Congo News n. 168


EDITORIAL: Nothing without the Congolese people



a. The summit

b. Response of Civil Society and Political Parties

c. International response

d. Response of the M23

e. Assessments and forecasts

f. After the expiration of the ultimatum




EDITORIAL: Nothing without the Congolese people


The M23 withdraws in order to leap better.

On November 20, the city of Goma, capital of North Kivu province, East of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was besieged and occupied by the March 23 Movement (M23), a terrorist group armed and backed by Rwanda and Uganda, two neighboring countries. The army and the political leadership of this group are in the hands of people who, by origin, culture, language, ethnicity or any other reason, are closely related to the present Rwandan regime.

On November 30, under pressure from the international community, the M23 began to withdraw from the city to transfer 30 km further north. However, we cannot afford to breathe a sigh of relief because they will leave with dozens of trucks packed with weapons, ammunition, food and medicine. The threat on Goma therefore remains intact, especially since they are withdrawing after the Congolese government has promised to consider their demands. That’s the problem.


An unequal dialogue.

It will not be easy to hold a dialogue or negotiate with them because they, by reason of the support received from outside, have a military force “apparently” superior to that of the Congolese army.

The group accuses the Congolese government of not meeting its commitments made at the time of the March 23, 2009 agreements signed with a prior armed group, the CNDP, of which the M23 is a product. Among their demands, they want permission for their soldiers to be deployed only in Kivu to protect “their” families from the threats of other armed groups. In fact, it is a pretext to continue smuggling Kivu minerals. Many of them are mentioned, in this respect, in various reports of the UN group of experts for the DRC.

Building on an amnesty law passed by the government following the agreements of the 23rd of March 2009, they demand the suspension of the arrest of one of them, Bosco Ntaganda, subject of two arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, the amnesty law only applies to acts of war, excluding war crimes and crimes against humanity which are imprescriptible under international law. As a matter of fact, they are trying to ensure their impunity through Bosco Ntaganda’s defense. They claim to be victims of discrimination within the Congolese army and demand military ranks “acquired” during the rebellion. But they, as a matter of fact, are those who, before deserting the army, were already occupying the highest positions of command, particularly at the central level and in the two Kivu provinces. The real victims of discrimination are the soldiers of Congolese origin.

To help swallow the bitter pill, they cover it with sugar. They claim to have taken up arms to defend human rights, democracy, the verdict of the ballot box, peace. Meanwhile, they rape, plunder, recruit child soldiers, impose taxes and compel hundreds of thousands to flee.


The real hidden agenda.

Behind their more or less obvious demands, certainly less legitimate than they would have us believe, there are others that remain hidden. According to some observers, the M23, spurred by the strong military success during the fall of Goma, could demand political and military positions, including in the Ministry of Defense, the FARDC General Staff and the governorates of North and South Kivu, as well as approval of their MPs elected in Masisi. This is despite the fact that elections were canceled in this constituency because of much violence and serious irregularities. It could demand, in North Kivu, the creation of a new province which would include the territories of Nyiragongo, Masisi, Rutshuru and Walikale, restricted exclusively to a Rwandan-speaking population and Congolese and Rwandan Tutsis and Hutus . The national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC is seriously threatened.


No more proceedings behind closed doors.

According to several members of the Congolese civil society, it is necessary to build a solid national cohesion between all the main forces of the country – the majority, the opposition and civil society – in order to face the M23 threat. In particular, we request from the political class more accountability, more nationalism and more patriotism. It is imperative that the government and the opposition overcome their disagreements with respect to power, for the best interest of the unity of the nation.

President Kabila has promised to hold a “dialogue” with the M23 immediately after the latter’s withdrawal from the city of Goma. We must avoid the mistakes of the past. Since the national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the country are national issues, all spheres of public life must be involved: the government, Parliament (majority and opposition) and civil society. The dialogue should focus exclusively on assessing the implementation of the March 23 agreements, as requested by the same M23 at the beginning of its rebellion early in the month of May. The conclusions of the dialogue should be forwarded to Parliament, convened in Congress (both chambers gathered) for discussion and approval. The government could only proceed with their promulgation after this. The whole process should take place in the open, with the presence of the media. The idea of closed-door negotiations is neither democratic nor respectful of the sovereign people, who have the inalienable right to be constantly informed of the progress of the dialogue and of subsequent proceedings. The M23 cannot afford to seize, by means of arms, what belongs to the people only. The M23 should be honest, if it still has the means to do so, in order to confront the will of the people and submit to it. That’s how democracy works!


No need for arsonists to become firefighters.

In order to avoid sanctions from the international community, Rwanda and Uganda have always denied the allegations, well documented in the report of the UN group of experts, of their support to the M23; they have succeeded in conveying the idea that the existence of this group is a Congolese internal problem, even if it does not reflect the truth. They should therefore cease immediately, unconditionally and definitely from interfering in the DRC’s political, military and economic affairs. If, in their opinion, the M23 is an internal problem of the DRC, they should allow the Congolese people to solve it among themselves. The successful conduct of the dialogue that is about to begin and the life of the Congolese people depends on this. If they, on the contrary, insist on being part of the solution to the problem, it means they are part of the problem itself. The dynamics of arsonists claiming to be firefighters should finally be put to an end. The Congolese people have long opened their eyes and if we continue to tolerate this interference without sanction, it could lead, in turn, to violence. Who then shall take responsibility for that? The international community should also reflect on that.





On November 21, the M23 took over the town of Sake (27 km west of Goma) in which the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) had taken refuge. On November 22, in coalition with the Mai Mai of APCLS, the FARDC launched a counter offensive which, by mid-day, enabled them to drive the M23 from the city. It was at about 5 pm local time that the rebels launched a new assault. At about 8 pm, the FARDC withdrew, abandoning their positions. The rebels then headed towards Kirotshe in the south, Mushaki in the north-west and Kingi on the Masisi-center road. During these clashes, four people were killed, of whom one was a soldier.[1]


On November 23, the spokesman for the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC), Colonel Olivier Hamuli, declared that more than three thousand five hundred men are gathered in the town of Minova, at the border between North and South Kivu, to try to stop the advance of the M23 towards Bukavu. These soldiers come from Sake and other localities that have fallen into the hands of the M23 rebels. Since the launch of their offensive on Thursday November 15, these rebels have occupied Kibumba Munigi, Goma, Sake and Mushaki.[2]


On November 24, in Goma, the presence of armed rebels was more discreet than in recent days. According to Colonel Vianney Kazarama, military spokesman for the rebellion, the troops (of the M23) are no longer in the city, henceforth demilitarized. According to him, the military staff and police are still in place.[3]


On November 25, MONUSCO, the UN force in the DRC, evacuated from Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu, twenty-two magistrates who claim to be victims of death threats from the M23 rebels. These magistrates went to Kinshasa. Judge Michel Magasani, one of the magistrates evacuated, affirms that they began to suffer from attacks and death threats. He also tells how one of his colleagues recently escaped death in Goma: “He met a group of M23 rebels who made him kneel down. One of the rebels said, while pointing a gun at him: “You sentenced me to 12 years imprisonment and I sentence you to death”.  The magistrate escaped after a dispute between rebels“. Other magistrates have received threatening phone calls. The chief of police of MONUSCO who led the evacuation, General Abdullah Wafi, requests that assistance be given to them because they have left their families and all their possessions in Goma. The UN officer asserts that besides magistrates, there are also officials, including members of the government and of the provincial assembly, as well as members of the FARDC and the police who have expressed the desire to be evacuated from Goma.[4]


By November 26, the M23 rebels had not yet left the city of Goma, despite the 48-hour ultimatum given to them last Saturday by the ICGLR Heads of State during a summit meeting in Kampala. The M23 rebels could still be seen in the streets of Goma and in some strategic locations such as banks in the morning. The homes of some FARDC officers are still occupied by M23 dignitaries, say witnesses. However, Vianney Kazarama states that only the M23 administration, the police of this movement as well as its staff are still present in the city. According to him, most of the M23 troops are in Mushaki, more than 30 km south-west of Goma, and towards Munigi, 10 km north of the city.

The M23 rebels have consolidated their positions on the heights near Goma and around Sake. They have erected a barrier at Mugunga on the Goma-Sake road where they demand 10 US dollars per vehicle to or from Minova, South Kivu.

According to several witnesses, traders who use this stretch of road are obliged to pay 5 US dollars. Owners of large trucks carrying agricultural products disburse 350 US dollars as an access fee.

Several cases of looting and theft have been registered in several areas of the city of Goma. Witnesses report that the houses of people who fled the city (ministers, military authorities and even individuals) as well as the offices of provincial institutions are mostly targeted. The same sources attribute these acts to armed men dressed in military uniform. In town, activities have resumed gradually, but the inhabitants do not believe the M23 will withdraw easily, as long as negotiations with the government have not yet started.[5]





a. The summit


On November 24, an extraordinary ICGLR summit devoted to the state of security in the East of the DRC opened in Kampala, Uganda. It was held three days after the meeting of the Congolese, Rwanda and Ugandan presidents in the Ugandan capital during which they called on the M23 to put an end to their offensive and to withdraw from the city of Goma. The Congolese President is taking part, but his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame is absent. He is represented by his Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo. Rwandan officials cite other commitments, especially a visit to Kigali that Saturday of President Denis Sassou-Nguesso of Congo-Brazzaville. This visit should also be devoted to the security situation in the Great Lakes region. An M23 delegation led by its coordinator, Jean-Marie Runiga, is also in Kampala but not in the center where the summit is to be held.

Closing the summit, the Heads of State of the Great Lakes asked the M23 to leave the positions they conquered after their last offensive, to stop their territorial expansion and to no longer question the government of the DRC. Specifically, they asked the M23 rebels to withdraw from the town of Goma within two days (48 hours) and move about 20 km north (near Kibumba).

They decided to deploy at Goma airport, currently held by MONUSCO, a composite force comprising a company of the FARDC, a company of the M23 and a company of the neutral international force which has not yet been precisely defined. The DRC has promised to contribute to fund this neutral international force. This funding is estimated at 100 million U.S. dollars a year.

A battalion of the Congolese army and another of the police will be deployed in the city of Goma. The M23 rebels have received orders to hand to the police weapons abandoned by the Congolese military in places they conquered.

MONUSCO shall ensure security in the area henceforth considered neutral, that between Goma and the new areas occupied by the M23.

In exchange, the Congolese government is willing to “listen, assess and take into account the legitimate demands” of the M23 with respect to the implementation of the agreement signed in March 2009 by the CNDP (National Council for the Defense of the People) and the Kinshasa government. They did not, however, go as far as evoking the possibility of a “dialogue” as requested by the M23.[6]


On November 24 in Kampala, under the auspices of the Ugandan head of state Yoweri Museveni, the Congolese president Joseph Kabila met with an M23 delegation led by its political leader Jean-Marie Runiga. Both parties, the Congolese government on the one hand and the M23 rebellion on the other, will now agree on what they will negotiate or not.

On the Congolese side, Raymond Tchibanda, the head of the diplomatic corps, believes that once the rebels have withdrawn their troops from Goma, the dialogue shall focus on assessing the implementation of the March 23, 2009 agreement.

On the M23 side, the desire is to discuss the 2009 agreement. However, Jean-Marie Runiga also demands an inclusive dialogue with Congolese civil society, the opposition and the diaspora on all matters affecting public life: democracy, human rights, good governance and the truth of the results of the November 2011 elections. According to him, the withdrawal from Goma should not be a prerequisite, but the result of negotiations. He declared that the M23 will not abandon the city of Goma on the sole promise of opening discussions with the government. The M23 demands that dialogue take place before they can think about withdrawing from Goma.[7]


b. Response of Civil Society and Political Parties


NGOs in the east of the DRC have accused the Congolese government of bowing to “aggressor states”, without mentioning neighboring Rwanda and Uganda. The North Kivu Federation of Civil Society said they are “completely disappointed with the resolutions adopted in Kampala” which have rather “legitimized the M23” and “sold out”, according to them, “the sovereignty of the Nation”.

The vice-president and spokesperson of the North Kivu civil society, Omar Kavota, qualified as betrayal the fact that the Summit resolutions legitimize the M23 and the fact that the President of the Republic, Joseph Kabila, and his government agreed to talk to the M23. “The FARDC and the Kivu population have all been betrayed by the command of the army and by the Kinshasa government, the result being the advance of the M23“, he denounces.[8]


On November 25, the opposition MP Jean-Claude Vuemba considered “unacceptable” that the powers in place agree to sit around the same table with the M23 which has occupied Goma since November 20. According to the president of the MPCR (Congolese People’s Movement for the Republic), the Government should not negotiate with these rebels who killed Congolese in the east of the DRC. “For a very long time now, the Congolese opposition has been asking for negotiations with the government after the November 2011 elections. But until now, we have always been sabotaged. We got nothing in return. Now the M23, after waging war with the State, finds itself on the same table with the Congolese government to seek an agreement. We cannot accept it. Does one have to take up arms in this country in order to be heard?“, asked Jean-Claude Vuemba. Part of the opposition requested a dialogue after these elections characterized by fraud and irregularities, and never got it. Jean-Claude Vuemba invited the President of the Republic to convene Congress in order to explain to the Congolese ‘the ins and outs’ of the war waged by the M23.

On the side of the majority, François Nzekuye, MP of the presidential party PPRD, believes that the government is not negotiating with the M23, as some believe, but rather examining its demands. He pointed out that it is the role of the ICGLR to receive the complaints of the M23 and transmit them to the Congolese government. “We said in Kampala that we will examine the demands of the M23 and respond to them to the extent possible. We did not say that we will enter into direct negotiations with the M23. Demands are submitted to ICGLR authorities who in turn forward them to the Kinshasa government. It is the government’s responsibility to determine what is legitimate and what is not legitimate in all this“, declared François Nzekuye.[9]


c. International response


On November 25, during a meeting in Kigali (Rwanda), the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, and his counterpart of Congo-Brazzaville, Denis Sassou Nguesso, called on the Kinshasa government (DRC) and the M23 rebels in a communiqué to implement the decisions taken on the eve of the extraordinary summit in Kampala, Uganda. They have taken note of “the importance of assessing and properly understanding the true nature of the many armed groups in the DRC so that appropriate solutions may be found for each of them“, the communiqué stressed.

The African Union (AU) called on the M23 rebels to comply with the decisions of the Kampala summit, especially to stop fighting and welcome Kinshasa’s “commitment” to take into account their demands.[10]


On November 25, in a communiqué, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon , called on the M23 to drop their weapons immediately and withdraw their forces from Goma, in accordance with the decisions of the ICGLR Extraordinary Summit held in Kampala.[11]


d. Response of the M23


On November 26, the M23 rebel movement affirmed in a communiqué that it had not yet received from the “official channel” the Kampala summit resolutions demanding its withdrawal from Goma, and shall give its “position” when these are communicated to them. The head of the M23, Jean-Marie Runiga, present in the Ugandan capital on the sidelines of the summit, “tried, without success, to obtain through the official channel a copy of the said resolution,” it added.[12]


By November 26, the M23 rebels had not yet left the city of Goma, despite the 48-hour ultimatum given to them last Saturday by the ICGLR Heads of State during a summit meeting in Kampala. Colonel Vianney Kazarama, military spokesman for the rebellion, expresses concern vis-à-vis the security of the civilian population if the M23 withdraw from the city. Kazarama Vianney evoked the presence of Mai Mai militia and rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) who, according to him, render the inhabitants insecure.[13]


e. Assessments and forecasts


Aggressors dressed as mediators.


According to some observers, since the beginning of the Congolese crisis, there have been a succession of ICGLR summits which, in their opinion, are similar. At the end of the day, no conclusive result is achieved as regards the return of lasting peace and the restoration of the State’s authority in the East of the national territory.

Kigali and Kampala have subtly dragged things out in order to flex Congolese positions. Taking hold of Goma is a perfect illustration of a strategy to make the M23 a Congolese matter, and then impose its presence at the negotiating table.

The 5th Kampala summit may clear the DRC’s aggressors in the face of an implicit recognition of the M23. In this case, since the internal dimension of the crisis has been established, the obsolescence of the UN experts’ report would only be a matter of common sense. The Kampala V meetings will only have as purpose to prevent necessary sanctions against Kigali and Kampala. Kinshasa no longer excludes the option of direct negotiations with the M23 whose demands have been curiously deemed “legitimate” in this meeting.

Kigali and Kampala are just waiting for this moment to clear themselves of any involvement in the crisis raging in the East of the DRC.

After resisting for a long time, Kinshasa is on track to make concessions by finally agreeing to meet with M23 rebels to, according to the conclusions drawn from the declaration of the mini-summit in Kampala “examine the causes of discontentment” and see how “to respond to them, if possible“. This implies negotiations to eventually iron out differences in order to reach a compromise on the issues that bring division. If direct negotiations with the M23 have the advantage of limiting damages on the battleground, they nevertheless have the disadvantage of favoring countries designated as aggressors of the DRC, Rwanda in particular and, to some extent, Uganda. Thus, agreeing to negotiate with the M23 is otherwise exculpating Kigali and Kampala of every suspicion of assault.

Though salutary to civilians who pay a heavy price for the resurgence of violence in the East of the country, the option of negotiations implies the recognition by both Kinshasa and others who still support the theory of aggression of the existence of a Congo-Congolese problem, supposed to be the backbone of the new rebellion headed by the M23. It is therefore not for nothing that Rwanda and Uganda strongly support the option of negotiations by putting pressure within the ICGLR for the DRC to comply with this requirement.

There are many reasons that justify this determination of the ICGLR to initiate negotiations between the M23 and the DRC at all costs. As a matter of fact, the final report of the UN group of experts on the DRC exposed the strong contribution of Rwanda, primarily, and of Uganda, secondarily, in the M23 rebellion.

This means that by agreeing to sit around a table with the M23, Kinshasa will indirectly clear its two eastern neighbors of any involvement in the action initiated by the M23. It will give arguments to Kigali and to Kampala, arguments that these two capitals could use as defense before instances which have unanimously condemned them for their proven support to the M23. Direct negotiations between Kinshasa and the M23 imply that Kigali and Kampala have never been associated with the M23.

In this case, Kigali and Kampala will happily extend their beautiful role of mediator in the Congolese crisis by seeking to act on behalf of the ICGLR. Direct negotiations with the M23 have two major negative consequences on the diplomatic front. On the one hand, they legitimize Kagame’s position; he has always considered the situation in the east as a Congolo-Congolese problem. On the other hand, they call into question the work of UN experts on the DRC. In the guise of mediators, Kigali and Kampala will continue to attack and plunder the DRC with impunity, on behalf of Western multinationals and with the consent of the international community.[14]


According to some observers, from the beginning, the ICGLR sought by various stratagems to bring Kinshasa into negotiations with the M23. This, it hoped, would exculpate countries like Rwanda and Uganda of any involvement in the M23 rebellion. It has won its bet. With the ICGLR, Kagame and Museveni, who are cited by the UN as the main supporters of the M23, are cleared. In other words, they no longer need to be sanctioned by the United Nations.[15]


Legalization of a terrorist movement and exculpation of its sponsors.


According to others, the M23 rebellion has been the big winner of the ICGLR extraordinary summit. Labeled as terrorists during previous Kampala summits as well as that of the Francophonie in Kinshasa, this group has finally been recognized as an internal rebellion which occupies part of the eastern DRC. The M23 has not been given orders to leave the territory of the DRC. In other words, the ICGLR recognizes its legal existence in North Kivu, though this province is part of a sovereign state. By receiving in the most official manner the president of its political wing, the Ugandan president Jean-Marie Runiga Lugerero has endorsed an unfortunate precedent that denies all charges laid against his own country. The longstanding trap set by Rwandan and Ugandan officials to their Congolese counterparts has finally closed in on them.

The Kigali and Kampala regimes have just accomplished, at little cost, the exploit of rendering credible the thesis of a Congolo-Congolese problem in North and South Kivu, with the non-compliance of Kinshasa with the March 23, 2009 agreement as a backdrop. Thanks to the extraordinary summit in Kampala, the M23 can give the maximum number of voices to demand his “partner”, the Congolese government, satisfy its various demands in relation to “equitable and balanced sharing of power.”[16]


Possible demands


According to some analysts, after the fall of Goma and the last ICGLR summit in Kampala, the M23 could claim political-military positions, including a Deputy Prime Minister (in charge of defense in particular) and in the General Staff of the FARDC and the Governorates of  North and South Kivu. It could also claim the indistinct recognition of ranks proposed by the M23 (ex CNDP) for all its elements, the permanence of its troops in Kivu and suspension of the arrest warrant issued against Bosco Ntaganda by the ICC. It also demands a new inclusive dialogue which is to extend to all the opposition, Civil Society and the Congolese diaspora. In a clear manner, the M23 sends to the Government the following message: either you agree to our demands without arguing, or we embark you in the perilous process of an inclusive dialogue. The general dynamics of these meetings would indeed be particularly hostile to Kabila and to his system. The goal is simple: force Kinshasa to choose between drowning within the framework of an inclusive dialogue, and the perspective of getting off scot-free by agreeing, with nothing in return, to the demands of the M23.

In dealing directly with the M23 outside any inclusive framework, Kinshasa will indeed have a greater latitude. It will, however, have to face the resulting political revolt while Rwandan puppets will be taking it easy.[17]


f. After the expiration of the ultimatum


On November 26, the military leader of the M23, Colonel Sultani Makenga, went to Kampala to meet with the Chief of Staff of the Ugandan army, Aronda Nyakayirima, who was to relay to him the conclusions of the ICGLR with respect to the withdrawal of the M23 from the city of Goma.[18]


On November 27, Aronda Nyakayirima, Chief of Staff of the Ugandan army, said that Sultani Makenga, military leader of the M23, agreed to withdraw from the cities of Goma and Sake and to stop their military advance. “He does not need to ask questions because he knows that the demands of the M23 will be considered by the ICGLR mechanism as indicated by the conclusions of the Kampala summit“, he said.

During a press conference in the morning, the President of the M23 and political leader of the rebellion, Jean-Marie Runiga, nevertheless set conditions for this withdrawal. “Before withdrawing from Goma, the M23 particularly demands that the Congolese government investigate the attempted murder of a medical doctor in South Kivu, grant freedom of movement for the protester Etienne Tshisekedi, and dissolve the Congolese Electoral Commission.  If it does so, the M23 will quickly withdraw from Goma”, he said. Jean-Marie Runiga also stated that his movement would only withdraw from the city if he obtained from President Kabila a cease-fire and a schedule for negotiations involving civil society, the diaspora and the opposition. He demanded that the FARDC does not return to the city and that Goma be put under the M23’s political administration. He equally demanded the withdrawal of foreign armed groups still active in the DRC, the arrest of General John Numbi, accused by some NGOs of being the main person behind the murder of advocate Floribert Chebeya, and the “unconditional” release of political prisoners. Jean-Marie Runiga also evoked the opening of a humanitarian corridor, collaboration with MONUSCO, security in the city of Goma and the revival of economic activities in the areas occupied by his movement.

The Chief of Staff of the Ugandan army, Aronda Nyakairima, said the M23 rebels had made the commitment to withdraw totally and unconditionally from Goma by Thursday, November 29, at noon. For his part, General Sultani Makenga said his troops will leave Goma by Friday, November 30.[19]





On November 22, during a press briefing, the RENADHOC (National Network of NGOs for the defense of human rights) denounced the deterioration of security and deplored the inability of the Matata Ponyo government to protect the integrity of national territory. According to this platform, this government has shown its limits especially on the diplomatic and military fronts; it calls on the government of Matata to draw conclusions from the failure of its action.

Given the situation marked by the capture of Goma and other surrounding communities by the M23, RENADHOC recommends that the Head of State dismiss some ministers as well as officials of the police and of the army. This network mainly targeted the Ministers of Defense, of Interior and of Justice, the Chief of the General Staff of the Congolese army, the Chief of Staff of Land Forces and the Acting Inspector General of the police. “They have proven they were not up to their responsibilities”, supported the Executive Secretary of RENADHOC, Fernandez Murhola.

The platform also recommended that all senior officers and non-commissioned officers from former rebel movements, including the RCD (Congolese Rally for Democracy) and the CNDP (National Council for the Defense of the People), be urgently withdrawn from the army, the police and the intelligence services. “They usually play a double game and have remained more loyal to Rwanda than to the DRC“, It said. RENADHOC also sought an urgent review of all chains of command and logistics management of the armed forces, the police and civilian and military intelligence services. “It is imperative that all chains of command be managed by loyal, national and patriotic officers. Failure to do so constitutes an act of high treason”, said the Executive Secretary of this group.
RENADHOC considered paradoxical the call for a general mobilization launched by the head of state and the ban on demonstrations that students of some universities were subjected to by the police.
The platform has also made a call to the people of the territories under the occupation of the M23 for widespread civil disobedience towards “authorities that are presently controlling, killing and looting part of the province of North Kivu“. However, all the Congolese population was called to resistance.

RENADHOC also advocated for more nationalism, patriotism, responsibility and national cohesion in the political class. “It is inconceivable that many Congolese political actors always allow themselves to be used by Rwanda in favor of short-lived and stupid powers“, the network lamented. While the network recommends that a congress of Parliament be held, it also calls on States that are truly friends of the Congolese people to stop selling weapons to Rwanda.[20]


On November 24, in communiqué entitled “destabilization of the DRC by external forces”, the members of RODHECIC (Network of Organizations for Human Rights and Civic Education of Christian inspiration) of the civil society expressed their “anger against the Head of State, the government and the political parties of the presidential majority for not being able to find a long-lasting solution to the problem of security and the protection of the population and territories of the DRC”. They also deplored the fact that “for more than 16 years, Rwanda and Uganda, as well as their foreign allies, particularly multinationals, have supported all rebellions against the institutions of the DRC, provoking negotiations and agreements that are sometimes secret and that systematically prepare the next war and its resulting massive regular violations of human rights”. Indeed, they note, “the Congolese government has always negotiated and integrated troops and politicians from armed groups without this providing appropriate, efficient and sustainable solutions to the problems of instability of our country”.

“The citizens of the DRC do not accept the M23, the rebellion and occupation. The many human victims of serious violations of human rights as well as the humanitarian tragedy we are experiencing through the many displaced persons and refugees without assistance”, they say, “are sufficient reasons to reject these terrorists acting with the recognized support of Rwanda and Uganda.”

They deplore the fact that “corruption and impunity is awarded to political actors and various armed groups that commit crimes against the DRC and humanity, promote and consolidate insecurity as well as the proliferation of armed groups in the Country”.

They condemn “the recognized support of Rwanda and Uganda, as well as their foreign allies, particularly multinationals, to all armed groups in the DRC”.

“They demand that the M23 immediately and unconditionally withdraw from the Congolese territory, all agreements in connection with the war in the DRC be published, the resolutions of the United Nations, the African Union and the ICGLR be effectively implemented, that the Security Council of the United Nations pursue all those responsible for massive violations of human rights and of the genocide committed in the DRC who are in Rwanda and Uganda, and that there be dialogue between the political actors and the vital forces of the DRC.”[21]


According to several members of Congolese Civil Society, in order to face the M23 threat, an internal unit comprising all the country’s significant forces should be set up. The political class, Majority and Opposition, civil society and all the active forces of the country should get together to ponder the issue. Does that induce an overhaul of institutions and redistribution of cards? Could that be the price to pay for the country to regain its territorial integrity without too much damage and expenditure? The answer is in this popular saying: “We do not make omelets without breaking eggs.” Put together, the nation, through its representatives at various levels, can find answers.[22]





According to Gaspard-Hubert Lonsi Koko, essayist and observer of North-South relations, the M23 is precisely composed of Rwandan-speaking Congolese and Rwandan soldiers whose aim is to take over Kivu, a region rich in minerals and agricultural land which fuels the lust of overcrowded Rwanda. Rwanda, accused on every side of being the real assailant of the DRC, urges the M23 to occupy as much territory as possible so as to start negotiations with the Congolese government from a position of strength. This will enable Paul Kagame to infiltrate Rwandan citizens into Congolese institutions – the army, the government, local communities, etc. – and to unofficially administer Kivu in order to get ample economic benefits, especially in the mining sector.[23]


Rwanda’s involvement in North and South Kivu has long been justified by security reasons: prevent incursions by Hutu militia and the return of the genocide ideology, protect the “cousins” of Congolese Tutsis. Today, Hutu forces (less than 2,000 men) are no longer a threat. But Kigali, without expressing it openly, wishes Eastern Kivu to remain an area of ​​”shared sovereignty” and wants to be able to rely on an “army within the army” and local political allies. At the heart of this ambition is security, but above all the economy: Rwanda bases its expansion and its role within the Comesa (Community of the States of East Africa) on the fact that it is an air “hub” and a turntable for the export of ores mined in the Congo (coltan, cassiterite, rare earth, niobium, etc.) The discovery of oilfields has stimulated appetites: the British company SOCO (which has offices in Kigali) has begun oil exploration in VirungaPark in North Kivu. As for the oilfield discovered under Lake Albert, its exploitation ought to be shared between Uganda (which is going to set up a refinery) and the Congo. But because the oil slick extends right to Rutshuru, in the hands of the rebels, Rwanda, via its M23 allies, could demand its share of the wealth.[24]


The resumption of war in the East of the country has as real cause the creation of a province reserved exclusively for Tutsi and Hutu Congolese and Rwandans. The rich areas of Masisi and Rutshuru are curiously targeted. The control of oil, rare earths, coltan and cassiterite mines will follow a referendum on self-determination that would eventually annex this new province to Rwanda.

In his urgent oral question in a debate addressed to the Minister of the Interior Richard Muyej, Senator Mokonda Bonza questioned the content of the agreement signed with the CNDP in connection with territorial division as follows: “The agreement signed on March 23, 2009 states in Article 8 that “building on the need for greater consideration of the sociological realities of the country, the CNDP has proposed a sociological model for the division of the national territory.” What is this model?”.

The resumption of the war in the East of the country confirms that in supporting the M23, Kigali seeks, by all means, the reconfiguration of borders resulting from decolonization. The Rwandan regime no longer hides its determination to redraw the map of Africa, particularly in the African Great Lakes region. The hidden agenda is to obtain a territorial space reserved exclusively for Rwandan speakers. At the same time, the Nande will be confined to Beni and Lubero. In this way, the new province will be reserved for the Tutsi and Hutu as well as “other minority tribes”.

The argument in favor of getting the administration closer to the administered mentioned by the CNDP in its time is shared by all. However, giving more privilege to the ethnical situation entails transposing on the Congolese territory the Rwandan sociological reality with the two dominant tribes Tutsi and Hutu. The juicy part attributable to this new province would include the territories of Nyiragongo, Masisi, Rutshuru and Walikale. The CNDP/M23 already considers this option as a priority agenda for which it is ready to set the whole national structure on fire.

The expansionist designs of Kagame are equally reflected in an adaptation, to Rwanda, of the DRC’s educational program at the basic level. According to reliable sources, Rwandan children are taught that Kivu was part of Rwanda. That entirely reveals the intentions of Kigali: take over this part of the DRC, whatever the price. The picture becomes clearer for this ultimate goal, piece by piece.

In case of failure, Kagame could step back, to bounce back later, in the same way he did in the  AFDL-RCD-CNDP-M23 saga. To believe that he could one day abandon this aim would be a mistake.

The plan almost presents itself in this way. Firstly–erection of the new province within the geographical limits bordering Rwanda. Secondly–proceed to a self-determining referendum led by the United Nations or other institutions. Finally–annexation of the new province to Rwanda. By so doing, Kigali will exercise its sovereignty over a bigger region and solve the problem of overcrowding, with great wealth beneath the surface as bonus.

The Anglo-Saxons, who firmly support this strategy, know what is found beneath the earth’s surface in this part of the DRC. The perpetuation of instability and chaos in this part of the country gives the perfect demonstration of the hidden agenda behind this recognized will to annex of some Western powers.[25]

[1] See Radio Okapi, 23.11. ’12

[2] See Radio Okapi, 24.11.’12

[3] See AFP – Kampala, 24.11.’12

[4] See Radio Okapi, 26.11.’12

[5] Cf. Radio Okapi, 26 and 27.11.’12

[6] Cf. Radio Okapi, 24.11.’12; AFP – Kampala, 24.11.’12. The March 23, 2009 agreement made provisions, in particular, for the integration of the CNDP forces into the FARDC and the national police, with recognition of their ranks.

The CNDP also claimed an amnesty law in favor of its men, covering the period from June 2003 to the date of promulgation of the agreement.

The CNDP and the government had agreed on the need to put in place reliable and efficient mechanisms for good governance at all levels and in all domains, including that of certification, exploitation, assessment and control of natural resources.

This agreement contains a clause requiring that a new model for dividing the national territory based on “the need for greater consideration of the sociological realities of the country” be put in place. It also includes the recognition of the provinces of North and South Kivu as “disaster areas”.

[7] Cf. RFI, 25.11.’12;

[8] Cf. Radio Okapi, 24.11.’12; AFP – Kampala, 24.11.’12.

[9] Cf. Radio Okapi, 26.11.’12

[10] Cf. AFP – Kigali, 25.11.’12, Radio Okapi, 25.11.’12, AFP –, 25.11.’12

[11] Cf. Radio Okapi, 26.11.’12

[12] Cf. AFP – 7×7, 26.11.’12

[13] Cf. Radio Okapi, 26.11.’12

[15] Cf. Le Potentiel – Kinshasa, 25.11.’12

[16] Cf. Kimp – Le Phare – Kinshasa, 26.11.’12

[17] Cf. Le Palmarès – Kinshasa, 26.11.’12

[18] Cf. Reuters – Goma, 26.11.’12

[19] See Radio Okapi, 27.11.’12;, 27.11.’12

[20] Cf. Lucien Dianzenza – Les dépêches de Brazzaville – Kinshasa, 23.11.’12

[21] Cf. Angelo Mobateli – Le Potentiel – Kinshasa, 26.11.’12

[22] Cf. Le Potentiel – Kinshasa, 25.11.’12

[23] Cf., 23.11.’12

[24] Cf. Le carnet de Colette Braeckman – Le Soir, 21.11.’12

[25] Cf. Le Potentiel – Kinshasa, 27.11.’12



This article has been translated into English within the PerMondo initiative. PerMondo offers free translation of websites and documents for NGOs so they can spread their message. A project managed by the translation agency Mondo Agit. Voluntary translator:  Alvin Ngole Sone-Ngole