uganda, Rwanda, and the DRC came into being. This is including four titles, meanwhile:

    - Wars and Insurgencies in Uganda, 1971-1994 (guess, this one is self-explaining)

    - Rwandan Patriotic Front, 1990-1994 (this is actually the story of the entire war in Rwanda, from how comes so many Tutsis ended as refugees in Uganda of early 1960s, via their inclusion in Musewni-lead insurgency, to the flow of combat ops during the Rwandan Civil War, which then culminated in the genocide)

    - Great Lakes Holocaust (military history of the I Congo War, or the first Rwandan-Ugandan invasion of the country, in 1996-1997), and the above-mentioned:

    - Great Lakes Conflagration.

    Adrien and me have some further plans in this regards, but more about that when the time comes.
    Last edited by CrowBat; 12-14-2017 at 12:48 PM.

  9. #29
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Try this one: Great Lakes Conflagration.

    It's based on interviews with 5-6 ZDF vets of that war, three Rwandans and few other participants - and is the military history of that conflict.
    Ooooooooooooooooo, thank you!

    Also, check your PMs
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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  10. #30
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Moderator at work

    Thread reopened to accommodate recent posts in a thread on the Zimbabwe National Army, which sit here far better. Moved to the Historian's arena.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-16-2017 at 05:36 PM. Reason: 24,593v
    davidbfpo

  11. #31
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Hattip to Crowbat: Battle of N'Djili

    Behind the Scenes: Warlords’ Deadly Battle in Congo
    By Keith Harmon Snow*
    Toward Freedom
    August 9, 2007
    http://www.africafederation.net/Behind_Scenes.htm

    The "four-day war" that rocked Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo from March 22-26, 2007 was called a "cleaning" by insiders. Everyone knew it was going to happen, the United Nations Observers Mission in Congo (MONUC) did nothing to stop it and the death count was significantly under-reported. The realities behind the scenes remain cloaked by the international media and world institutions, and the big losers, yet again, are the Congolese people. This is the inside story.
    The Democratic Republic of Congo is today both the richest and poorest country in the world. First robbed of its rubber and ivory (1890-1908) by Belgium’s King Leopold—whose enterprise of slavery claimed ten million Congolese lives but was masked by a humanitarian "anti-slavery" propaganda campaign—the plunder of the Congo was advanced by Belgian colonial interests from 1908 to "independence" on June 30, 1960.
    Early reports in the international media counted 150 people dead and described the warfare in general terms, absent all revealing details or background. A few days after heavy fighting the German Embassy broke ranks and declared, "up to 600 people killed." The German ambassador told reporters "The military forces that faced Mr. Bemba's militias were too heavy." The German Embassy remains silent about their direct involvement in illegal mining and bloodshed in the eastern Congo however.
    War broke out on March 22 but the New York Times went completely silent about events in Congo. Then on March 28, they ran a sizeable front-page feature, "After Congo Vote, Neglect and Scandal Still Reign," focused on "a recent 1200-mile trip across the country" by NYT reporter Jeffrey Gettlemen. "The unruly capital" in Kinshasa, Gettlemen commented in passing, "looks as if a war has been fought in its streets. There has been some violence there, like the periodic clashes between the presidential guard and a militia loyal to Jean-Pierre Bemba, a tycoon, former warlord and unsuccessful candidate for president." The on-going Kinshasa war was relegated to "periodic clashes." As usual there was nothing about political alliances, dirty diamond deals, mercenary ties or the machinations behind the scenes.
    Most remarkable were Gettlemen’s misrepresentations of violence in Kinshasa. "But it is not tanks and bombs that have turned the streets into bone-jarring rubble and many elegant buildings into teetering shells," he wrote. "It is neglect and corruption, which persist despite the election."
    Reuters reported (March 23) that "heavy gun and mortar fire shook the Congolese capital at first light on Friday in a second day of fighting between government troops and forces of a former rebel leader."(12) This was not reflected in the Gettlemen piece. On March 24, 2007, the Associated Press published a photo of FARDC troops in a tank in front of Bemba’s residence in Kinshasa—refuting the Gentlemen dismissal of heavy weapons. Gettlemen’s long feature in the New York Times filled about 45 column inches, on several pages, with numerous photos of poor people in the bush, and it deflected attention from the conflict in Kinshasa.
    Weapons deliveries rolled into Kinshasa from Matadi port between August and October 2006 and the four-day war involved mortars, bombs, tanks and RPG-7 rockets. Some twenty T-55 battle tanks, armored vehicles, and tons of ammunition arrived in Matadi in July 2006, shipped from Europe. There were twenty newly arrived T-72 tanks at Matadi. On August 24-25, FARDC moved seven truckloads of ammunition to Kinshasa. Nine T-55 battle tanks were delivered during the night of September 12. The FARDC logistics base in Kinshasa stored at least twelve T-55 tanks and 20 infantry combat vehicles.(13) The Kabila government and FARDC command did not cooperate with MONUC in verifications or inspections and weapons deliveries to FARDC violated U. N. Security Council resolutions.(14)


    Bomb the Other Side of the Runway!
    Zimbabwe's epic, 1998 defense of a Congolese airport
    https://warisboring.com/bomb-the-oth...of-the-runway/


    Anticipating the Rwandan plot, he signed a major deal with Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe. The Zimbabwean Defense Force would deploy a significant troop contingent in the DRC with the aim of monitoring the withdrawal of Rwandan military from the country.
    In exchange, Mugabe received official permission to exploit several large mines in the country.
    It so happened that in early August 1998, as the Rwandans were hauling their troops and arms from Goma to Kitona — i.e., from eastern to western Congo — the Zimbabweans were doing the same from their home bases, via Zambia, to Kinshasa. That is, from southern to western Congo.
    To further increase the irony — many of Rwandan officers had trained in Zimbabwe, which meant that the future belligerents actually knew each other.
    The ZDF of the 1990s was a highly professional force. Thus, while Kagame’s hodgepodge of Rwandan and Ugandan troops and Congolese mutineers needed two weeks to reach Kinshasa, by Aug. 22 the ZDF had one squadron of its own Special Air Service, 800 paratroopers, 15 Cascavel armored cars of Brazilian origin, 16 helicopters and eight combat aircraft staging from N’Djili.
    Last edited by AdamG; 12-16-2017 at 06:18 PM.
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  12. #32
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Yup, up to 200 Rwandan officers and NCOs were trained in Zimbabwe of 1996-1997.

    BTW: the story of post-N'Djili operations (which included several 'Fire-Force-style' drops by Zims, though with help of their G-/K-Cars and Angolan Mi-17s), and the 'exfiltration' of Rwandan survivors was something like 'another big adventure' in this campaign...

    ...and that's not to talk about all the various battles along the upper Congo River, a month or so later...

    ...or the siege of Ikela, lifted only in 2001...

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