Yesterday I was talking about dark clouds hanging over Goma, warning that the president of the DRC still wants to wage war on the people. Here we go, since yesterday night, those commandos who have come from Kisangani have re-ignited the battle for Goma. Remember that I said these guys were keen to show they can win where Mamadou failed? I believe General Makenga isn't surprised and he is responding adequately to this latest provocation. However, this might not just be a provocation.
My point is, if we just look at things in retrospect since November 2012, we can recall that Makenga's fighters left Goma because the ICGLR heads of state made a statement aiming at bringing peace. The statement required different things from the adversaries and all requirements were to be fulfilled in order to allow talks in Kampala between the government of the DRC and the rebel movement. Makenga, interested in the peace and the reconstruction of the province fulfilled his part which consisted in withdrawing from Goma, handing the city to the UN forces, redeploying withing specific positions and abstaining from conquering more territories than he already controls. The DRC government part was to demilitarize the City of Goma and remove soldiers from there; deploy at Goma airport of a battalion composed of 3 companies: one from the FARDC, one from the M23 Movement, and one from the Neutral force initially suggested by ICGLR. We know that instead of this neutral force, the AU and the UN came up with the infamous Addis-Abeba framwork that let to the 2098 resolution. I have said many times, that this move curtailed badly the regional block (ICGLR) efforts to find local solutions to local problems. Both the AU and UN should take their part of blame in the peace process failure. If they had let the ICGLR deal with things, who knows what could have happened. Can't the ICGLR be left to take independent decisions and set up workable mechanisms? There was a third requirement, which was the fact that Kinshasa and the rebels had to sit together at the negotiation table. We are aware of how that ended.
1) The DRC never allowed the rebel contingent to be deployed at the airport. It has boycotted the negotiations repeatedly;
2) The DRC foreign affairs officials have repeatedly claimed that their government is neither bound nor committed to what the ICGLR statement stipulated;
3) Mamadou was sent to pave the way for FIB-MONUSCO-FDLR-FARDC to wipe out the rebel forces; he failed;
4) The best way of boycotting Kampala once and for all, in Kabila's view is to bring war again.
With the aim of a close follow up on what is about to happen, I wrote the 17th august and yesterday's postings. Now you can see how they culminate into the 4th point above. The reinforcement troupes from Kisangani and Minova are fighting the rebels since yesterday. May be they were encouraged by rumors in the global media that the rebel movement is on its back foot as Aljezeera said it last evening. Goma's population can hear the bombings. No statement has been issued by Kinshasa yet. But do not be surprised if the rebels' response is more than adequate to the situation. I might be able to post some SNIPETS from the front if I get them in course of events. We shall see who is on the back foot really.