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Old 11-21-2012   #681
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
Stan: Going for regime change is may be cheaper on paper but will not bring any of what you mention: free and fair elections, professional army and police, end of impunity and corruption.
That said, there is a need for a regime change but I doubt a regime change initiated by Rwanda and Uganda will be well accepted. What is needed is a Congolese stand up against its oppressing governments not something coming from outside.
Hey M-A,
I may not have made myself clear with the above post. I wanted to say that no amount of paper or money will bring about what the Congolese have ever yet to have. They did enjoy such privileges during the colonial days, but, for obvious reasons the politicians were not happy with that. I certainly was not advocating a regime change from any foreign entity. You are absolutely correct - only the Congolese, all 70 million, are the only ones capable of change that they can live with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
Also going Bukavu is not really the shortest road to Kinshasa. To Lubumbashi may be...
Even by 707 Bukavu to Kin was almost impossible !
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Old 11-21-2012   #682
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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Incidentally the majority are from the Indian sub-continent; tbeen he UN data has not updated since May 2011:http://monusco.unmissions.org/Defaul...language=en-US
David,
Not sure if this is what you were looking for regarding UN data

Regards, Stan
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Old 11-21-2012   #683
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
Carl: A light correction: MONUSCO is present on Goma airport, this does not mean they are the ones in power.
You are of course right and I stand corrected. They stay in their areas. What a sight that would be, the M23 unit that the attack helos hit may be camped out at the airport right next to the ramp where those helos are parked.

This is a question for Stan and M-A and anybody else. Let's say M23 takes Bukavu. Then Rwanda would have all the land surrounding Lake Kivu. Now if they decided they wanted to hang on to that and not give it back, would anybody care and actually put any pressure on them to give it back? The FARDC certainly couldn't do anything about it. My question isn't about whether it would be right or wrong or wise or unwise it is about practicability of the thing. If Rwanda decided to keep that part of the Congo, would anybody care or make any real effort to make them give it back?

Oh I meant to add, I liked Bukavu just about as much as I disliked Goma. They aren't all that far apart but it just didn't seem as menacing.
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Last edited by carl; 11-21-2012 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012   #684
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To understand the actual situation, I recommand to read those 3 doc:

The last report from the UN panel of experts
http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc...bol=S/2012/843

The report on M23 CNDP roots from Jason Stearn
http://riftvalley.net/resources/file...20CNDP-M23.pdf

The ICG report on M23 and roots causes of its creation
http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/region...on-failed.aspx

With the 3 of them you can make your idea of what is the situation, who are the M23 and what they try to achieve.
None of those reports have all the truth and everyone is invited to pick what he believes is the best bite of each of those reports and make his mind.
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Old 11-21-2012   #685
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Carl,
My personal opinion is total stalemate. Even back in the 80s when we gave the DRC USN swift ships to patrol lake Kivu, supposedly against Rwandan trade, all the Zairian government in Kinshasa did was complain. They had the USG to back all that whining though.

M23 has roughly 1,000 men, women and children. You can't hold Goma and travel on foot or jeep to Bukavu and take it too (and then hold it). Running through a small city and declaring it yours is strange. Not sure how this all pans out but I can't see approx. 500 staying in Goma and holding it while the other 500 march to Bukavu and take it, and, hold it. At that point you have little left to walk onward to K-town or Lubumbashi, or wherever.

I like this passage from M-A's links. Great idea full of thought, but the current aid suspensions from most of us is so minuscule that it's not even worth thinking about. If the USG turned off the 2 million this year that would hurt. So instead, we turned off 200K in military-related aid. Geez that must of hurt

Quote:
If international donors and African mediators persist in managing the crisis rather than solving it, it will be impossible to avoid such repetitive cycles of rebellions in the Kivus and the risk of large-scale violence will remain. Instead, to finally resolve this conflict, it is essential that Rwanda ends its involvement in Congolese affairs and that the reconstruction plan and the political agreements signed in the Kivus are properly implemented. For these things to happen Western donors should maintain aid suspension against Rwanda until the release of the next report of the UN group of experts, in addition to issuing a clear warning to the Congolese authorities that they will not provide funding for stabilisation and institutional support until the government improves political dialogue and governance in both the administration and in the army in the east, as recommended by Crisis Group on several previous occasions.
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Old 11-21-2012   #686
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Now it's getting weird for real but here comes the solution:

Quote:
Museveni, Kagame demand M23 rebels leave Goma
In solidarity with the Congolese people and their counterparts, President Yoweri Museveni and President Kagame made it clear that even if there were legitimate grievances by the mutinying group known as the M23, they cannot accept expansion of this war or entertain the idea of overthrowing the legitimate government of the DRC or undermining its authority. Therefore, the M23 rebel group must immediately stop its offensive and pull out of Goma. A plan to this end is being communicated to them.
http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/6374...eave-goma.html

As Stan just said: M23 does not have the capacities human and logistic to hold even Goma. According to MONUSCO and several credible sources, when M23 launched the first wave of the offensive on thursday 15, they were 500 and lost 150 men. They were finished.
On saturday they suddently became 2500/3000 men strong with heavy artillery, night googles and anti aircraft weapons... "someone" was helping. (See my previous post to make your mind on who).
And now they are back at less than 350 men and alone...

Diplomacy has his ways...

Last edited by M-A Lagrange; 11-21-2012 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012   #687
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Originally Posted by Stan View Post
David, not sure if this is what you were looking for regarding UN data

Regards, Stan
Stan,

I started there and then looked for details, hence my link.
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Old 11-22-2012   #688
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Humanitarian suffering set to worsen across eastern Congo following fall of Goma, Oxfam warns
Quote:
“The world is watching Goma but there are many towns and villages across eastern Congo completely forgotten and run by predatory men with guns. Across vast areas, people are stranded with little or no protection from security services. As the violence intensifies the UN must do all it can to protect Congolese civilians caught in the middle. Women and men have suffered too much for too long; they want security and the chance to get on with their lives. They must not be ignored.”
http://www.oxfamamerica.org/press/pr...medium=twitter
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Old 11-25-2012   #689
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Please what did the Congolese Army do with all its AFRICOM training?
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Old 11-25-2012   #690
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Please what did the Congolese Army do with all its AFRICOM training?
Hey Kingjaja,

According to this, a lot of money went into specific training and looks great on paper.

Quote:
U.S. Africa Command provides training to the Congolese Armed Forces, focusing especially on the areas of rule of law, respect for human rights and developing leadership skills. It has also trained the 391st light infantry battalion, which was subsequently deployed to LRA-affected areas of the DRC. In addition, AFRICOM provides humanitarian assistance aimed at countering sexual and gender-based violence.
But then, similar to what all Western powers witnessed as far back as 1985, hungry soldiers are not the way to go..

Quote:
“By noon, they’ve reached their training threshold,” said Lt. Drew Giacomucci, a U.S. sailor based in Rota, Spain, who is helping train Congolese troops in de-mining techniques.

For example, in September, when the U.S. stopped providing food for the battalion at the camp, transferring that responsibility to the Congolese government, meals abruptly dropped from three a day to just one.

Lt. Col. John Pierre Molengo, the commander of the Kisangani camp, downplayed the significance of the food and salary problems, instead blaming U.S. troops who introduced a standard that is difficult to match.
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Old 11-25-2012   #691
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Stan,

If you remember, I talked about this many months ago. We've seen it in Mali and now in Congo DRC. Africa's problems are not "security related", they are economic/political.

No amount of training will help.
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Old 11-26-2012   #692
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There are some great pictures of the war in DRC: (Be careful some are chocking)
http://www.vice.com/read/the-m23-adv...43476321108185

This will recall pictures of the past to all those who've been in DRC in the past.

and an interresting piece on why Uganda and Rwanda are creating insecurity in DRC
Quote:
M23 tragedy manufactured by Rwanda and Uganda
Both Gen. Museveni and Gen. Kagame have mastered the art of “spin.” Gen. Museveni’s National Resistance Army (NRA) contributed to massacres of civilians in Luwero region during Uganda’s civil war in the 1980s. Later, Gen. Museveni ordered the skulls of victims to be piled into a mountain and claimed ousted president Milton Obote’s army and people from the northern part of Uganda in general were responsible for all the atrocities. Gen. Museveni was received as Uganda’s “savior.”
Ugandans today know all his tricks.
The pair will never take their eyes off Congo’s immense mineral and natural resource wealth. What’s more, by maintaining a permanent state of chaos in Congo, Kagame and Museveni are able to divert international attention from political repression from their respective countries.
http://sfbayview.com/2012/m23-traged...da-and-uganda/
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Old 11-28-2012   #693
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Conflict Minerals in Your Mobile—Why Congo's War Matters
http://www.cnbc.com/id/49961559
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Old 11-30-2012   #694
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An excellent paper on DRC:
Quote:
Time for Impatience in Congo

Instead of agreeing to compete on business terms, elites from powerful ethnic groups have for decades, in collusion with factions of the Congolese and neighboring governments, been organized into mafias. They have built market share and acquired titles, concessions and licenses from corrupt officials, run protection rackets and ensured that most markets remain black.

No level of international pressure is going to eliminate the core business rivalries between elites from the Tutsi, Nande and Mushi ethnic groups, just to mention three of most prominent. Nor will it eradicate their ties to Congolese, Rwandan or Ugandan military and political factions. There is a deep and long game of influence being played here. Non-regional internationals lack the skills, knowledge, wits and commitment to play at that level.
But the international community must nonetheless try to get it right this time. Instead of acting as a broker between interests in a game way over its head, it must make itself the champion of the civilian population, demanding that rivalries be demilitarized; that militias be disarmed; that the hapless and corrupt Congolese national army be reduced to a tiny core of vetted units and rebuilt from scratch; and that the political system be rethought to take into account local aspirations.
This latter point is vital. The present Constitution allows for a measure of decentralized administration but falls short of devolving any real authority. A fully federal system might simply displace the seat of corruption and mafia influence to the provinces, but elected, empowered provincial and local assemblies would be better placed to negotiate and broker local power relations.

A new political dispensation negotiated with civilian participation would almost surely lead to a measure of federalism and provide a local framework for local issues to be resolved. It has only been in recent decades that armed hysteria has replaced deal-making and compromise.
Implementation of such a deal will be hard, and will require solid assurances that international donor resources will be there to back it up. To succeed, the international community must say, in effect, we’re willing to back any reasonable solution as long as it includes rapid demilitarization, as well as meaningful involvement by communities, including women. It must include arrangements for equitable and transparent commercial relations within Congo and with its neighbors. It must promise international-justice action against anyone who works against the agreement by committing abuses. And the United Nations forces must be relieved of their misguided focus on supporting the national army and revert to their previous role as objective policeman.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/op...ongo.html?_r=0
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Old 11-30-2012   #695
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Default Rubber boots to inside Foggy Bottom

Three articles on DRC and Rwanda, two in FP, one by Jason Stearns, ex-UN expert on the Congo and one refers to another blogsite where Jason Stearns is the author.

Rwandan Ghosts: Benghazi isn't the biggest blight on Susan Rice's record, by Jason Stearns:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...osts?page=full

In Rebel Country: How did 1,000 skinny militiamen in rubber boots conquer a city of 1 million people in a matter of hours?:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...goma?page=full

This one I liked, the first is historical and aimed at US policy-making.

The third is really a pointer to Jason Stearns blogsite:
Quote:
The Rift Valley Institute's Usalama Project is delighted to announce the launch of the first two reports in a series of publications on armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). You can download both reports from our website.

The first Usalama report is an account of the origins and trajectory of the new M23 rebellion and its alleged relationship with the Rwandan government. The second report traces the deeper history of conflict in the CNDP's and M23's stronghold, North Kivu province.
Link:http://congosiasa.blogspot.co.uk/201...a-project.html
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Old 12-01-2012   #696
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Default conflict mapping: the M23

Another good piece on M23 and their real motives by IPIS.

Mapping Conflict Motives: M23
Quote:
Download the full report at: http://www.ipisresearch.be/att/20121...otives_M23.pdf

Antwerp, 30/11/2012 - In light of the recent occupation of Goma by M23 and the renewed risk of large-scale armed conflict in the DRC, IPIS is publishing an update to its 2007-2010 ‘mapping conflict motives’ report series focussing specifically on the intentions of M23.

The M23 rebels display clear political ambition and a tendency to establish political control over territory, while challenging Kinshasa’s authority – strategic interests they might share with Rwanda.

When M23 was created, it claimed that it was seeking the correct and complete implementation of an agreement signed between the CNDP and the Congolese Government on 23 March 2009. After the capture of Bunagana and Rutshuru, its demands changed. By November, grievances regarding the alleged lack of implementation of the 23 March 2009 agreement featured less and less prominently in M23’s discourse.
M23’s strategy on the battlefield does not indicate that protecting the Tutsi population is its most urgent concern. Likewise, its proclaimed intention to “neutralise” the FDLR is not apparent from its military actions. Furthermore, it is striking that M23 currently does not control any important mining areas and has not attacked any mines, and thus, for now, is not seeking to maximise its profits from the mineral trade. However M23’s control over Goma is characterised by targeted looting and the facilitation of illegal exports of mineral stocks.
Since 2004, IPIS has published various reports on the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The European Network for Central Africa (EURAC) assessed that an accurate understanding of M23’s motives among stakeholders will be crucial for dealing with the current escalation of conflict. IPIS volunteered to provide such analysis. The content of the report does not necessarily reflect the position of EURAC.
The researchers wish to stress that the situation on the ground is subject to constant change. M23 is a recent movement, created less than a mere seven months prior to this analysis; there are new developments almost every day. Most of the information used exists in the public domain. When insufficient sources were available, additional information was gathered by IPIS researchers working on related topics in South Kivu, and through telephone interviews.
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Old 12-01-2012   #697
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Default USA sanction M23

Quote:
Senate votes to sanction those helping M23 in Eastern Congo
Amendment imposing an asset freeze and visa ban on those supporting the M23 added to Defense Authorization bill


WASHINGTON – The United States Senate unanimously passed an amendment Thursday night imposing sanctions on those providing financial, material, or technological support to the M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Amendment 3199 to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).

“M23 has demonstrated an unconscionable disregard for human life and Congo's territorial integrity and seems determined to sink central Africa in another deadly, devastating war that could set the region back a generation,” Senator Coons said. “The actions of M23 rebels, as well as those who aid and abet the M23, are deplorable and must be stopped immediately. These sanctions are designed to stop the illicit and dangerous support the M23 is receiving from those seeking to destabilize the region. I applaud Senator Durbin for taking the lead on this amendment, and am pleased the Senate spoke with one voice in unanimously supporting its passage.” Senator Coons is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs.

“The civil war in eastern Congo is the most lethal conflict since the Second World War and its barbarism defies description,” Senator Durbin said. “Last week, a well-armed rebel forces occupied the city of Goma and have set their sights on Kinshasa, Congo’s capital. The rebels, known for brutal violence and led by known war criminals, have the potential to destabilize the entire nation. As the violence continues to escalate, it is clear that the rebels are benefitting from strategic and material support from outside forces. This amendment freezes the assets and implements a visa ban for any person providing such troubling support. Our goal is to hasten an end to the violence by starving the rebels of their key lines of support.” Senator Durbin is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs.
http://www.coons.senate.gov/newsroom...-eastern-congo
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Old 12-03-2012   #698
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Quote:
GOMA, Congo (AP) — Rebels believed to be backed by Rwanda completed their retreat from Congo's eastern provincial capital on Saturday less than two weeks after taking control of the strategic city, a military official said. The retreat, however, may be tentative after a leader for the M23 rebels said they now wanted to negotiate with the government within 48 hours.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...924c8154811e55
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Old 12-04-2012   #699
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Here is the link to the Group of Experts letter to the UN Security Council incriminating Rwanda in the battle of Goma.
http://s3.documentcloud.org/document...twitter_africa

And here is an article on how Susan Rice made sure that Rwanda will not be mentioned in the UN resolution on M23:
http://turtlebay.foreignpolicy.com/p...sure_on_rwanda
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Old 12-13-2012   #700
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There was a DRC hearing at the House of Foreign affairs.
Please find below the link to the debats.

Quote:
House Cmte. Looks at Conflict in Congo
WASHINGTON, DC
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee takes a look at the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Three UN reports this year confirm that Rwanda is supporting rebels who have ravaged and continue to plague the eastern Congo region.

Witnesses at the hearing include; Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs, John Prendergast, co-founder, Enough Project, Steve Hege, former member, U.N. Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mvemba Dizolele, visiting
http://www.c-span.org/Events/House-C...10737436502-1/

I let you make your mind...
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