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Old 10-29-2013   #781
M-A Lagrange
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M23 rebels are trapped and they know it. So they make desperate moves:

Quote:
DRC's M23 call for Zuma's help

We're requesting Zuma to speak to Kabila to stop the fatalities," said M23 spokesperson Lawrence Kingston in an interview with the Mail & Guardian.

"South Africa should stop sending military to Congo. He's got to help the Congolese people live side by side in peace instead of helping Kabila kill them."

South Africa sent troops to the DRC earlier in the year as part of the United Nations mission to neutralise armed groups in the country.
http://mg.co.za/article/2013-10-29-d...or-zumas-help/

they accuse Zuma to have business perspectives and interests in DRC... But so do they, as well as in Rwanda, and so do a lot of Rwandan.

US also published a statement:
Quote:

Press Releases: Renewed Fighting in Eastern DRC

The United States is deeply concerned by reports of renewed fighting between the M23 armed group and the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in eastern Congo, with reports of casualties and of hundreds of families forced to flee the area of the fighting. We are also troubled by reports that at least one round landed across the border in Rwanda. This fighting puts at risk the fragile peace negotiations in Kampala and risks undermining the concerted efforts earlier this week to reach a final agreement and peacefully resolve the conflict. We commend the actions of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) to protect civilians and urgently call on all parties to exercise restraint to prevent military escalation of the conflict.

We specifically call on the M23 to commit to peacefully resolving the conflict by promptly signing a final agreement that provides for the disarmament and demobilization of the armed group and accountability for those responsible for the most serious human rights abuses. We commend the good faith efforts of the DRC government to negotiate a principled agreement and continue to call on all signatories of the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework to support such an agreement and to end all support to armed groups.

We continue to believe that the best way forward for the Great Lakes region is to conclude the Kampala Talks in a manner that does not grant amnesty to the worst offenders and to utilize the Framework peace process to focus on the root causes of the crisis in the DRC, including through expanded dialogue among signatory states.
http://www.newsroomamerica.com/story...stern_drc.html

But this will not work neither because calling rebels to sit at negotiation table to surrender and be accountable for the war crimes (at best, possible crimes against humanity after 2 mass graves have been found) they committed is not really an exit door option.
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Old 10-29-2013   #782
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Hey M-A,
Indeed correct my friend. Without a means of escape and also save face, they will never reach the negotiation table. There is a reason that the DRC does not have a lot of prisoners. They generally don't make it (there)

Uncle Mo also tried to fly the 31st para from Goma to an unknown destination. They took over the aircraft and went directly to Kinshasa

Regards, Stan

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Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
But this will not work neither because calling rebels to sit at negotiation table to surrender and be accountable for the war crimes (at best, possible crimes against humanity after 2 mass graves have been found) they committed is not really an exit door option.
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Old 10-29-2013   #783
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Default Jen Peski's Vacuous Rubbish ...

was such a great example of our State Department learning to use UN speak - "deeply concerned", "also troubled by", "commend", "urgently call on", "specifically call on", "commend", "continue to believe" ...

and so much angst - that this "peacekeeping" mission (I thought it was now a Chapter VII mission) has been marred by this wretched excess:

Quote:
... at least one round landed across the border in Rwanda.
that I had to look up Jen Peski, who obviously has some sort of talent for this sort of thing.

Indeed:

Quote:
Her hiring at the Department of State has fueled speculation that she is likely to replace White House Press Secretary Jay Carney when he leaves the White House.
So, our little weasel may be replaced by our little chipmunk - perhaps, an improvement amongst the denizens of the Animal Kingdom.

To continue with our zoological excursion, I offer for your viewing enjoyment the adventures of Big Buck Bunny on Youtube:



which comes closest of all visuals in illustrating how JMM would handle foreign policy - best of friends, worst of enemies - and never "urgently calling" ...

... but finding retribution, expressing reprobation and specifically deterring (as at 9:40 in the video clip).





Regards

Mike
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Last edited by jmm99; 10-29-2013 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 10-31-2013   #784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
What has been lacking in DRC since ages is a will from peacekeepers to actually do the job. The FIB component came with the straight intention to use lethal force to impose the UNSC decisions to armed non state actors.
That is the interesting question. What was it that motivated the UN to make the decision actually really and truly use lethal in a serious way? For years and years they mostly hung around and occasionally got shot up. Why did they change their minds?

M-A or Stan or anybody, if you've heard any scuttlebutt about why it would be interesting to know.
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Old 10-31-2013   #785
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Default 11 plus 4

Carl,
Actually, although use of lethal force is very new to blue helmets, their mandate and a UN-brokered accord supported by 11 nations and 4 international organizations were key.
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Old 11-01-2013   #786
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Carl & Stan,

What is remarkable is that the UN has again used force in the Congo, as it did in the sixties (1960-64); when their enemies were a mix of Congo military, mercenaries, separatists - notably in Katanga - and others:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...n_in_the_Congo
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Old 11-01-2013   #787
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As Stan said, it is the 11+4 peace framework signed in Addis Abeba that facilitated the involvement of FIB.
But what Stan forgot is the nomination of a UN Special envoy for the Great Lakes + a US Special Envoy for the Great lakes, and the fact that Addis Abeba framework was signed with US, EU, Belgium and France as witness.

In addition, this has sparked a very interresting reorganisation of power in Central and Southern Africa between EAC and SADC.

I put here the link on an interesting article on the M23 ideology:
Quote:
M23's Congo Cadres: The Rebel Movement with a Taste for Local Politics

During the leadership portion of the training, examples of an eclectic mix of revolutionary heroes are taught. This includes figures ranging from Nelson Mandela to Abraham Lincoln to Che Guevara. (Che Guevara once fought in South Kivu for Laurent Kabila, the late father of the DRC’s current President Joseph Kabila, but this detail is apparently overlooked.)

Training also includes some religious elements, in particular an extensive course on ‘Christian leadership’. “Though M23 is a secular group, we hold up the example of Jesus as a model of leadership and service to a revolutionary cause,” explains one M23 cadre. The head of M23’s armed wing, General Sultani Makenga, is an avowed Seventh Day Adventist and the group’s former leader, Jean-Marie Runiga, styled himself as a bishop.

However, examples from other faith traditions are also drawn upon. Mahatma Gandhi’s Seven Blunders of the World is taught to all cadres, and the example of Gandhi has clearly rubbed off on some M23 members. Political chief Bisimwa currently uses an image of Ghandi on his Twitter profile.

Chris Shambala, a member of M23’s public works department, recalls his experience in the leadership courses. “My favourite figure they told us about in the trainings was Abraham Lincoln,” he says. “That man was a prophet. His vision of America was fulfilled when Obama became president. Like Lincoln, we know that sometimes to fix wrongs in your country, you need a civil war.
http://thinkafricapress.com/drc/m23-...key-grip-power

At the momment US and Eu are calling for a quick peace agreement in Kampala but I really doubt it will ever happen.

Quote:
DR Congo army in 'last phase' push against M23 rebels after seizing guerrilla stronghold

A source in the UN mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO), which is helping the army, said the offensive against the M23 was in ‘the last phase’, after the army captured the main rebel base at Bunagana on Wednesday.

Diehard M23 fighters, estimated at just a few hundred men, were dug in on three hills in farming territory about 50 miles north of Goma, the capital of strife-torn North Kivu province
.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2jOvQDez1

You need to be 2 to negotiate. And at least 1 is not really willing to talk.
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Old 11-03-2013   #788
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Negotiations with M23, sigh...

What's the point of negotiating with supposed M23 leaders, when the body actually controlling them is the Rwandan reg....ho-hum, 'government'?

http://turtlebay.foreignpolicy.com/p...ngolese_mutiny

...and when they are supported by (US-trained) Rwandan special forces?
http://allafrica.com/stories/201209050850.html

One can only hope that Kigali was speaking truth at least that one time, when it announced these special forces were back inside Rwanda, last year:
http://allafrica.com/stories/201209031017.html

- Back in period 1998-2003 (and after), such announcements/promises were not worth the paper on which they were issued...

Even if, the 'core' of the M23 was initially of Rwandan origin too (of course, Kigali would say the people in question are all 'Congolese Tutsi/Banyamulenge', 'fighting against genocidary government and for their right to exist'), and I doubt this has changed very much ever since:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ongo-rebels-un
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Old 11-10-2013   #789
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Default End of the road for Congo's M23?

An assessment from an IISS analyst:
Quote:
A revolutionary new UN combat brigade may have helped the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) army to defeat a rebellion in the country’s troubled east. The rebel group M23 (March 23) declared this week that it was laying down its arms, bringing to an end an 18-month insurgency in which 80,000 have been displaced and thousands killed or injured.

However, there are dozens of armed groups in mineral-rich eastern DRC besides the Tutsi-led M23, and the Congolese government has now said that it will pursue others. A government spokesman pointed to the Rwandan-Hutu FDLR as a top priority.
Link:http://www.iiss.org/en/iiss%20voices...r-the-m23-447e

Sounds like a perpetual intervention, assuming the contributors remain committed, my emphasis:
Quote:
It consists of 3,069 personnel from South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi, with two infantry battalions, one artillery company, and one special forces company. The brigade is also believed to have added two attack helicopters and four utility helicopters to MONUSCO’s existing aerial capabilities.
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Old 01-27-2014   #790
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The death of Col. Mamadou Ndala comes barely two months after he led the Congolese army to a historic victory against the country's most serious rebels, with the help of a United Nations brigade. It is another blow to a devastated country where an untold number have died in nearly two decades of conflict. It also hurts efforts to make Congo responsible for its own security; the turbulent nation is now host to the largest United Nations peacekeeping mission in the world.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=261284780
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Old 01-27-2014   #791
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Adam G:

That is remarkable, a good Congolese officer who got something good out of his men. What isn't so remarkable is the suspicion that some on his own side killed him.
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Old 03-02-2014   #792
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Default M23 Infographic

Thanks to John Beretto's Tweet:
Quote:
Hover over a name to see a brief bio, or a line to see the connection between two names. Darker lines indicate stronger connections.

The eastern DRC remains plagued by dozens of foreign and regional armed groups. The M23 rebel group emerged in 2012 as one of the most formidable armed groups in DRC, carrying out brutal attacks, executing prisoners of war, and recruiting child soldiers. The group collapsed in November 2013 following a military campaign by the Congolese armed forces, backed by the UN Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO). Even so, the UN Group of Experts reported in December 2013 that a number of sanctioned M23 leaders continue to move freely in Uganda and that M23 members continue to openly recruit members in Rwanda despite declaring an end to their rebellion on 5 November 2013. Also, numerous armed groups in the DRC continue to pose security threats, such as the FDLR and ADF, who are responsible for grave human rights violations and massive displacement.

The interactive graphic shown on the left visualizes the complex M23 support networks documented in UN report S/2012/843, pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004).
Link:http://www.stabilityjournal.org/host...upport-in-drc/
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-02-2014 at 06:42 PM. Reason: fix quote
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #793
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Default Should the United Nations Wage War to Keep Peace?

A long article, by National Geographic, complete with a short history back to the 1960's, with some stunning photos of beauty and the invariably grim human terrain. It has some pungent phrases too. Best of all it has a current map, hence below. Sorry it is so large, yet to discover the art of shrinking.



Link:http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ntion-brigade/

One has to ask if the UN can ever be successful in Eastern Congo (DRC). Is there an exit plan, I think not.
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