During this week, television has been a great advocate of the D.R. Congo better than the UN in the past twelve years. The horrible images of Congolese fleeing Goma by fear of being killed by Rwandese troops led by Laurent Nkunda have pushed many people around the world to ask what is going on in the D.R. Congo. How come we were not told that 5,4 millions of Congolese have been killed, 50 000 of women raped and genitally mutilated by Rwandese gangs and militias in the last twelve years as a consequence of the aggression of Congo by Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda? What is the UN doing? Is the USA involved in this? What is the position of the European Union and the former colonial master Belgium? Is there any government in the D.R. Congo?
The above questions are provocative and push me to shed light to the big lie of the great powers of the world in the Congolese tragedy. It is my conviction that unless the truth of what is really happening in the D.R. Congo is told and defended forcefully, the Congo crisis would escalate or remain open-ended. There is a saying that “Proper diagnosis, proper cure”. In this long survey under the shock of the humanitarian crisis in North Kivu Province where innocent Congolese are dying, being raped and savagely mutilated on the road to nowhere at the watch of the UN, I thought it is time to share some facts that can help many people to grasp the reality of the crisis going on in the D.R. Congo. Those who read French can navigate on our website www.benilubero.com to find hundreds of postings about the real story of the tragedy of the D.R. Congo. Our assumption is as simple as this: The D.R. Congo is under aggression of Rwanda and Uganda with the support of many Big Powers of the Western world. The truth is that there is no rebellion in the D.R. Congo. Smis and Oyatambwe speak of the “so-called rebels” in the D.R. Congo because they are “anything but a coherent group”. The so-called rebel movements are not real rebel movements but instruments of external powers not only for the looting of the Congolese mineral resources ( especially the Coltan= Columbite Tantalite) but also for a new geopolitical order in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Unless this truth is brought forward in the discussions going now after the fall of Goma, the D.R. Congo is doomed to lose the case of lasting peace for its citizens.
I. Why there are no real rebels in Congo
Most of the dictionaries define rebellion as an act of disobeying and resisting violently the recognized authority. Understood in this way, a rebellion is an internal conflict opposing a portion of the population to the central and established authority. A rebellion can oppose also the civil authorities to the military authorities, a section of the army to the army authority. A rebellion seeks by its disobedience a change or a revolution in the way of doing politics or of administering the community, the state, etc.
In this survey of the so-called rebel movements in the D.R. Congo, we want to show that they do not fit the above description. For example, some of them are called “Foreign Rebels” such as FDLR, NALU, ADF, SPLA, etc. Instead of seeing these foreign rebels directing their rebellious activities towards their countries of origin, we see them directing their violence against the Congolese population, imposing their rule in some territories up to perceiving taxes, etc. One striking thing with these foreign rebels is that they do not speak, write; there is no image on their faces, no exact description of where they are hidden in the Congo jungle, etc. Brief, they are a real nebulous and cloudy phenomenon. The other rebel movements are also only Congolese because of their manpower but not their ideology, their leadership, their funding sources, etc.( RCD-Goma, MLC, RCD-K-ML, RCD-N, CNDP, FPC, RUD, Mai-Mai, UPC, FNI, etc.).
The only thing the rebel movements in the D. R. Congo have in common with the real rebel movements is their violent activities that destabilize the peace of the whole country. Still, their violence is not directed towards the recognized authority but towards the population.
If the true rebels are by definition against the established government, in the D.R. Congo you find rebel movements owned or supported by the government (Mai-Mai) or some members of the government (CNDP, FPC, RUD).
Four examples in this regard are worthy noticing.
The TPD (Tous Pour le Développement) in the North Kivu Province is an armed group founded by Eugene Serufuli at the watch of the UN forces. Despite of this, Mr. Eugene Serufuli was lastly appointed by the government as the actual National Director of the Electricity Board.
The Bundu dia Kongo (The people of Kongo) in the Province of Bas-Congo is a religiously motivated armed group under the leadership of Ne Mwanda Nsemi, a current representative in the National Parliament. Whatsoever the violence that the members of this armed group inflict to the innocent civilians of the Bas-Congo Province, the National Police, etc., its founder has not lost his seat in the parliament.
Some members of the government have defended the interests and the people of Rwanda instead of defending the interests and the Congolese population. The historical example for this mischief is Azarias Ruberwa, a tutsi, rwandophone, who when he was the Vice-President in charge of security in the D.R. Congo, accused the government in which he was serving, as responsible for a massacre of Tutsi refugees in Gatumba ( Burundi), near the border with the D.R. Congo, on August 13, 2004. This example is one out of many about how some Congolese leaders in the government or in the rebel movements, represent not the interests of the D.R. Congo as a nation, but the interests of foreign countries or corporations.
Recent analysis such as the one of Guy de Boeck of Belgium has shown that the methods of violence used by some of these rebel movements are not Congolese but found historically and more in use in Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi. This is the case of sterilizing rape, sexual torture, homosexuality, etc.). These foreign forms of atrocities unheard of in the D.R. Congo before the aggression of 1996, constitute another example that Congolese rebels are under the influence of people who are from the countries where these practices are traditionally practiced or were recently practiced. Guy de Boeck continues in the same article saying that the rebel movements in the D.R. Congo seem to be involved in a slow genocide aiming at an extermination of the Congolese population. There is no mystery, continues De Boeck, that this slow genocide is going on in the parts of the country rich in mineral resources ( Coltan, Gas, Gold, diamond, oil, etc.). This assumption is more and more shared by many analysts today who have denounced the violence of the so-called rebels in the D.R. Congo as ethnically oriented, targeting the non-rwandese Congolese populations of Eastern Congo. In Bas-Congo, the Bundu dia Kongo was stopped while vowing to expel all the non-bakongo people from their province.
II. The rebels as instruments of the aggression and occupation
More than 12 years since the appearance of rebel movements on the Congolese scene, their social and political agenda is not clear. Because of this, people, unless forced, do not sympathize with them and consider them as their enemy number one. The 5,4 millions Congolese dead have died in the region controlled by them, not as victims of the fight between the rebels and the Congolese army, but as innocent victims of the violence of the rebels against civilians. This a clear demonstration of what is called now a slow genocide of Congolese population perpetrated by the rebel movements and their master minds in order to pave the way for the Tutsi settlement in the Coltan Kingdom of Congo.
That’s why, the goal of this survey is to demonstrate that the rebels movements in the D.R. Congo are not real rebel movements but instruments of the aggression and the occupation of the D.R. Congo since 1996 by Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda. Any analysis of what they are or do, will indeed find that their activities make them less rebels than aggressors, or terrorists. Our conclusion is that rebellion in the D.R. Congo is a tree that hides the forest. Instead of rebellion, we should speak instead of terrorism understood as a systematic use of terror, a means of coercion, and intending by its acts to create fear (terror), perpetrating an ideological goal, deliberately targeting or disregarding the safety of non-combatants, the civilians. Terrorism is also a form of unconventional warfare and psychological warfare. This is what fit the rebel movement of Laurent Nkunda in North Kivu.
Using the word “rebel movements” to designate the armed groups in the D.R. Congo is a way of hiding the reality of the aggression by Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda from 1996 to present, using Congolese puppet rebel movements and a rhetoric which conceals their reality. This assumption supposes that what are called rebel movements are not real rebel movements and they operate under a hidden double agenda, namely, the creation of a new geopolitical order in the Great Lakes region, and the national interests of external regional and international powers. All what is said to be the motivations for the aggression of the D.R. Congo is simply an alibi. The main alibi used by all the countries that invaded the D.R. Congo in 1996 was that rebels groups against their respective governments were operating from within D.R. Congo. But, when they continued their presence in the D.R. Congo, even after the dismantlement of these rebel groups, it became clear that their aggression of the D.R. Congo was motivated by their respective national interests and those of their allies in the international community.
According to Filip Reyntjens, the motivation of Rwanda invasion of Congo was removed in November 1996 after the dismantling of the Refugees’ camps in Eastern Congo.
After the fall of Beni and of Bunia to the AFDL coalition, the alibi of Uganda was removed, because these two towns were considered by Uganda as the safe haven for the ADF Ugandan rebels leaders.
When the AFDL took power in Kinshasa in May 1997, the question of Banyamulenge nationality became obsolete.
But the collapse of AFDL led to the creation of RCD rebel movement. When RCD entered the government of transition, the CNDP of Laurent Nkunda was created. When the CNDP signed the Amani peace agreement in January 2008, the FPC has been created in North Kivu. And recently, the CNDP became MLTC in September 2008, just before the current attacks on the Rumangabo military base and Goma. This means that there will always be rebellion in the D.R. Congo till the motivation of the aggressors is satisfied.
What about the claims of democracy?
The Congo conflict is not either a struggle of rebels for democracy, because after the successful democratic transition coupled with democratic elections in 2006, the conflict is continuing with the same rebels movements creating new ones to avoid the democratic rule. It is absurd to see that the UN and the USA, the UE, the UK which supported the elections in the D.R.Congo have been supporting the rebel movement of Laurent Nkunda who is a renegade of the Congolese army and who refused to participate in the elections. I agree that elections’ results can exacerbate the ethnic divide. But this was not the case in the D.R.Congo. Those who won the 2006 elections accommodated the Tutsi population by sharing their power with them. In the capital city of Kinshasa, Moise Nyarugabo, a radical tutsi, was elected senator. In the Nord-Kivu province, the provincial assembly extended the seats of the Bureau to Tutsi even though they had failed in the elections. There many other examples of this reaching out to Tutsi in the sharing of power.
What about the claim of the Tutsi Banyamulenge minority?
The Congo conflict cannot be presented as a war against a minority ethnic group called Banyamulenge or Tutsi, Rwandese, because in Congo with more than 400 ethnic groups, there is no minority. Every tribe or ethnic group is a minority. According to Patricia DALEY, “ The significance of ethnicity is often overplayed by external observers particularly in relation to conflicts in Burundi and DRC… While ethnicity is a factor in the manifestation of violence, it is often used instrumentally by members of the political elite who are driven more by personal politics than commitment to any group identity or cause.”
This leads many scholars to the conclusion that foreign, international, regional, and internal wars are being fought simultaneously on the territory of the D.R. Congo on short-term interests. This international scramble for the mineral resources of the D.R. Congo benefits clearly from a weak or failed state in the D.R. Congo. This can explain the low profile of the D.R. Congo on the international level such as the UN where it plays a passive role in the resolution of a conflict happening on its own soil. Indeed, the D.R. Congo is given at the negotiating table the same status as the rebel movements ( such as in Lusaka and Sun City), and even forced to accept that the rebels opposed to itself are “ good rebels” ( AFDL, RCD-Goma, MLC, RCD-K-ML, RCD-N) but those opposed to Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda as “ bad rebels”, “ negative forces”(Hutu militias, Mai-Mai), etc. Because of this, we take seriously the assumption of scholars who say that, the flexibility of the Congolese parties involved in the conflict, the 5,4 millions dead as consequences of the conflict, the good will of the Congolese people shown in the peaceful elections of 2006, have proven so small to end the conflict, leading to the assumption that foreign powers involved in the D.R. Congo are the one deciding its future, and not yet ready to let the international law be applied to the D.R. Congo conflict or let the Congolese people design their future. According to Smis and Oyatambwe, ” Foreign powers involved in the conflict are not yet ready to make the compromises because, for many, war is more lucrative than peace. They still have an interest in maintaining instability and will probably come to a settlement only when they agree on a common interest in keeping the DRC weak while deciding the borders of their zones of influence”. This international scramble for the mineral resources of the D.R. Congo benefits clearly from a weak or failed state in the D.R. Congo. This can explain the low profile of the D.R. Congo on the international level such as the UN where it plays a passive role in the resolution of a conflict happening on its own soil. Indeed, the D.R. Congo is given at the negotiating table the same status as the rebel movements ( such as in Lusaka and Sun City), and even forced to accept that the rebels opposed to itself are “ good rebels” ( AFDL, RCD-Goma, MLC, RCD-K-ML, RCD-N) but those opposed to Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda as “ bad rebels”, “ negative forces”(Hutu militias, Mai-Mai), etc. Because of this, we take seriously the assumption of scholars who say that, the flexibility of the Congolese parties involved in the conflict, the 5,4 millions dead as consequences of the conflict, the good will of the Congolese people shown in the peaceful elections of 2006, have proven so small to end the conflict, leading to the assumption that foreign powers involved in the D.R. Congo are the one deciding its future, and not yet ready to let the international law be applied to the D.R. Congo conflict or let the Congolese people design their future. According to Smis and Oyatambwe, ” Foreign powers involved in the conflict are not yet ready to make the compromises because, for many, war is more lucrative than peace. They still have an interest in maintaining instability and will probably come to a settlement only when they agree on a common interest in keeping the DRC weak while deciding the borders of their zones of influence”.
With the above restatement of our topic, we want to shed some light on the intricacies of the international context that led to the aggression, the rebels’ movements, the major stakeholders involved in the aggression of the D.R.Congo, etc.
III. The Context of the aggression of the D.R. Congo
Many scholars argue that the rebels’ movements in the D.R. Congo are part of the Great Powers’ Post-Cold War strategy of creating a new political order in the Great Lakes region, following the vacuum created by the collapse of France as the “unchallenged regional hegemony throughout the continent’s francophone’ states”.
Studies show that since its conquest by King Leopold II of Belgium, the territorial space called D.R. Congo has experienced repeated military interventions and each time it has been saved by external forces such as :
– UN in 1960,
– OAU, Belgium and USA in 1964;
– France, Belgium, USA, and OAU in 1977 (Shaba I) and 1978 ( Shaba II). .
In each of these strong interventions by Western powers, the motivation was more to secure their monopoly over Congo mineral resources against the communists than to assure security and prosperity to the D.R. Congo. That’s why, even after the threat of communism was removed by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, international rivalry in Africa continued. According to Peter J. Schraeder, “the ideologically based Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union was replaced by a Cold Peace”. But this cold peace spared Zaire for about 8 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Mel McNulty studied the question why Zaire did not collapse soon after the collapse of communism in 1989. His answer is that from 1989 to 1997, President Mobutu was still backed by the USA, France and Belgium as “a reliable strongman to hold the ring against Congolese nationalism” and “the only guarantor of unity of his vast country”. To prove to his western backers that, after him there will be only chaos (“après moi, le chaos”), Mobutu played well his game and manipulated the francophone relationship with France to his own advantage. Thus, he was not disown by his backers despite his sabotaging of the National Conference, his fomenting of riots and looting by his unpaid army in 1991, his sponsoring of ethnic cleansing in Shaba and in Kivu provinces, etc. Zaire was part of what France called its “ domaine reservé” (backyard) or “chasse gardée”( private hunting ground). According to Schraeder, the US policymakers referred “to France as Washington’s de facto gendarme ( policeman) in Francophone Africa”. But this cold peace spared Zaire for about 8 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Mel McNulty studied the question why Zaire did not collapse soon after the collapse of communism in 1989. His answer is that from 1989 to 1997, President Mobutu was still backed by the USA, France and Belgium as “a reliable strongman to hold the ring against Congolese nationalism” and “the only guarantor of unity of his vast country”. To prove to his western backers that, after him there will be only chaos (“après moi, le chaos”), Mobutu played well his game and manipulated the francophone relationship with France to his own advantage. Thus, he was not disown by his backers despite his sabotaging of the National Conference, his fomenting of riots and looting by his unpaid army in 1991, his sponsoring of ethnic cleansing in Shaba and in Kivu provinces, etc. Zaire was part of what France called its “ domaine reservé” (backyard) or “chasse gardée”( private hunting ground). According to Schraeder, the US policymakers referred “to France as Washington’s de facto gendarme ( policeman) in Francophone Africa”.
This unshaken support to Mobutu by what was called “Troika” , meaning the three powers ( USA, France, Belgium) will come abruptly to an end in the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the Victory of the RPF ( Rwandan Patriotic Front) over the French-supported regime of Habyarimana, and the failure of French ‘ Opération Turquoise” with a UN mandate, to stop the genocide, protect the refugees, and hand over the situation of Rwanda to the UN after two months.
Why did the French “Operation Turquoise” failed?
France lost the support of the international community, when it was discovered that France hidden objective was to “force the RPF into a power-sharing compromise with the genocidal regime” . The images of the genocide were so horrible to allow a peace talk drafted by France. (Let us hope know that France will use the atrocities done by Laurent Nkunda in North Kivu to support Kinshasa in its refusal to hold talk with a genocidal.)
This the moment when many UN members including USA, UK, and Belgium, two former allies of Mobutu, refused to support France in its Great Lakes region policy. The genocide was so shocking that many UN members voted against France proposal of dialogue and power-sharing with the Ex-Far. As Mel MCNULTY puts it: “ The western non-intervention to the Zairean war may be attributed to a double discrediting: of France, and of external military intervention itself. As a result, by 1997, there was no-one left to save Zaire”. .
The USA and the UK took the moral leadership in the Great Lakes region after France lost its credibility in the International community. But also, at this time, external military intervention was not popular in many countries (i.e. USA after the Somali disaster). This is how the Anglo-Saxons became the mastermind of the conflict in the D.R. Congo. This explains why today UK is opposing the proposal of France to send troops to Goma. It is a real power-game!
Considering the fact that Mobutu was dying from prostate cancer, that the Troika was now divided, with Mobutu left on the side of France with its unwanted Ex-Far and Interahamwe, taking into account the performance of the RPF in Rwanda, and the prestige enjoyed by President Museveni by the IMF and World Bank as good guy for African renaissance, the USA and UK offered their support to Uganda and Rwanda to control the situation in the Great Lakes Region. As Smis and Oyatambwe put it: “ The countries accused by Kinshasa of aggression were considered as good pupils of liberal economics’ thought and their leaders pretended espousing African solutions for African problems, – a sentiment in which a number of important Western countries had put their hopes. With the Rwandan genocide in mind, these countries were seemingly judged differently (André and Luzolele, 2001: 365-9).
Thus, it can be said that gradually, Zaire collapsed because its former unconditional backer France withdrew its support after losing moral credibility as a peacekeeping force in the region, and could no longer intervene to save Mobutu without colliding with the USA, Belgium and other European countries that were ready to put behind the images of the genocide in Rwanda.
This is why it can be said that the support Rwanda and Uganda enjoy today in the Great Lakes region is only for geopolitical purposes. These two countries happen to be the good guys when another long time good guy Mobutu was dying without leaving any descendant: The effectiveness of RPF in conquering Rwanda and the effectiveness of the AFDL’s strategy ( regional cause) in defeating Mobutu’s army without efforts, the failure of the Congolese “rentier” state (internal cause), and the lack of leardership for the Congolese nationalists who threw their support to the AFDL rebel movement they did not know well, are the reasons of today’s supremacy of Rwanda and Uganda in the D.R. Congo. It’s shocking to see that till today, there is no credible opposition party in the D.R. Congo. This fact leaves the door opened for clever outsiders backed by some economic powers.
Since the defeat of France in the region, there has been two main proposals for settlement of the conflict in the image of the bipolarity of the politics in the region between the French model and the Anglo-Saxon model:
French Model, shared by the UN (Res 1341 of 22 February 2001): International Conference on the Great Lakes Region in which all governments of the region, parties, rebel movements, civil society, etc. would participate.
Anglo-Saxon Model: Protection of the minority threatened by extermination; no dialogue with criminals. This reason why the anglo-saxons have refused to call Laurent Nkunda and his Commandant in Chief Jean Bosco Tanganda criminals, genociders, etc. up to stop the ICJ (CPI) to have them arrested for the crimes against humanity.
The above two models of peace settlement are the ones competing at the UN, in the Great Lakes Region. But, since the application of the resolutions of the UN Security Council depend on the interests of its powerful members, namely in this case the USA and the UK; the French solution has failed in the D.R. Congo as in the UN Security Council. With a weak government in Kinshasa, the case of the D,R. Congo has been left under the hands of Anglo-Saxon powers.
The above survey shows how any peace initiative or resolution of the conflict in the D.R.Congo has to work simultaneously on three levels with three different kinds of interests, namely, the International Level, the regional level, the domestic level. But above all, the domestic level should acquire more attention in order to empower the Congolese people and develop their sense of ownership of any initiative of conflict transformation and post-conflict reconstruction. The aggression and occupation of the D.R. Congo was only made possible by the internal social, political, and economical failures. Unfortunately this is still the case today, twelve years later.
IV. The UN failure in the D.R. Congo
During and after the genocide, France with its Operation Turquoise, many UN humanitarian agencies, and the government of Zaire, worked with a UN permission to provide relief to the Rwandan Refugees in Eastern Congo where many died of cholera in the camp of Mugunga ( Nord-Kivu). This humanitarian aid to the Rwandan refugees was perceived by the new government in Rwanda as a help to the Ex-Rwandan Government Forces (Ex-FAR) the Interahamwe Hutu militias. This claim was done on the assumption that France was the main support of the former and fallen Rwandan government of Juvenal Habyarimana and that because of this, France was not in favor of a regime in Rwanda backed by the Anglo-Saxon Uganda.
As I explained earlier on, because of its support to the EX-Far and Interahamwe, France lost the support of the international community as a peacekeeping force in the Great Lakes region. This failure of France paved the way to the aggression of the D.R. Congo by Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda.
It took three years for the UN Security Council to recognized the aggression of the D.R. Congo by its neighbors. In many resolutions of the UN Security Council, the names of the three first aggressors of the D.R. Congo, namely Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi, are not given.
As early as August 6, 1996, the so-called Banyamulenge rebels backed by Rwanda invaded Eastern Congo by attacking the Hospital of Lemera ( 49 Km south of Bukavu). The claim for this attack was according to the rebels, the lack of recognition of the Congolese nationality of the Banyamulenge people who are Tutsi who emigrated to Congo in the 1950s.
Following this attack and occupation of Lemera, the Vice-governor of South-Kivu ordered on October 7, 1996, all the Banyamulenge accused of treason against the republic of Zaire to leave the country or face treatment as rebels. Without going into the details of this first period of the aggression of the D.R. Congo, it is worthy noticing that the attack from Rwanda came first for dubious reason, namely the nationality denial to the Banyamulenge and the threat of the Ex-FAR and Interahamwe Hutu militias that fled to Congo after the Rwanda genocide of 1994, and who were being accused of preparing an attack to the Rwandan new government from the refugees’ camps of Eastern Congo ( Cfr. UN Resolution 918 of April 4, 1996).
The so-called hatred of Congolese against the Banyamulenge ( the Tutsi in Congo) was a patriotic reaction to the treason of the Banyamulenge when they attacked Lemera’s Hospital.
On October 18, 1996, a coalition of rebels’ movements formed the Alliance of Forces for Democracy and Liberation of Congo ( AFDL). These rebels’ movements were the PRP (Parti de la Révolution Populaire) de Mzee Laurent Désiré Kabila, the CNRD ( Conseil National de Résistance pour la Démocratie) d’André Kisase Ngandu, the MRLZ (Mouvement Révolutionnaire pour la Libération du Zaïre du Commandant Anselme Masasu Ninanga), and the ADP ( Alliance Démocratique des Peuples) de Déogratias Bugera, a Tutsi Munyamulenge.
The call to the UN and the AOU by the government of Zaire, on October 22, 1996, that it was aggressed by Rwanda and Burundi was simply ignored, apart from some declarations of intention by the UN and OAU to all the parties to stop fighting and to organize an international conference for peace. ( cfr. CongoOnline, La Chronique d’une guerre). It is worthy noticing that this call for an international conference for the Great Lakes region instead of investigating the allegations of aggression as made by the Republic of Zaire is revealing of the unwillingness of the UN Security Council to listen to the Republic of Zaire. This call for an international conference for peace has been made over and over again till today.
On October 21, 1996: Mzee Laurent Désiré Kabila who had become the spokesman of the AFDL declared in a meeting in UVIRA South-Kivu that the objective of the AFDL was to topple the regime of President Mobutu. It can be said that the creation of AFDL and the designation of Mzee Laurent Desire Kabila as the spokesman of the AFDL was meant to cover the aggression and to give the impression to the world that there was a true rebellion within Congo. But as we said earlier on, the Washington Post revealed that before the invasion, troops were trained in Rwanda for the Congo Mission. (Washington Post, 9.7. 1997).
After the AFDL rebellion was made known to the world, in November 1996, Rwanda started putting high on its agenda the disarmament of the Ex-FAR and the Interahamwe in the refugees camps of Eastern Congo. This false argument is unfortunately still helping Rwanda till today.
The government of Zaire through the letter of November 8, 1996 from its representative to the UN, proposed like the EU countries, the deployment of a multinational force under Chap VII of the UN Charter, giving the conditions for deployment and calling on the UN to order Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi to withdraw their troops from the Zairian territory. In the same letter ( cfr. S/1996/941), the government of Zaire proposed a plan of separating armed elements from civilian refugees in order to put a halt to the allegations of military training and re-armament of the Ex-FAR in the refugees’ camps of Eastern Congo. But this proposal was turned down by the UN Security Council on the ground that it would be too costly to proceed that way.
The irony is that this same disarmament mission that the UN Security Council and the OAU members were unable to fund, was given to Rwanda alone by the UN Security Council (Res 1080 of November 15, 1996). The question which can be asked is where Rwanda, coming from the horrors of the genocide, got the financial support to undertake this costly operation alone?
The Resolution 1080 of November 15, 1996, says that Security Council welcomed favorably the offer by Rwanda to take alone “the lead in organizing and commanding” the multinational force with the mandate to disarm the Ex-FAR and Interahamwe militias. But the European countries, namely France and Belgium, were not in favor of this offer. Meanwhile, the spokesman of the AFDL, Mzee Laurent Desire Kabila, had made it clear that France should not be part of the multinational force because of its former ties with the Zaire and the ousted Rwandan Hutu government.
The USA supported Rwanda in its refusal of the multinational force and blocked the formation and the deployment of such a force according to a statement of the State Department of November 12, 1996.
Three days later, Rwanda declared that this mission was accomplished successfully. In its letter of November 15, 1996 to the UN, Rwanda informed the Council that thousands of Rwanda refugees were returning to Rwanda, that the Rwandan government had been registering a hundred refugees per minute crossing the border from Zaire, and within a week the repatriation of Rwandan refugees from Congo would be over. The conclusion of this letter was that the multinational force was no longer relevant and that the Security Council had to put on hold the adoption of the resolution on the multinational force until full facts about the changing situation on the ground would be available ( S/1996/941).
According to unpublished documents, the USA government asked Mobutu to give way to the Rwandan troops and closer allies so that they may finish the job of cleaning the refugees’ camp of the Ex-FAR and the Interahamwe. Mobutu who was already abandoned by the international community took this request as a new recognition by the USA, a former ally. To prove his good will, special units of the Rwandan Army and allies entered the camps and some hotels in Eastern Congo to look for former high ranking officials of the Ex-FAR and former ministers of the ousted Rwandan Hutu government. But this secret breakthrough was the big mistake for Mobutu and his security services. The Rwandan special units finished its job of clearing the camps but never left Congo. Instead of going back to Rwanda, it had the opportunity to work with some corrupted Congolese high ranking army officers, who in their avidity could sale their nation’s secrets for a penny.
The month of November 1996 is thus the turning point in the history of the aggression of Congo and of the rebels’ movements. Rwandan army will remain in Congo along with its AFDL backed rebellion, with the complicity of Mobutu corrupted high ranking officers, such as General Mahele who organized at every stage the defeat of the zairean army until the AFDL entered Kinshasa. Discovered at the last minute, the General Mahele who helped the AFDL rebellion to take over power only after 7 months of war, was assassinated in Kinshasa on May 15, 1997 on Mobutu’s last order as the President of Zaïre.
Three historical facts characteristics of the Congo conflict from this early stage till today are the following:
Rwanda and allies aggressed Zaire in August 6, 1996 and has ever since remained in Congo through puppets rebels’ movements and militias.
Zaire protested to the UN Security Council with no success
Instead investigating the Zairean denunciation of aggression, the UN Security Council ignored the denunciation of Zaire but supported Rwanda (Resolution 1080 of November 15, 1996) in its fear of a deployment of a multinational force in Eastern Congo to lead and command the operation of disarmament on Congolese territory.
Already at this stage, Zaire, the host country of these EX-FAR and Interahamwe on demand of the UN, is given a passive role in a conflict happening on its territory.
The full support of the USA to Rwanda within the UN Security Council is very clear.
The role of the Congolese, namely the Congolese rebels who accepted to be used by Rwanda, and the corrupted zairean army officers, cannot be overlooked from the beginning of the aggression of Congo.
From the beginning, Congo conflict appears clearly as a complex chain of interlocking internal and external interests, especially between France and the USA, the “Francophonie” and the “Anglophonie”. According to Jordi Martorel, Washington wanted to consecrate the defeat of France in the region after the Hutu regime it supported in Rwanda was ousted, by placing in D.R.Congo a president under the control of Kampala and Kigali, both Washington allies in the region.
The UN action in Congo cannot be separated from the interests of the superpowers, middle powers in Congo.
It is our assumption that Rwanda and allies never left Congo since this first invasion permitted by the UN Security Council. But its continued presence had to change face on the international level by taking the form of rebels’ movements. And it is not surprising that all the rebels and militias’ movements are originally not of Congolese creation but of Rwanda and Uganda creation as finally acknowledged by the UN Security Council in its Resolution 1234 of April 9, 1999. The UN waited almost three years to acknowledge that foreign forces (without naming them) were violating the national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the D.R. Congo and to ask for the “orderly withdrawal” (UN Resolution 1234). It is only in its Resolution 1258, Ss 4 of August 6, 1999, that the UN security started speaking of Rebel Movements and naming them as MLC (Movement of the Liberation of Congo) and RCD (Rally for Congolese Democracy), a movement created on August 3, 1998, calling them to an immediate cessation of hostilities.
Speaking of creation, it is worthy remembering that the RCD rebel movement was created in Rwanda on September 1, 1998 by a Rwandan military commander named DAN as revealed by Wamba dia Wamba, one of the first recruits and first Congolese puppet movement of the RCD ( Cfr. Interview of Wamba dia Wamba, Journal Palmares du 9 Avril 1999). The MLC, on its part, was created in Kampala,Uganda…
V. The era of rebel movements : AFDL, RCD, MLC
Following the principle of “ African solutions to African problems” by which the non-intervention in Rwanda ( 1994) and in the D.R. Congo ( 1996) was explained, the regional states selected by the Anglo-Saxon powers could not operate openly in the D.R. Congo. That’s why, in order to conceal their hunger for political, economic hegemony in the region, and the new scramble for Africa by the West led by the USA and the UK, the AFDL was created and given all the political and logistic support to change the leadership in Zaire, with Museveni and Kagame as the master minds of the operation. The decision of invading Zaire was taken by Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, according to Washington Post, long before the invasion of August 1996. Troops were trained in Rwanda long before the invasion started (Washington Post, 9.7. 1997).
The AFDL (Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo) was created on October 18, 1996 in Lemera, South-Kivu. Three Congolese movements and one tutsi (banyamulenge) movement composed the AFDL.
– PRP (Parti de la Révolution Populaire) de Mzee Laurent Désiré Kabila)
– CNRD (Conseil National de Résistance pour la Démocratie) d’André Kisase Ngandu,
– MRLZ (Mouvement Révolutionnaire pour la Libération du Zaire du Commandant Anselme Masasu Ninanga,
– ADP (Alliance Démocratiques des Peuples) de Déogratias Bugera (un Tutsi Munyamulenge)
As of today, all the leaders of the Congolese movements that formed the AFDL have been killed, namely Mzee LDK assassinated on January 16, 2001 ; Kisase Ngandu assassinated on January 2, 1997 after asking the Rwandese troops to be paid for their services in the liberation of Eastern Congo, Anselme Masasu Ninanga assassinated in 2000, in Pweto, Katanga Province.
Only Déogratis Bugera, the tutsi founding member of the AFDL is still leaving as Businessman in South Africa.
The AFDL was fed by Congolese nationalism of people oppressed by 32 years of Mobutu dictatorship.
Unfortunately, Congolese overlooked the fact that the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) spearheaded the AFDL uprising. According to McNulty, Rwandan officers planned and directed military operations, and midlevel commanders led AFDL forces throughout. Rwandan troops participated in the capture of at least four cities (Lubumbashi, Kisangani, Kenge, and Kinshasa) and Rwanda had provided arms and training for those forces even before the rebellion began ( Washington Post, 9.7. 1997).
On May 17, 1997, the AFDL took power in Kinshasa. On July 10, 1997, a dozen of African heads of state met in Kinshasa to support President Kabila, they denounced the campaign of disinformation against the DRC and other countries of the region regarding the massacres of refugees, and went so far as to claim that “the refugees scattered in different parts of the DRC were sent home to their countries.
But this support was short-lived. The AFDL’s victory created a very complex situation, not only because the AFDL was itself a fragile alliance, but also because its foreign sponsors did not have necessarily the same agenda. Kagame’s claim that Rwanda played the predominant role in the war complicated the relation between him and Mzee LDK and Dos Santos of Angola. Rwanda sought to assume the regional leadership. According to Prof Filip Reyntjens, on June 15, 1997, the general secretary of the RPF, Denis Polisi, claimed that Rwanda had achieved the master position in the Great Lakes and that ‘no longer could anything happen in this region without passing through Rwanda, … “that Rwanda just resolved the problem of Zaire and prepared itself to resolve other problems of the region” . Giving the fact that Rwanda is a poor country, Prof Reyntjens asks with what human ( 8 millions before the genocide) and material resources Rwanda could assume the role of regional policeman ( and in particular way of the D.R. Congo with 53 millions people).
Unfortunately or fortunately for the D.R. Congo, Mzee Laurent Desire Kabila, the leader of the AFDL had, against all expectations of the backers of his rebel movement, a nationalistic agenda against which Mobutu fought during 32 years to please the West. Mzee LDK was accused by his former backers of failing to meet the standards of the New African Political Order intended by the western powers. The regional allies claimed also that their security was not guaranteed by Mzee LDK. Because of this concern, Kigali and Kampala vowed to continue their intervention in the Congo and support rebellions there until their security needs would be satisfied. There are also reports of statements attributed to Paul Kagame, at the time Vice-President, saying that “no-one could govern in Kinshasa without his support”.
After this breaking of the AFDL alliance, the regime of Mzee LDK became the enemy of the West and the regional allies to be removed from Central Afrika. Mzee LDK efforts to satisfy the needs of the Congolese people were taxed of communist backward ideas.
But 7 years after the removal of Mzee LDK, and because of the Congolese nationalism, the Western Powers and their regional allies in the D.R. Congo mission, are not yet completely satisfied. The Congolese people and their nationalism look now as the obstacle to remove. This is in my view, the reason why the Congolese population is targeted by violence, killings, rape, starvation, etc. in the great silence and non-intervention of the West. The unachieved geopolitical strategy of the western powers in the D.R. Congo can explain the striking manner in which the conflict in the D.R. Congo has been handled by the international community in an almost total absence and disdain for international law such as the law on aggression, genocide, territorial integrity, sovereignty, armed conflicts, binding force of security council resolutions, etc. According to Paul Lederach, the D.R. Congo conflict fits the frame of the post-cold war conflicts all located in the South. Using Ali Mazrui version of an old African proverb, the D. R. Congo conflict can be depicted as a fight or love between two elephants on Congolese grass. “When two elephants make love, it is still the grass that suffers”. The elephants in this proverb are the great powers, the international corporations, the neighboring countries, the puppet rebels’ movements, fighting a proxy-war over the control or the monopoly of the natural resources of the D.R. Congo. The point of Lederach is that the fight between superpowers scrambling for Africa during the Cold-War (cold-war for the West but hot-war with casualties for Africa) is continuing in the post-cold war era after these superpowers have entered in some sort of love partnership. In both cases, the Congolese grass is still suffering and weigh little on the balance of negotiation.
The entire responsibility of the on-going conflict in the D.R.Congo cannot, nevertheless be put solely attributed to foreign superpowers. Historically, other countries of the world were occupied but reversed the situation by overcoming or defeating occupation. The question is why the Congolese people have not even started reversing the situation of aggression and occupation of their country?
The internal factors of the conflict in the D.R. Congo, namely the collapse of the state, the repression of civil society, the state-sponsored opposition, the economic collapse, the long dependency on foreign aid and military intervention, etc., can explain this lethargy of the D.R. Congo. In this survey, I just want to mention only one cause of this collapse of the D.R. Congo state, namely the “ rentier “ regime as Mkandawire calls it.
The mineral resources of the D.R. Congo as the incentive to rebel movements creation are also the cause of Congo lethargy. As it has been argued by Thandika Mkandawire, the mineral-rich countries tend to have “rentier” states that rely on revenue from rents from the mining sector , concentrate wealth and power in few hands, and forget about the plight of the citizens from whom they do take taxes like in the merchant states. According to Thandika Mkandawire, the “rentier” states like the D.R. Congo tend to be much prone to rebellion than merchant states that rely of the taxes of their citizens and the work of farmers. This understanding of a rentier state seems to fit very well the D.R. Congo where the state has abandoned its citizens from whom it did not receive the power and the money, and for which, what is important is political gain and not the people and their problems. As William Cyrus Reed puts it when depicting Mobutu’s regime, “ as long as mineral prices remained high, the economy could bear the burden of the state’s use of surplus for political, rather than economic investments… All the investments were political rather than economic, leading to declining production just as the burden of maintaining an increasingly parasite state increased. As the State became increasingly extractive, economic activities became increasingly hidden in the informal sector. As the state became increasingly unable to extract resources, it failed to meet its fiscal obligations, not paying state employees…”
Who are the powers renting the D.R. Congo at the sole advantage of its leaders? Or who are post-cold war elephants, making love in the D.R. Congo?
Not much literature can be available about this issue at the moment, considering the proxy-war aspect of the crisis, the true actors trying to hid themselves behind puppet rebel movements that protect or serve their interests. Nevertheless, some authors have argued that one of the elephant making love with the Congolese minerals is the USA whose geopolitical power in the Great Lakes region has increased since the end of the French imperialism in the region. Washington is the superpower that helped placing in the D.R. Congo a president under the control of Kampala and Kigali, both Washington allies in the region. According to Martorell, the US supported-war in Congo was “ part of the battle between Washington and Paris for spheres of influence and markets in Africa. The US diplomacy was euphoric. They now had a string of "client" regimes which included Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Rwanda, the DR of Congo. Also a great deal of South Africa’s foreign policy in the region was dictated by Washington. There was also a joint offensive by Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda against the Sudanese regime, the following target of the US offensive in Africa. .”
2. RCD, MLC, Mai-Mai,etc.
After 10 months of war, the ADFL under L.D. Kabila took control of Kinshasa on May 17, 1997. As new head of State, L.D.Kabila promised Congolese people to rebuild DRC from scratch with the money of the investors interested in the tremendous natural resources of the Country. He initiated new codes of investment and cooperation that favored more the reconstruction of the DRC than the interests of the foreigners who helped him to defeat Mobutu. By choosing to satisfy the needs of his people before the interests of the allies who brought him to power, L.D. Kabila signed his death warrant. As a consequence, the international community did not show interest in investing in the DRC nor did it give aid to the new regime, which had inherited a country bled dry by 32 years of corruption and plundering. Experiencing this situation, L.D. Kabila, like Prime Minister Emery Patrice Lumumba, attempted to establish links with communists’ countries like China, Cuba, and North Korea.
After escaping many assassination and military coup attempts led by the Rwandan officers of the DRC army ( such as James Kabarebe), seeing the danger coming, Kabila ordered the withdrawal of his former allies’ troops from the country on July 23, 1998. In response to this, his former allies reorganized a new rebellion against him from Rwanda and Uganda. They launched the attacks on August 2, 1998. In a matter of days, they took control of most of Eastern DRC. This second rebellion tried to avoid the long conquest by focusing immediately on the capital Kinshasa. That is why the rebels were airlifted from Goma in Eastern Congo to Kitona in South Western Congo, at the opposite side of the country where they took control of the dam of Inga and cut the supply of water and electricity to the capital Kinshasa before trying to march on Kinshasa. To divert the international attention from the reality of aggression, the Tutsi-banyamulenge formed meanwhile a puppet movement called RCD (Congolese Rally for Democracy). When they were just a few miles away from the capital city Kinshasa, L.D. Kabila being completely isolated and about to lose control of the country, received help from Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Libya, Chad, Sudan, the Ex-FAR/Interahamwe militias, the ADF (the Allied Democratic Front of Uganda) rebels, and FDD ( Forces for Democracy and Development from Burundi) rebels, etc.
By August 28, the Tutsi-led second rebellion had been defeated in Kinshasa and in Western DRC by L.D. Kabila allies’ fire and the strong support of the Congolese population. The old claim of security at their borders could not work anymore after they invaded the Bas-Congo Province, 2000 miles away from Rwanda and Uganda. Likewise, people wander why the Hutu who fled to Burundi, Tanzania, and Uganda never constituted a threat to the security of Rwanda.
Meanwhile, forced by the D.R. Congo coalition to retreat in Eastern DRC, the founders of RCD rebellion split into many factions over leadership being given only to Tutsi. The Tutsi had learned from their experience with L.D. Kabila what danger it is to give key responsibilities to Congolese. But with a Tutsi leader and without grassroots’ support they could not go any further. They were obliged to take again Congolese leaders like Arthur Zaidi Ngoma, Wamba dia Wamba, etc. who, unlike L.D.Kabila, were controlled and given a rather figurative role, without any decision making ability.
But these Congolese recruits of the RCD could not all perform well with the ambiguity of who was in charge of the rebel movement between the Congolese leaders and Rwanda. Congolese recruits had differences too and personal ambitions among themselves. All this confusion led to defections within the RCD rebel movement . Some of the defectors from RCD went to look for support in Uganda (e.g. Mbusa Nyamwisi and Wamba dia Wamba). Other RCD’s defectors returned to Kinshasa ( e.g. Arthur Zaidi Ngoma).
The rebels’ factions opposing the Kabila government were thus the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD-Goma) helped by Rwanda; the MLC, the RCD-K-ML, and the RCD-N, all the three backed by Uganda. After a while, these rebels groups occupied and alienated almost half of the DRC territory.
On the other side, a local militia called Mai-Mai mushroomed in Eastern DRC and led the resistance of Congolese populations against the Rwanda and Uganda-supported occupation.
From the above description, the DRC war appears clearly like a complex chain of interlocking internal and external conflicts , such as, DRC versus rebel groups, Rwanda versus DRC, Rwanda versus Hutu Militias, Uganda versus Sudan-supported LRA rebels, Uganda versus DRC over Mount Ruwenzori ADF rebels, Uganda and Rwanda versus Zimbabwe and Angola, Rwanda-backed Congolese rebels versus Ugandan-backed rebels, Uganda versus Rwanda over leadership in DRC conflict, Burundi versus Burundian rebel factions, Angola versus UNITA and anyone who supports UNITA rebels, Mai-Mai Militias versus Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and all the supported rebels, Sudan versus Uganda, etc. The parties in the conflict had overlapping but not identical agendas and interests. The Congolese citizens on their side were aspiring to peace, self-determination, freedom, economic development, and have not found allies till today.
This clash of interests is one of the issues to be addressed in the transformation of the DRC conflict into lasting peace in the region. According to the UN report on the looting of DRC resources, the allies on both sides were much more interested in signing contracts, securing mining areas or timber business for big corporations than winning the war or the peace. All the contending parties in the conflict created serious stumbling blocks in the transformation of the conflict to secure their monopoly over the resources under their control. Because of this, it is generally believed that it is the exploitation of Congolese immense natural resources, especially the mineral wealth that has been fuelling the war in the DRC.
VI. All the claims of neighboring countries have been removed, but…
Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda invaded the D.R. Congo on security concern at their respective borders with D.R.Congo, claiming that rebels groups opposing their regimes were operating from within D.R. Congo. This security concern was removed with great satisfaction by the AFDL rebellion.
According to Professor Filip Reyntjens, the rear base of the Burundian CNDD-FDD guerrilla became unusable as of mid-October 1996 when South Kivu became under the control of AFDL rebels.
By the end of November 1996, after the destruction of the North-Kivu camps and the colossal” forced voluntary’ repatriation of the Rwandan refugees, Rwanda’s principal security objective was achieved.
By the fall of Beni on December 10 and of Bunia on December 25, 1996, Uganda’s principal objective of securing its borders was achieved.
After the Fall of Bunia, Angola insisted that the rebellion be extended to all of Zaire so that its UNITA threat could be uprooted as well. In January and February 1997, several thousand Katangan Gendarmes who fled to Angola after the Shaba wars of the 1970s and who were incorporated in the Angolan army, were transported by airplane into the region of Bunia to boost the attack of Kisangani. With the defeat of Mobutu in May 1997, the Angolan objective was partially achieved, because the UNITA rebels had lost their big supporter in the person of Mobutu, President of Zaire.
In may 1997, the question of Banyamulenge was solved as there were given important ministerial posts in the government such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Bizima Karaha, Chief of Army by James Kabarebe, etc.
After escaping many assassination attempts in his palace in Kinshasa, and threatened by the international community over an issue of the massacre of Hutu refugees that was declared closed by Kigali and the USA, Mzee LDK ordered the departure of all the foreign troops and citizens from Congo, on July 23, 1998. Surprisingly enough, all the Banyamulenge who were claiming to be Congolese and who were holding important cabinet positions in the government, fled with the Rwandese and Ugandan troops.
On Agust 2, 1998: The Tutsi banyamulenge who had fled Kinshasa regrouped in the East of Congo without problem, because from the beginning of the AFDL rebellion, the army and police officers in Eastern Congo, were mostly officers belonging to the Banyamulenge tutsi tribe. On the same day, the RCD ( Congo Rally for Democracy) , a rebel movement was created in Goma, North-Kivu. Within weeks, three Provinces , namely North-Kivu, South-Kivu, Maniema, and part of the Province Orientale ( Ituri) fell under the control of the new rebel movement of RCD from August 2, 1998 to June 30, 2003.
If we consider that since October 1996, the Rwandan troops entered Congo and never left it since then, we can say that since 1996 till 2003, eastern Congo was under Rwanda influence. And during this long time, the question of Interahamwe, Ex-FAR, FDLR, was never an agenda of Rwanda or even a threat to Rwanda.
North-Kivu, South-Kivu, Maniema: RCD-Goma supported by Rwanda
Beni-Lubero and Ituri territories: RCD-K-ML of Mbusa Nyamwisi, supported by Uganda
Isiro territory: RCD-N of Roger Lumbala, supported by Uganda
Equateur, Province Orientale: MLC of Jean-Pierre Bemba supported by Uganda
It is worth noticing that, the Congolese who were founding members of the RCD rebel movement could not work together with the tutsi banyamulenge founding fathers who led the movement as their tribal enterprise. This explained the break-away of two smaller RCDs which went to look for support in Uganda.
July 1999: Lusaka Agreement under the UN security council and the initiative of President Frederic Chiluba of Zambia, recognition of the Congo conflict as internal and regional, call for the withdrawal of foreign forces ( Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe), disarmament of armed groups (Hutu interahamwe), recognition of RCD-Goma, RCD-K-ML, RCD-N, and MLC as rebel groups.
August 1999: deployment of UN liaison personnel to support the ceasefire.
2001: Mzee LDK is assassinated. Joseph Kabila takes over under dubious circumstances.
2002 ( From February till December) : Intercongolese dialogue in South Africa. Signature of a Global and Inclusive Agreement, DDRR program of tracking down, disarming, demobilizing, repatriating, reintegrating, resettling the militias. The UN with its agencies accepted to set up a process of repatriation of all Rwandans, Ex-Far, Interahamwe to Rwanda in coordination with the governments of Rwanda and the DRC.
In place of repatriation all foreign rebels groups, new rebels movements were created under the watch the UN.
During Mzee LDK regime, some Ex-FAR helped the Congolese army to fight the rebels from Rwanda and Uganda. In 2000, the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) were created, first of all as Army for the Liberation of Rwanda ( ALIR) with the purpose of liberating Rwanda from the tyrannical regime of Kagame. The group is headed by Ignace Murwanashyaka who is currently based in Germany, having fled DR Congo on a Ugandan passport in 2006. This is another proof of the fakeness of the so-called FDLR today. How they can be called fierce opponents to the Rwanda and Uganda regimes and yet receive immigration documents from these same states?
It is only after the formation of the transitional government in June 2003 , when the RCD-Goma ceased to be called “rebel movement” but “political party”, that Nkunda, a renegade officer from the national army rebelled and refused to participate in the Congolese united army. In 2004, with another renegade officer, named Jules Mutebusi, Nkunda occupied Bukavu for three days before being chased by the MONUC troops.
Names of the rebel movements in the D.R. Congo
AFDL from 1996- 1998 ( Mzee Laurent Desire Kabila)
RCD – Goma d’Arthur Zahidi Ngoma
RCD- Kisangani-Mouvement de Liberation (RCD-K-ML) of Mbusa Nyamwisi
RCD-National de Roger Lumbala (RCD-N)
MLC ( Mouvement de Liberation du Congo) of Jean-Pierre Bemba
At Sun City in 2002, these rebels groups sign a peace agreement and decide to convert to political parties. But instead of putting an end to the bloody war, new rebels groups were created and are still being created by some former rebels now cabinet ministers.
Who are they? Two Kinds: Foreign rebels and Congolese militias
1. Interahamwe (Those accused of genocide in Rwanda in 1994)
2. Ex-FAR: Rwandan Army that fled in Congo after the genocide in Rwanda
3. ALIR ( Armee de Liberation du Rwanda) created in Eastern Congo in 2000
4. FDLR ( Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) headed by Ignace Murwanashyaka
5. CNDD-FDD of Burundi in South Kivu before 1996
6. Nalu (National Army for the Liberation of Uganda) operating in the Rwenzori Mountain and around.
7. LRA ( Lord Resistance Army) of Uganda
8. ADF ( Allied Democratic Forces) from Uganda
9. Mbororo believed to be from Tchad, RCA, Cameroun, operating in the Province Orientale,
10. SPLA ( Southern People’s Liberation Army)
11. UNITA ( National Union for the Total Independence of Angola
2. Mudundu 40 (2001)
3. Rasta( 2002)
4. CNDPP de Nkunda (2005)
5. RUD (2006)
6. FPC (2008)
7. TPD (Tous pour le Développement) d’Eugene Serufuli
8. Pareco( 2006)
9. Kasindiens (1992)
10. UPC ( Union of Congolese Patriots) of Thomas Lubanga ( 2002)
11. FRPI ( Patriotic Forces of Resistance of Ituri) (2002)
12. FPIC ( The Front for the pacification and integrity of the Congo) of the Gegere tribe
13. FNI ( Front of the Integrationist Nationalists) of the Lendu tribe (2002)
14. FAPC ( Forces d’Autodefense Populaire au Congo) ( 2002)
From the above overview, it appears that there is a lack of political will from all the partners in the peace process in the DRCongo. A clear preference of Rwanda’ agenda for Congo by the international community represented by UN is revealed. No pressure has ever been put on Rwanda to fulfill its part of all the agreements signed. Pressure is always on Congo to give in to the Tutsi demands without alleviating the suffering of the population.
That’s why, our assumption is that the rebels movements are part of a geopolitical strategy to the advantage of the Tutsi minority in Eastern Congo.
Since the beginning of the political transition, the government troops have been aggressive in crushing the Congolese resistant groups called Mai-Mai ( i.e . North-Kivu, Bas-Congo) but has remained silent against the Rwanda and Uganda-backed rebels’ movements, despite their massive violation of human rights. Since 2002, several tribal militias that are not part of the global and inclusive Agreement signed in Sun City ( South Africa) operate in the district of Ituri: UPC ( Union of Congolese Patriots) for the Hema tribe, the FRPI ( The Patriotic Forces of the Ituri Resistance for the Ngiti tribe, the FNI ( the Front of the Integrationist Nationalists) for the Lendu, the Front of Pacification and Integrity of Congo ( FPIC) for the Gegere tribe, the FPAC (Armed Congolese Popular Forces) for the Hema, etc.
On December 11, 2004, President Joseph Kabila signed a decree naming six leaders of armed groups of Ituri as generals and thirty-two others as Colonels and Majors for the Congolese army. During his visit of Kisangani on January 8, 2005, President Joseph Kabila received with honor these rebels promoted high ranked officers by decree. But the rebels activities continue in Ituri by new rebels movements such as the Mbororo.
In the territories of Beni and Lubero, the Congolese army and the troops of Monuc collaborated at the same time in the crushing of the Mai-Mai movements of Vurondo ( Beni) and Manguredjipa ( Lubero), two movements that participated in the intercongolese dialogue and whose former leaders where participating in the Institutions of Transition at Kinshasa.
There is evidence of collaboration of the Kinshasa Government, the Monuc troops and the Rwanda-Uganda-led rebellions in crushing the Congolese resistance for the benefit of the Rwanda-Uganda backed rebels’ movements that are occupying Congolese territory. This attitude is what push analysts to see behind the action of the government of Kinshasa, the Monuc and the Rwanda-Uganda rebels a geopolitical strategy of slowly abandoning eastern Congo to the Rwanda-Uganda rebels’ movements. In all this, the Congolese people is left on its own as victim and sole opponent to the terms of the intended new geopolitical order in the Great lakes region of Africa.
Vincent K. Machozi, a.a.
Boston, MA ( USA)
 Stefaan Smis & Wamu Oyatambwe, Complex Political Emergencies, the International Community & the Congo conflict in Review of African Political Economy, 29 ( 1 september 2002), 414.
 Mulumbati Ngasha, Sociologie Politique, Ed. Africa, Lubumbashi, Août, 1998, p. 170.
 Guy De Boeck, La guerre qui ne dit pas son nom , an article published by www.benilubero.com in its édition of July 22, 2008 (https://benilubero.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1144&Itemid=28)
 Cfr. Merriam-Webster Dictionary (link of Wikipedia)
 Cfr. Filip Reyntjens, The New Geostrategic Situation in Central Africa. A Journal of Opinion, Vol. 26, N0.1, Central Africa in Crisis, (1998), p. 12 ( Quotation from AFP, Kinshasa, July 20, 1997).
 Patricia DALEY, Challenges to Peace: conflict resolution in the great lakes region of Africa, in the Third World Quaterly of 1 january 2006, p. 314.
 Cfr. Stefaan Smis & Wamu Oyatambwe, Complex Political Emergencies, the International Community & the Congo conflict in Review of African Political Economy, 29, 93 ( 1 september 2002), 414.
 Stefaan Smis & Wamu Oyatambwe, op.cit., p. 419.
 Stefaan Smis and Wamu Oyatambwe, op.cit., p. 428.
 Cfr. Filip Reyntjens, The New Geostrategic Situation in Central Africa, A Journal of Opinion, Vol. 26, No. 1, Central Africa in Crisis, ( 1998), p. 12. Also available in AFP, Kinshasa, July 20, 1997.
 Mel McNulty, The collapse of Zaire: implosion, revolution or external sabotage? in The Journal of Modern African Studies, 37, 1(1999), p.80.
 Cfr. Michael G. Schatzberg, Military Intervention and the myth of collective security: the case of Zaire, in The Journal of Modern African Studies, 27, 2 (1989), p.315.
 Peter J. Schrader, African International Relations, 2008, p. 155
 Mel McNulty, op.cit, p. 58 & 68.
 Mel McNulty, op.cit., p.69.
 Peter J. Schraeder, African International Relations, 2008, p. 177 ( see also Goldsborough, 1978).
 Mel McNulty, op.cit., p. 70.
 Mel McNulty, op.cit., p. 74.
 Stefaan Smis & Wamu Oyatambwe, op.cit., p. 423.
 Mel McNulty, op.cit., p. 80
 This same financial excuse will be used again in 2002 when the intercongolese dialogue decided by the UN security council in 1999 in Lusaka lacked financial support to hold the dialogue in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia as agreed by all the parties to the conflict. All the UN members who had pledged to fund the meeting disliked this venue and as a consequence they did not release the funds. The dialogue was suspended for nearly a month until South Africa alone volunteered, at its own expenses, to host the intercongolese dialogue in its resort beach of Sun City. Then the funds of the international donors were released afterwards and paid to the South African government.
 Cfr. Jordi Martoreli, capitalism, imperialism and the wars in Africa, London, October 9, 1998 : available at http://www.globalresearch.org)
 Entretien du 4 juillet 2003 avec le Conseiller Politique du Président du RCD/KIS-ML, M. KAMBALE BAHEKWA à Butembo par Paluku Vyasongya.
 Mel McNulty, op.cit, p. 55
 Cfr. Filip Reyntjens, op.cit, p. 12 ( quotation from AFP, Kinshasa, July 20, 1997.
 Mel McNulty, op.cit, p. 79.
 John Paul Lederach, Building Peace, Sustainable Reconciliation in divided societies, United States Institute of Peace Press, Washington, D.C., 1997, p. 137.
 Cfr. Thandika Mkandawire, The terrible toll of postcolonial rebel movements. Towards an explanation of the violence against the Peasantry, in Alfred Nhema & Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, The roots of African conflicts, The causes & costs, James Currey Ltd, 2008, p. 118.
 William Cyrus Reed, Protracted Patronage, Truncated Armed Struggle, and Political Consolidation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in A Journal of Opinion, Vol. 26, No. 1, Central Africa in Crisis. (1998), p. 18.
 Cfr. Jordi Martorell, capitalism, imperialism and the wars in Africa, London, October 9, 1998 in www.globalresearch.org. or www.marxist.com/Africa/Congo , p.1.
 Jordi Martorell, op.cit., p.1.