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Envoyé le : Vendredi 11 mai 2012 13h08
Objet : Actualités de l'est du pays
A displaced Congolese family carry their...
RD CONGO – Il faut éviter une « escalade du conflit » à l’est (ONU) – AFP via Afreeknews
Le secrétaire général adjoint aux droits de l’Homme de l’ONU Ivan Simonovic a souligné jeudi qu’il fallait éviter une « escalade du conflit » dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC), où l’armée combat des déserteurs ex-rebelles menés par le général Bosco Ntaganda.
« Je suis très préoccupé par les actes de violence récents qui résultent des défections », dont celles de soldats de l’ex-rébellion du Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP), intégrée dans l’armée en 2009 après des accords de paix, a déclaré M. Simonovic à Kinshasa, au dernier jour de sa visite en RDC.
« Nous devons tout mettre en oeuvre pour éviter une escalade du conflit », a-t-il ajouté, alors qu’a expiré l’ultimatum des Forces armées de la RDC (FARDC) aux mutins, que dirige pour partie le général Ntaganda, ex-chef d’état-major du CNDP en fuite près de la frontière avec le Rwanda.
L’officier supérieur est recherché par la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), et aussi par Kinshasa, qui le juge « responsable » des affrontements qui ont commencé le 29 avril dans la province instable du Nord-Kivu (est), surtout dans le territoire de Masisi, dont l’armée dit avoir repris le contrôle.
« Je suis encouragé par l’empressement des autorités de la RDC à agir contre Bosco Ntaganda », car cela signifie que dans les Nord et Sud Kivu, « tous les crimes seront poursuivis avec succès, peu importe l’auteur du crime », a précisé M. Simonovic.
« Il est très important que la sécurité soit restaurée dans les zones que les soldats rebelles ont quittées et que les civils soient protégés. (…) C’est d’autant plus important si on considère le mauvais passif de Bosco Ntaganda et de ses déserteurs en termes de droits humains », a-t-il insisté. Lire la suite sur Afreeknews.com
RDC : tirs entre armée et mutins à la frontière avec le Rwanda et l’Ouganda – AFP via Aufait Maroc
Des tirs ont éclaté jeudi soir entre l’armée et des mutins dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo, près de la frontière avec le Rwanda et l’Ouganda, où le général en fuite Bosco Ntaganda s’est retranché avec ses hommes, a-t-on appris de sources militaires.
« Des combats entre FARDC (Forces armées) et mutins se passent en ce moment à Runyiony, où il y a des tirs à l’arme lourde », a déclaré à l’AFP vers 22h00 (20h00 GMT) un mutin ex-membre de l’ancienne rébellion du Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP), dont le général Ntaganda était le chef d’état-major.
« Nous suivons de près la situation à Runyiony et les affrontements se poursuivent », a confirmé à l’AFP un colonel des FARDC servant à Goma, la capitale de la province instable du Nord-Kivu, théâtre depuis le 29 avril d’affrontements entre soldats loyalistes et déserteurs ex-CNDP.
Les heurts ont provoqué des déplacements de populations à Bunagana, non loin de Runyiony. « Certaines personnes commençaient à venir à Bunagana, mais là même ceux qui ne voulaient pas quitter leur maison sont partis », a déclaré à l’AFP un habitant de cette localité. Lire la suite sur Aufaitmaroc.com
Dissident Congo Colonel Says His Men Won't Disarm
By EDMUND KAGIRE Associated Press
KIGALI, Rwanda May 11, 2012 (AP)
A group of Congolese soldiers who created a rebel group after defecting from the army have no intention of laying down their weapons despite an ultimatum from the government and the expiration of a cease-fire with the military, one of their leaders said Thursday.
Col. Innocent Kaina spoke by telephone from his stronghold of Masisi in northeastern Congo. Thousands of people have fled Masisi and its neighboring provinces after Congo's military launched an offensive on April 29 against the defectors. The five-day cease-fire expired Wednesday.
"We will not look back," Kaina told The Associated Press. "They had said we should put down our guns, but we didn't. We still have guns and are ready to fight whoever attacks us."
The soldiers that led the mutiny belong to the former CNDP rebel group, whose fighters signed a peace deal on March 23, 2009, agreeing to be integrated into the Congolese army.
That deal has come to embarrass Congo's government because the CNDP's ex-leader, Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes allegedly committed by his men against villagers in eastern Congo. He has been allowed to live freely despite the international arrest warrant, and to enjoy the rank of general in the regular army.
Ntaganda's soldiers began to defect from the army in early April, charging that the government had failed to hold up its end of the March 23 peace accord. The defections turned into a full-blown mutiny when Congo surprised the world and announced that the military would arrest Ntaganda.
A displaced Congolese family carry their belongings on the road between Rutshuru and Goma, after the village of Kibumba was occupied by an armed militia consisting of current or former members of the "National Congress for the Defence of the People", according to those fleeing, in Congo Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Mutinous soldiers formerly from the armed militia "National Congress for the Defence of the People" and linked to Congolese ex-general Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted for alleged war crimes by the International Criminal Court, say they have formed a new rebel group called the "March 23 Movement", led by a colonel who was formerly the No. 2 in the army under Ntaganda. (AP Photo/Marc Hofer) Close
The mutinous soldiers have fled into the bush, where they regrouped, issuing a press release on the letterhead of the former CNDP, saying that they had launched a new rebel group, called the M23 — for March 23, in reference to the date of the 2009 peace treaty.
Kaina is one of several high-ranking army officers leading the defectors. The new group claims to have no link to Ntaganda.
The colonel said he had helped create the new faction to protect "his people" from rapes and killings by Congolese forces. Like the former CNDP, the M23 is dominated by fighters from the Tutsi ethnicity. Kaina spoke just hours after the government's cease-fire elapsed.
"Our mission is to protect our people from the rapes, looting and killings by (Congolese President Joseph) Kabila's forces. We are not looking back," Kaina said, denying that the rebels have lost ground to government forces.
Over the weekend, the military claimed it had won back from the rebels the areas of Masisi, Mushaki and Rutshuru. They also claimed that the rebels had been pushed into the mountainous Virunga National Park, toward the Uganda-Rwanda border.
"We haven't lost any ground. We still have our stronghold. As we talk, I am in Masisi. They cannot be stronger than us," Kaina said, claiming that he has some 6,000 men under his command.
Asked about the whereabouts of Ntaganda, Kaina said he didn't know. "You should ask the government, I thought that he is a government soldier," Kaina said, in an effort to dispel rumors that the two are connected.
The dissident colonel also claims that his group is recruiting more fighters ready to take on government forces. Congolese army spokesman Sylvester Ekenge could not immediately be reached for comment.
The new claims by the rebels signal more trouble for volatile eastern Congo, as more people continue to flee into neighboring Rwanda and Uganda. Kaina hinted that the current hostilities could blossom into a full-scale war, ending three years of relative peace in the troubled Central African nation.
According to United Nations figures, over 7,000 people, mainly Congolese Tutsis, have crossed into Rwanda fearing escalating violence, while about 8,000 crossed to neighboring Uganda.
Associated Press writer Saleh Mwanamilongo contributed to this report from Kinshasa, Congo.
Rwanda on alert: DRC violence could help Interahamwe rebels to regroup
By EDMUND KAGIRE (email the author)
Posted Thursday, May 10 2012 at 12:01
The recent violent clashes between forces loyal to rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda and the Congolese army in the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo could help the Rwandan rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda to regroup.
The Rwandan army is now pushing for dialogue between the two parties after holding talks with top Congolese military officials last week.
Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) which is mainly a group of Interahamwe who are remnants of the forces of former Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana had been weakened following two offensive attacks by both Rwandan and Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) army three years ago.
“Our concern is that when there is escalation of violence, the consequences spill over-once the Congolese are fighting amongst themselves, it creates an atmosphere for the FDLR to reorganize and reconstitute to destabilize Rwanda,” Col. Joseph Nzabamwita, the spokesman for the Rwandan army- Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) told The East African.
FDLR attacks on both Rwandan and DRC citizens living in Eastern Congo heightened in 2009 prompting two countries to launch a military offensive dubbed-operation Umoja Wetu between January and February 2009 and Amani Leo in April the same year.
The operation resulted into significant disruption of FDRL’s command with the death of at least 100 FDLR fighters and the surrender and repatriation to Rwanda of 390 more (out of a total of FDLR force of about 4,500) according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
It also freed over 500 captives from the rebels including women and children.
Following complete withdrawal of RDF troops from the Congolese territory after the operation, the two countries agreed to restore full diplomatic ties.
“We do not want the situation to go back to was it was in 2009,” Col. Nzabamwita said.
He added that the Rwandan government is pushing for dialogue to resolve the ongoing conflict as opposed to war.
“During the meeting our role was to encourage the DRC government to seek a political solution to the standoff other than using military forces. We would not want to see the FDLR who we had almost wiped out reorganize,” Col. Nzabamwita said without revealing further details of the talks.
This follows recent unrest and violent clashes in North and South Kivu provinces and in the Ituri district of north-eastern DR Congo between the Congolese army and soldiers loyal to the rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda who is wanted by the International Criminal court ( ICC) for war crimes.
The recent clashes have forced thousands of Congolese to flee into Rwanda from the fierce fighting with approximately over 6000 refugees received in Rwanda.
Some of the fighters loyal to General Bosco Ntaganda are former members of National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), which was integrated into the Congolese national army in 2009 following a peace deal with their leader.
From 2002-2005, General Ntaganda was chief of military operations for the Congolese the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) rebels, led by warlord Thomas Lubanga who in March became the first person to be convicted of war crimes by the ICC after finding him guilty of recruiting child soldiers.
However, in April, President Joseph Kabila vowed to arrest General Ntaganda citing absence of tangible results following peace agreement.
Pressure has also mounted on Mr Kabila’s government to handover General Ntaganda whose has over 20, 000 soldiers reintegrated in the Congolese army.