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Old 03-08-2012   #601
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Stan:

The story didn't say a word about who would maintain those Hinds. Nor did it say who would fly them, pay the bills nor how they would be incorporated into the organization. Just more additions to the fascinating collection of old derelict airplanes that sit off the ramp or runway of so many DRC airports I suspect.
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Old 03-08-2012   #602
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Default Way too many details, Carl !

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Stan:

The story didn't say a word about who would maintain those Hinds. Nor did it say who would fly them, pay the bills nor how they would be incorporated into the organization. Just more additions to the fascinating collection of old derelict airplanes that sit off the ramp or runway of so many DRC airports I suspect.
These are minor concerns - I would be happy if they even get Jet-A1 inside the fuel tank
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Old 03-09-2012   #603
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Carl, Stan,

You're too critical. I just told you those choppers will be used to hunt down negative forces who hide in the forests of South and North Kivu.
To hunt down LRA, MONUSCO already deployed special ops troops from Jordania...
All this make sens: desert trained special forces and air power to stop militia in forest terrain... It does make sens if you look at the big picture. And the big picture is being capable to say: we did all what we could, now we have to go cause nothing is happening anymore. The fact that you do exactly what is not relevent is way out of considerations in such case.
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Old 03-14-2012   #604
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Default Cause sometimes GOOD NEWS happen

Lubanga Guilty of Use of Child Soldiers
Quote:
Today, International Criminal Court (ICC) judges in The Hague delivered the Court’s first verdict—a finding of guilt against former Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga.

Prosecutors accused Lubanga of the war crimes of conscripting, enlisting, and using children under the age of 15 years for combat purposes while he served as political head of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) rebel group in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Lubanga denied all allegations against him, insisting that he gave orders for children not to be involved in combat and that prosecutors had influenced witnesses to lie against him.

The ICC judges ruled that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that Lubanga is guilty of the crimes charged. Judge Adrian Fulford, Presiding Judge of the Trial Chamber, in delivering the verdict said that there was reasonable evidence to believe that Lubanga was involved in a recruitment drive for his UPC rebel group and that such drive included conscripting children and using them for combat purposes. The judges also found that Lubanga personally used children as his bodyguards.
http://www.lubangatrial.org/2012/03/...hild-soldiers/

For a good news, that's a dam good news. Ocampo almost f---k up the procecutor work but in the end justice prevail!
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Old 03-14-2012   #605
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Default One Down, another 9,999 to go

M-A,
Indeed a victory for humanity ! Perhaps the end to Union des Patriotes Congolais and Forces Patriotiques pour la Liberation du Congo

So, we just have 9,999 more to go with a few Zairian politicians ?

What to do with all those children that know how to employ firearms better than some African military, and have been professionally trained to rape - from life experiences ?
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Old 03-19-2012   #606
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Default After Lubanga... Terminator Bosco?

Well, this is not going to happen before a while but YEAH! Bosco "Terminator" Ngatanga is back under thespot lights.

OK North Kivu provincial government already said loud what Kinshasa is wispering: not the right time, will never be and we decided that for the sake of our alledgely corrupted regime we choose "peace over justice".

The last part is even funnier as there is no peace in the Kivu right now! Uganda and UN agencies just warned that there are nearly 100 000 civilians who fled DRC since the begining of the year, at a rate of 40 per day and that return from Uganda to DRC could be stoppped.
This, thanks to an anti FDLR offensive conducted under Rwanda command which is basically targetting APCLS mining sites and not the FDLR.

So yes a good news for Humanity but the road still to go is long...
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Old 03-19-2012   #607
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Default talking about unreported war crimes...

Quote:
UN-backed Congolese army drive could displace 100,000 people, analysts warn
The Guardian, Fri 16 Mar 2012 15.12 GMT
UN peacekeeping troops are backing a Congolese army drive against jungle-based rebel groups that is expected to displace at least 100,000 people and trigger a new wave of instability and human rights abuses across war-ravaged eastern Congo, aid workers and independent analysts have warned.
The new offensive by 5,400 troops of the Democratic Republic of Congo army (FARDC), largely unreported until now, began in South Kivu province, bordering Rwanda and Burundi, on 15 February and is being extended into North Kivu, bordering Uganda, this month.
http://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/m...d&type=article

The only problem is that FARDC do not fight against FDLR... But that's probably because I do not understand anything to the military stuff and strategy. Epecially in mining areas.
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Old 03-19-2012   #608
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Hey Marc !

Is this guy really serious

Quote:
"The UN is being sucked in and the new offensive risks making things worse,"
Then of course we do have attack helicopters that will protect the Congolese from their own army

Quote:
Monusco says it is screening the Congolese army soldiers it will work with to try to ensure joint operations do not include any former human rights abusers.
So, out of the 5400 troops to be screened, just how many will still be in the operations once the vetting process is done ?

Quote:
The kickback culture is everywhere
I think this one is a strong candidate for the SWC phrase of 2012
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Old 03-19-2012   #609
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan View Post
Hey Marc !

Is this guy really serious
Yes he is,I was told. The offensive is actually going on. But from FDLR they moved to APCLS (financially more profitable). And Uganda already is welcoming 40 refugees a day...

Quote:
Then of course we do have attack helicopters that will protect the Congolese from their own army


Quote:
So, out of the 5400 troops to be screened, just how many will still be in the operations once the vetting process is done ?
Actually MONUSCO conducts vetting based on the report they did on War crimes and Crimes against Humanity, they have a huge data base.
Don't forget that support is only food and fuel. So I believe it will just turn into more crimes and a longer data base...
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Old 03-20-2012   #610
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Default DRC security forces at work...

The report of OHCHR on human rights abuses in DRC between 26 november and 25 december 2011 has ben released today.

Quote:
A. Violations of the right to life
13. Between 26 November and 25 December 2011, the team documented 33 cases of civilians killed in Kinshasa by members of the defense and security forces, 22 of them being shot. The number of deaths could be much higher as the team faced many difficulties in documenting the allegations of violations of the right to life that were reported. Thus, the team
was unable to confirm several allegations

B. Violations of the right to physical integrity
23. Between 26 November and 25 December 2011, 83 civilians were wounded, 61 of them were shot, among which one PNC agent. Other people were victims of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments.

The human rights violations listed above have been attributed by victims and witnesses to members of the GR, PNC officers and its specialised units, in particular LENI, GMI and the criminal investigation brigade, as well as to armed men in civilian clothes who fired live ammunition at demonstrators and simple passers-by and repressed demonstrators protesting against the elections using violence and disproportionate use of force. The name Colonel Kanyama, PNC commander in the Lukunga district (Lufungula Camp) in Kinshasa and nicknamed “death spirit” by Kinshasa inhabitants, was in particular cited in testimonies as a key team leader responsible for removing and getting rid of the bodies of the victims killed.
According to concurring testimonies, these groups arrived in “a PNC vehicle from which officers fired tear gas; the vehicle was followed by a dilapidated vehicle from which marksmen in civilian clothes fired at demonstrators, and then a covered lorry with body collectors”.
Moreover, FARDC soldiers circulating throughout the city of Kinshasa on 26 November 2011 and on 9, 10 and 11 December 2011 also committed arbitrary arrests, abductions and violations of the right to life and physical integrity.
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Count...Dec2011_en.pdf
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Old 03-28-2012   #611
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Default Ok, I am very busy right now but those 2 things need to be addressed:

US envoy lauds DRC forces after UN report on rampage
Quote:
The US is “disappointed” by the conduct of that voting, Ambassador Walkley said last week. But “the presidential election is over,” he added. “That’s the reality, and we have to deal with realities.”
“Our focus is on the future,” the special envoy said, explaining that the US seeks assurance that upcoming provincial elections “will not see a repetition of mistakes made in the previous election.”
Ambassador Walkley offered a generally positive assessment of the DRC’s trajectory under Kabila’s rule.
The country has made “tremendous progress on the diplomatic front,” he said, citing “increased economic and security co-operation with its neighbours.”
The US is working to help professionalise Congo’s police, he added. Significant improvement, however, “is not going to be reached overnight,” Ambassador Walkley said.
http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news...n/-/index.html

I do not know what tremendous progress on the diplomatic front mean in Washington but on the ground this means:
- 1.7 million Internally Displaced People (IDP) in only 3 provinces; with a special mention for the 2 Kivu where, according to OCHA, you have more than 1 million IDP. Just yesterday, 9 900 people had to flee their homes because of fighting…
- Transparency international: 55% of collected taxes diseape in a country where corruption is done in open sky,
- World Bank Doing business report 2012: DRC ranked 178. In 2011 DRC was ranked 176.
- Global Peace Index: DRC is the third most dangerous country in the world.
And about DRC security forces progress: just see the HCHR report.

Then let’s talk about conflict minerals:
Use of ‘Conflict Minerals’ Gets More Scrutiny From U.S.
Quote:
The Dodd-Frank law on conflict minerals is already having an effect in Eastern Congo, damping or halting production at many mines even before the disclosure regulations for companies are in place.
“It is causing, I would say, a sort of embargo on traders and diggers in Eastern Congo,” Serge Tshamala, an official at the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo. “The longer it takes the S.E.C. to come up with guidelines, the worse it is for our people.” Mr. Tshamala and other Congo government officials met with the agency’s staff members in June, urging them to speed completion of the regulations.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/bu...pagewanted=all

Yeah, I really feel bad for the member of DRC government. They just announced they want to review the mining code and some crazy hippies are trying to make their life hard.
Just for the sake of saying it: last time the mining code was reviewed (10 years ago) it generated 100 millions (at least) of backshich paid directly by mining companies, hand to hand, to some officials…

It is not the longer it takes for the SEC commission to come with a guideline that is affecting the people in DRC. It is the will to not conduct an SSR and discipline FARDC which is affecting the people. It is the incapacity of the DRC government to actually govern the country that is affecting the people…

Sometimes, I feel like hearing America snoring…
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Old 04-06-2012   #612
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Congo's 'Terminator' troops defect

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The soldiers are loyal to former rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

The situation in the eastern DR Congo city of Goma, where the troops were based, is said to be tense.
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Old 04-11-2012   #613
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Sometimes you get more money working for the enemy than for the government, what can you do?
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Old 04-15-2012   #614
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Mutinies in the East: beyond the Terminator
http://www.crisisgroupblogs.org/afri...he-terminator/

Let's hope this will go further than a man to be turned into an opportunity.
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Old 05-31-2012   #615
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Default Back to the past...

Quote:
Congo probes alleged Rwandan support for rebelsGOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo are investigating allegations that neighboring Rwanda is recruiting and training fighters in support of a new armed movement in its troubled eastern borderlands, a government spokesman said on Monday.
The British Broadcasting Corporation, citing a confidential United Nations document, reported earlier on Monday that among the defectors from the newly formed militia were at least 11 Rwandan nationals who claimed to have been recruited in Rwanda.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...congo-kinshasa

Well, for those in the field it’s not a big news. Even if it has to be taken with caution, they have been recruited in Rwanda does not mean by Rwanda, this demonstrates the crisis in North Kivu goes further than just a manhunt.
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Old 06-05-2012   #616
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Default 50 layers of darker darkness

Quote:
DR Congo: Rwanda Should Stop Aiding War Crimes Suspect

Field research conducted by Human Rights Watch in the region in May 2012 revealed that Rwandan army officials have provided weapons, ammunition, and an estimated 200 to 300 recruits to support Ntaganda’s mutiny in Rutshuru territory, eastern Congo. The recruits include civilians forcibly recruited in Musanze and Rubavu districts in Rwanda, some of whom were children under 18. Witnesses said that some recruits were summarily executed on the orders of Ntaganda’s forces when they tried to escape.

Providing weapons and ammunition to Ntaganda’s mutiny contravenes the United Nations Security Council arms embargo on Congo, which stipulates that all states shall “take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer, from their territories or by their nationals […] of arms and any related materiel, and the provision of any assistance, advice or training related to military activities […] to all non-governmental entities and individuals operating in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

“Permitting Ntaganda to move in and out of Rwanda without fear of arrest sends a message that Rwanda is not serious about helping deliver justice to victims of the war crimes he and his troops have committed,” Van Woudenberg said. “Rwanda’s allies should insist that Rwanda help end impunity in the region, not encourage it.”

A number of officers who joined Ntaganda’s mutiny, including Colonel Makenga, Colonel Ngaruye, Col. Innocent Zimurinda and Col. Innocent Kayna, have past records of serious human rights abuses in eastern Congo. Human Rights Watch, UN human rights monitors, and local human rights organizations have documented ethnic massacres, torture, abductions, widespread sexual violence, and forced recruitment of children committed by these individuals while they were rebel group commanders or officers in the Congolese army.
http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/06/03/d...imes-suspect-0

The message is simple and clear: there are no progress in DRC since 2009 and CNDP redition.
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Old 06-07-2012   #617
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Quote:
The United States is concerned by the continued mutiny of officers and soldiers formerly integrated into the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and now operating in North Kivu province as an armed group under the name M23, and by recent reports of outside support to M23.

We support the Congolese government’s efforts to discourage further defections and to bring to justice alleged human rights abusers among the mutinous forces, including Bosco Ntaganda. These efforts are an essential step toward developing a disciplined and unified Congolese army and bringing a sustainable peace to the DRC.

The United States also reiterates its support for the international community’s comprehensive approach to disarming and demobilizing the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a violent armed group responsible for atrocities against civilians in the DRC’s eastern provinces and whose leaders participated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. We support ongoing efforts to hold FDLR leaders accountable for their atrocities, and we urge FDLR soldiers and dependents to present themselves to Congolese or UN authorities for disarmament and repatriation.

We encourage the DRC, its neighbors, and its partners to work together to prevent M23, the FDLR, and all other armed groups from receiving outside support in contravention of the UN Security Council’s arms embargo on non-governmental entities and individuals operating in the DRC.

The United States also strongly supports the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC, MONUSCO, in particular its active efforts to assist the Congolese government in protecting civilians displaced or threatened by clashes between government forces and armed groups.
Link: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/06/191902.htm

MONUSCO mandate should be soon discussed in NY...
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Old 06-12-2012   #618
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Default It is being discussed today...

So ICG published an open letter addressed to the UNSC and MONUSCO SRSG.

Quote:
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 month 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 Congrs national pour la dfense du peuple (CNDP) within the army, and to remobilise domestic support around anti-Rwanda sentiment by pursuing a military defeat of the M23. In addition to the fragmentation of the army and new fighting between the Forces armes de la Rpublique dmocratique du Congo (FARDC) and ex-CNDP elements, various Mai-Mai groups have expanded their reach and the Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) remains a persistent, if diminished threat, as the FARDC fails to control territory.

The stabilisation strategy underpinned by MONUSCO was centred too heavily on an expectation that the 2008-2009 rapprochement between DRC and Rwanda was enough to contain the conflict in the Kivus. The bilateral agreement was based on President Kabila's willingness to integrate Rwanda proxy CNDP forces into the army, but the strategy was short-sighted as it made no provisions for addressing the underlying causes of conflict beyond Rwanda security objectives. The current mutiny underway in the Kivus is perhaps the clearest evidence to date of how little progress has been made in stabilisation. The 2008 and 2012 crises appear remarkably similar, including their ethnic dimension, reported support from Rwanda and the negative impact on civilians, including displacement and potential for increasing ethnic tensions at the community level. These crises are symptoms of unresolved regional and local conflicts over access to land and resources, as well as a failure to achieve structural reform within the security sector, poor governance and non-existent rule of law, and the inability to address the sources of financing for armed groups, end impunity and extend state authority, including through decentralisation.

In this context, it would be a mistake if the Security Council seeks to make only minor adjustments to the current course in renewing MONUSCO mandate. Without a new approach and re-engagement by the Security Council, MONUSCO risks becoming a $1.5 billion empty shell.
http://crisisgroup.be/mail/open-lett...r-to-unsc.html

Let see what will be UN decision. But this shows that since Tom and Stan times in DRC nothing has really changed.
There is a need for a new deal with Rwanda in which Rwanda development is not based on a colonel (or a general) on a hill in neigbouring country.
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Old 06-12-2012   #619
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Default Because unreported war does not mean no cusualties

Quote:
DRC: “If you resist, we’ll shoot you”: The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the case for an effective Arms Trade Treaty
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/in...62/007/2012/en
An excellent report, extremely detailed, highlighting the complex commercial relations between DRC and its weapons and ammunitions suppliers. Among those suppliers you will find USA, South Africa, Switzerland, Egypt, France, Ukraine, China… All the usual suspects.

Also from ENOUGH, additional advocacy for a better mandate to MONUSCO:

Quote:
MONUSCO—Protection of Civilians: Three recommended improvementsAlthough civilian protection is stated to be the highest priority of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUSCO, the mission continually struggles to fulfill this mandate. Overall, the failure of the U.N. to deal with the FDLR, as a major factor in regional instability, allows for the eastern Congo crisis to fester. The optimal longer term alteration in MONUSCO’s mandate would be to empower and support it, in coordination with other actors in the region, to end the FDLR threat along the lines of the Ituri “Artemis” model. Given MONUSCO’s current mandate on civilian protection, however, this policy brief is focused only on making the existing operation a more successful one.
http://www.enoughproject.org/publica...d-improvements

And finally the dual between DRC and Rwanda is officially on as Lambert Mende, DRC government speaker and information minister, has openly accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebel movement.

Quote:
DRC Government Rules Out Talks With Rebels
DRC Information Minister Lambert Mende says several hundred M23 combatants have been recruited recently in Rwanda.

Mende says the DRC government condemns the inactivity - or worse - of the Rwandan authorities in the face of these serious infringements of the DRC’s peace and security.
He also says the M23 had formed alliances with other armed groups, including the Rwandan FDLR rebels who are operating on Congolese territory.
http://www.voanews.com/content/drc_g...s/1205957.html

And the Rwanda answer:
Quote:
Rwanda: DRC Should Address Its Own ProblemsThe Rwandan government has demonstrated commitment to a peaceful DRC - first, by helping end the previous conflict when it successfully mediated between Kinshasa and the CNDP rebels in 2009, and then actively and openly engaging the DRC to try and find a peaceful settlement of the renewed hostilities.
Ever since the war broke out more than a month ago, Kigali was not only disappointed but responded immediately, as a responsible and concerned neighbour, by organising a series of high-level political and military meetings between the two countries to help contain the situation. Agreements were reached and a joint plan of action drawn.
Unfortunately, Kinshasa has turned around and sought to stab its partner in the back by embracing false rumours and baseless speculation, even as both sides were just about to release results from a joint verification team.
Nonetheless, DRC can still save the situation. It is never too late to make peace. First, Kinshasa needs to acknowledge that the issues in North Kivu are their own and not anyone else's. They should openly engage with anyone who is genuinely willing to help address the issue. Looking around for scapegoats won't provide the answers.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201206120055.html

My conclusion remain the same as in the previous post... And the ones before.
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Old 06-12-2012   #620
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M-A,

The telling observation (from a few posts back) was "... remobilise domestic support around anti-Rwanda sentiment ..."

To what extent is anti-Rwanda/Tutsi propoganda/agitation/sentiment/whatever-we-call-it nothing more than an effort at distraction from internal DRC problems? And if that's all it is, doesn't that distraction make problems worse by further inflaming the situation in the Kivus?
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