Saturday, 31 August 2013


Someone seems to be applying wisdom even if it is in extremis. It looks like what I predicted happened: FARDC-FDLR launched attacks on the rebels. In terms of advantage in the battle, rebels are in a comfortable situation because of the ground where they are. Don't forget that, if a military force withdraws deliberately, it cannot not strategize accordingly knowing the type of adversary they are dealing with. The meanstream media will never tell you the DRC government was defeated in this new phase of a ridiculous escalation by this genocide coalition.

However, someone is using the voice of wisdom: I hear that ICGLR has announced an extraordinary summit on the security in Easter DRC on 5th September in Kampala. I don't remember how many times I have thought that this regional block should be given the chance to broker this difficult peace. 

The peace as such isn't difficult, it's the billion and a half USD that western powers invest in the MONUSCO nuisance that makes every move for peace almost impossible. And this block needs to keep in mind that France is still thirsty for tutsi blood as the excuse to plunder. Belgian, Americans, British and now Tanzanians and South-Africans are only too happy to ride the genocide train driven by France since the 1990s. This terrible agenda is a monumental obstacle for ICGRL. It can be removed only if the block stands its ground and becomes the main player. If we can't stand our ground the UN arrogance, which is cover for all those vultures, will compromise the future of the region very badly. I am then here hoping that with or without Kikwete, ICGRL is going to usher in a totally new approach by exerting the right pressure on Kinshasaand silence the UN weapons shedding our people's blood since the 1950s.

The latest I heard is that the rebels inflicted new losses to the criminal coalition attacks this afternoon in Kibati. And ICGRL has issued another statement calling for DRC and M23 to go back to the negotiations and conclude them, after examining, evaluating and resolving M23 grievances. It is the only way to end hostilities, but ending hostilities will ruin the UN gigantic bureaucracy and warmongers who feed on these conflicts like true parasites. So the wazee at ICGRL should prepare for a UN resistance to a cessation of hostility in the Kivu.


As I said last night that Mende would be over the moon, I should have added that the FARDC-FDLR too. It is so easy to see the hand of France in the whole mess in the Kivu. So this is what is happening now: the infamous coalition is in ongoing meetings at 3 Antennes planning how to go after Makenga's men. This is actually one of the things I predicted last night. The question is whether they will resist bringing the UN again on board. There are no civilians in the forest around the Nyiragongo foothills. 

Strictly speaking, if MONUSCO was to do its "claimed" job, it should not interfere in the battle the FARDC-FDLR are planning. I know that at first this coalition was not willing to go after the rebels. They were saying that the rebels are probably preparing an ambush of some sorts, but the tone of voice in Kinshasa is pushing them for war. Don't be surprised if that's what they do exactly between today and tomorrow. At their own risk though, we should say. 

In the meantime, some hackers traceable to South-Africa have hacked into Soleil du Graben and Congodrcnews website, in a bid to silence anyone who gives people the chance to know the other side of the story. And we talk about the era of freedom of speech as a human right. It is proving to be a right only for the criminal UN and its allies!

Friday, 30 August 2013


In the end it always pays to wait and see. I could not give any update for just bad luck with time and a heated debate with my students on some interesting ideas they come up with. When you are teaching about 200 guys aged between 20 and 22, time for everything becomes quite short. But time to follow up on our vultures moves around the conflicts in Eastern DRC must be found. Here is the picture I can draw from well connected sources. As we left things yesterday, France had called an urgent meeting of the UN security council. French voices at the UN SC were quick to endorse the lies MONUSCO has spread about M23 bombs shelling Rwanda, while FDRC said Rwanda shelled Goma, etc... The total imbroglio meant to confuse the weak people of the poor DRC. It even seems that sanctions against Col. Mboneza and Kazarama were in the offing. All this because France beloved allies in the DRC, i.e. FDLR were not managing to achieve their real aim of being in the coalition FIB-MONUSCO-FDLR-FARDC, quick enough. However two other major reasons for the French haste to pressure the UN SC were: 

1) From the moment the UN forces decided to fight Makenga's fighters directly, so far these mercenaries have lost 9 Tanzanian soldiers, with 12 from the same country quite injured; the pretentious SANDF has lost 11 soldiers and 13 wounded. While in Goma they have tried to conceal the information either to avoid pressure from their respective countries or avoid demoralising the rest, in New York they were quick to focus on the bombings. Obviously with the same aim: they cannot allow this weakness of their FIB show so blatantly. 

2) I am not minimising the bombings: in New York they are know too well that the DRC is run by an absentee president who is only too happy to let the UN run the country for him. Remember the Punishment fiercely asserted by Martin Kobler? I know he has changed his tone since then. Nonetheless, he knows the gravity of bombing Rwanda by FARDC. Because saying FARDC, today, is saying UN and FDLR committed together to the destabilisation of the Great Lakes region. Everybody knows that FLDR col. "Napoleon" and his colleague and friend "Omega" are closely working in Goma under Mamadou. In New York they are aware of the fact that military experts from different military diplomatic missions can establish very well who shelled who and from where. And this will incriminate the UN as well as tie it evidently to the genocide agenda supported by the Western power and their stooge Kikwete in the region.

The above reasons explain why Edmond Mule, sorry Mulet (I could not help but be tickled by such a name) could not get neither a new resolution nor new sanctions. Even if he is a French and probably hates Rwanda and the Tutsis from the DRC, I am sure he understands the gravity of 30 bombs in a week shelled into Rwanda by FARDC. He knows his boss Ladsous fails every time to condemn FARDC and FDLR atrocities, but to let them provoke Rwanda in this arrogant manner is never going to work in favour of the UN. Their Expert' reports cannot hold any credibility here anymore.

On the other hand, the commandant in chief of the rebels is showing better standards in all this. He has shown he is in this not for the sake of war, but for the sake of peace. In order to allow space for investigations into the origin of the bombings and avoid Monusco false accusations that he is advancing beyond the territory his movement controls, he has voluntarily left Kanyaruchinya. Lambert Mende must have been over the moon since he could make his people believe the rebels were retreating defeated. Terrible mistake: Mende, and Kabila for that matter should know that like in November 2012, M23 withdrew from Goma for the sake of peace, not defeated. It has withdrawn from Kanyaruchinya deliberately. Make no mistake Mende, it can come back as soon as your fancy coalition of criminals tries attacking them again. Makenga is consistent in showing his commitment to peace, which does not mean he is not going to reclaim what is due to his cause as soon as that what is needed. Mende you have sung victory before the war too often. And you should know the weakness of both your government and your UN walking stick: working with criminals, no victory can come from there. Remember that soldiers from the 8th military region and the 10th have run away to Bukavu and that what prompted Kabila to bring in guys from KIsangani.

Now that Makenga has vacated Kanyaruchinya, who is taking over? FDLR-FARDC? They shouldn't since that is not their territory. The UN? If it is going there to square off issues with M23, anything can happen. The patience Rwanda has shown is quite remarkable: I am impressed they are not responding to the UN provocation with the bombing. DRC should not expect the same patience from Makenga if Kanyaruchinya is abused by the terrible coalition.
Finally I'll repeat something I already said a couple of days ago? When will the M23 political team stop talking about Kampala? Neither Kabila nor his allies at the UN are interested in talks. 

Thursday, 29 August 2013


C'est un tout petit billet de Jeune Afrique qui le dit depuis cet après midi: Il fallait s'y attendre une fois qu'il devenait clair que la coalition FIB-MONUSCO-FDLR-FARDC repète ses échecs en essayant de déloger les rebelles. Attendez-vous aussi à voir une autre résolution du CS favorisant cette coalition criminelle. Mais tout cela demeurera vain comme l'ONU est elle-même vaine. Je complète ce billet dans la soirée. En attendant, vous pouvez être surs que l'urgence que veut la France au CS est motivée par ceci: les morts et les blessés de l'ONU dans les attaques que l'ONU a commencées sont un débacle humiliant. Ils veulent courcicuiter les medias, empêcher le public de saisir la portée de ce débacle. Au moins un certain nombre des FARDC ont eu le courage d'être capturés. Il vaut mieux sauver sa peau que mourir, car il y a plus à faire dès que l'on réussit à museler la soif guerrière et de Kabila et de la France par son ONU interposée ou pas.


His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta' speech:


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome Your Excellencies and your distinguished delegations toKenya’s Port City of Mombasa. We are greatly honoured to host the second Infrastructure Summit. I want to begin by commending each one of you for the diligence with which you ensured that the tasks assigned to you at the inaugural June Summit hosted by President Museveni were accomplished.

The commitment that has so far been demonstrated is as a result of our collective desire to grow our economies  and improve the quality of life of our  people. Since it is our stated commitment  to accelerate  integration through enhanced movement of  people, goods and services across our borders, it is my hope that the symbolism of hosting the summit at the Gateway to Eastern and Central Africa will not be lost.

The Port of Mombasa is our common resource. That is made abundantly clear by looking at the data on movement of  goods  into and out of the port. Some 30% of the 22 million tons of cargo handled in 2012 was destined for transit. As our economies grow, the demand for more efficient transport and communications has never been greater. And we are here because we are alive to that.

We are here to strengthen our coordination in the work we are doing together. We are here because we know that the one thing that can slow down our improving performance is inadequate infrastructure. We know that no country in the world has been able to maintain 7 per cent growth and above on a sustainable basis unless it dealt with infrastructure bottlenecks. We are here because we know that together, we can and we will get the work done. Without expanded infrastructure, the demands of maturing economies on existing facilities present a growing logistical challenge which loads unnecessary costs to taxpayers and consumers.

I am gratified that Your Excellencies share a common vision to catalyse the momentum of regional growth through deliberate actions to anticipate challenges. Our prosperity and security increasingly feature mutual opportunities as well as challenges. The imperative to integrate has never been greater. The readiness with which Your Excellencies have risen to challenges of our time is gratifying and bodes well for the region’s prospects.

At the Uganda Summit, several key matters were extensively discussed. Among them were the development of rail infrastructure in the region, the development of two oil pipelines,enhanced energy production and distribution, implementation of a Single Tourist Visa regime and the strengthening of the Single Customs Territory. Just as the imperative to integrate has been inevitable, the realisation that the scope of this project is dictated by unavoidable dynamics impelled us to welcome Burundi and South-Sudan into these discussions.

Your Excellencies, it is now clear that the key to managing regional challenges is the quick and clear realisation that we share one common destiny, and that working together on as many issues as possible offers superior opportunities to realise our aspirations. After Kampala, there have been seven meetings at various levels during which aspects of the Kampala Communique were clarified, developed and implemented. I am delighted to observe the solid progress made and the level of commitment that each partner State has invested towards the realisation of the resolutions.

Your Excellencies, My Government was assigned the task of spearheading the Action Point on Enhancement of Electricity Generation and Distribution as well as the development of two regional pipelines to carry finished products between Eldoret-Kampala-Kigali and crude between Uganda-Kenya-South Sudan. I am happy to report as follows. Regarding the first Point, we have generated a report presenting several possibilities on regional energy generation and distribution. This report contains proposals on the best means of exploiting electricity resources within each partner State, including such alternatives as nuclear, geo-thermal and other forms of renewable energy. I urge Your Excellencies to consider the recommendations in the context of moving our region towards energy self-sufficiency.

Your Excellencies,

In connection with the development of the oil pipelines, we are happy to report that the first phase of developing the Eldoret-Kampala-Kigali pipeline is on course, with the initial portion currently undergoing bid evaluation while the terms of reference for the feasibility study in relation to the second portion are now complete. We look forward to further discussions on the second phase of the pipeline project. Our ministers have deliberated in commendable detail the procurement and financing options for the Kampala-Kigali segment.

I urge Your Excellencies to consider the model that offers the best returns for the region, saves implementation time without compromising competitiveness or required standards. I have noted with great appreciation the steps taken in implementing the Single Customs Territory. In particular, I applaud member states' revenue authorities for interfacing their customs systems. The result is a seamless flow of information required to ease cargo clearance at first port of entry and payment of port charges. Equally important is the authorities' ongoing dialogue to streamline the evolved processes in order to cover loopholes and prevent losses arising from abuse.

Excellencies, the task we have embarked on is enormous. But I hope you will agree with me that heavy work is mitigated by steady progress. As long as our unity is bearing fruit, we will remain inspired to move forward boldly and quickly. As we review the status of the other decisions taken in Kampala, I want to assure Your Excellencies of Kenya's unstinting commitment to see them through. It will become necessary from time to time to set new objectives, and I am confident that this will only make our common vision easier to achieve. As I conclude, allow me to thank you all once again for being here, ready to work, and wish you fruitful deliberations. 

Let me also urge you to tour this city, which is steeped in history.

Thank you very much and God bless you

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


That horrendous coalition of FIB-MONUSCO-FDLR-FARDC is loosing again, the UN loosing some more of their own ( I wonder for how long will the media take to report on that. But what would be really interesting would be for the rebels to capture some of those victims of pretentious Zuma and Kikwete alive, and have the media see them. The rebels don't blackout the media! And I believe it might happen, may be in a few hours. How do you know the horrendous coalition has failed? You judge by their shameless bombing of Goma: desperate move, because they know the State Department and Martin Kobler as well as the Ken Roth of this world will be quick to accuse the rebels.

People in Goma are telling me at this very moment that bombs have been dropped close to the cemetery, even by the old slaughterhouse. These UN mercenaries with their genocidaires have done more than that. It seems that 15 of their bombs targeted Rwanda. And of course you will hear the US state department confirming to you that it is M23. But we know what they are after: they want, at all cost, to provoke Rwanda into this mess they've created. Which I hope won't happen, but can they abuse of the patience of Rwanda indefinitely? This is an intentional mess meant to achieve many objective including bringing FDLR in a position to caress their ambition of destabilizing Rwanda.

All this fits perfectly in Kabila and the international community's effort to boycott any political and diplomatic solution to Eastern DRC problem. If I were the political team of M23, I'd stop talking about Kampala, it was never meant to get anywhere, otherwise Kobler would never have been speaking of punishment. It is important for that team to understand and speak the language Kinshasa and allies want to use. Today the population in Goma has understood this, they have gone quiet because they understood that anything can happen, any moment. When will the so called international community come to its senses if it ever has any?

Small detail, not from the front, but from the EAC: a high powered summit on Economic Infrastructure is taking place in Mombasa, with good and achievable plans such as Kenya spearheading the oil pipeline and energy component, Uganda spearheading the railways infrastructure and Rwanda spearheading Customs harmonisation, common visa and EAC citizens' ID. Guess who was the East African missing this important rendez-vous? Jakaya Kikwete, ha. No problem, these other guys, if they want they can without him, they did not look bothered by his absence, but then he must be busy with his US and SA connections to think East Africa. Next summit will be in Kigali in October, no time to waste.


It is clear, they want to appease the population in Goma. They know that as long as they are bombarding, the population won't be burning their vehicles any longer. How were this morning's attacks prepared? First let's specify where: at Mubambiro, those sides of Sake where the Tanzanian contingent of FIB is based. This is what happened there: a meeting between FARDC-FDLR and the Tanzanians was held to discuss how to attack Mutaho, Rusayo and Kanyaruchinya. It is quite interesting to think they have been at it since May and still have not managed to do much. So today they must have come with a more aggressive plan. Hence the bombs. Definitely, the UN is looking for a name change as it sinks further in this criminal business conducted with FDLR. This is not how Goma will be defended, the UN is defending its employees jobs, not the population.

If the UN was defending the population, it would not be indulging in these bombings which have proven to be futile in fighting Makenga's men, but instead have made casualties in the civilian populations, exactly in the same way that FARDC did in Rumagabo last month. And worse, in case these bombs are a threat to the neighbouring country as the Joint Mechanism of Evaluation has shown earlier. In Kinshasa, they are just happy to hear the colaition is bombing their enemy, but they don't care about the real picture of what is happening. Is it today that this criminal coalition is signaling the time for the support stationed in Kanyabayonga to come in? It is too early to tell. We need to wait and see what and when the bombing will be over, because it does stop, but the battle continues and that when we'll see who has the upper hand. 

Do not expect anyone to condemn the UN for starting attacks. If we were told yesterday that the Military branch of Monusco is against its political branch, from the situation on the ground, we can tell who of the two camps won. Is it Martin Kobler "punishment" that won against Robinson "political dialogue"? And to think that Kobler has the support of the new US representative in these parts (Russel D. Feingold), you can draw your conclusion on who does not want to hear about our people's freedom. 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013


The coalition MONUSCO-FDLR-FIB-FARDC has failed in their latest effort to wipe out Makenga's fighters. And the intoxicated population is still happy about them because the fighters are not seizing Goma. They all forget that the target for these fighters, rather than just seize Goma, is to tackle the political problems plaguing the region and in the worst manner since the two Kabilas regimes. But wait until the population discovers how many FIB soldiers have been killed on the Kanyaruchinya front. I hear of 10 South-Africans and 8 Tanzanians. Of course neither the UN nor the DRC government would tell you that. Instead, it seems that they have flown the bodies to Kinshasa. Is it to get better flight connection for repatriating them, or it to avoid the Tanzanian and South-African people wrath at these useless deaths. 

I am sure Monusco's boss or the spokesman will update us  on this with a different version altogether. Anyway, we don't expect anything good from these guys. In the meantime, the support dispatched from Kisangani (20 trucks of soldiers and weapons) who were supposed to synchronize their attacks with those of the coalition MONUSCO-FDLR-FIB-FARDC has been stopped. You will recall that the strategy was this: FARDC-FDLR to throw bombs into Goma to get MONUSCO-FIB engaged in the battle; once this is underway, when Makenga's fighters pull back into the territory they control, the support from Kisangani would enter the fight from Rwindi to get Makenga's men sandwiched and automatically defeated. Now things have turned the other way round despite the US and the UN support for the UN negative forces in the Kivu. Makenga's guys are holding their ground, inflicting losses to the criminal coalition. Those from Kisangani are now afraid and they have been intructed to pull back from Rwindi and are stationed in Kanyabayonga. Obviously they know what's expects them in Mabenga if they try advancing. And definitely no coalition will be helping them from the Kanyaruchinya front. Will catch up later on more details. Let's hold a minute of silence for the Tanzanians and South-Africans who died serving Kabila and the UN macchiavelic plans.

My, my, oh my, here, I just found what Martin Kobler said: Does this mean the man has understood the absurdity of the International community in this whole matter? The article is quite hilarious, isn't it? What can be seeing behind all this madness is that no one dares to force Kabila to negotiate when they know that's the only way of getting out of this rut. I have to appreciate the change of tone in Mr Kobler language: from fiercely wanting to punish Makenga's men to: «...C’est exactement ma position ici, et je consulte très étroitement Mme Robinson. Hier, on a téléphoné quatre fois et je suis tout à fait d’accord avec Mary Robinson. Ce conflit peut être résolu seulement par la politique. Pour avoir une solution à long terme, il faut avoir une solution politique. Par exemple, les entretiens de Kampala sont en cours.» Don't be shocked if you hear that Monusco now is divided in two camps, the belligerent camp, that wants war at all cost - no war no jobs; and the ones who might have changed their mind like Kobler himself and want a political solution. My goodness, we need so much patience with these useless games. If they are divided, that can't hurt us, can it?

And did you know Shoke was quizzed over SANDF soldiers preparedness to fight a war instead of keeping peace?: Clearly we are not the only ones who think these soldiers are out of place. What did the SA government expect? Send them to war and hope they won't die? Welcome to the club, but our own are dying for a noble cause, what about theirs?

Monday, 26 August 2013


That is the strategy of the International Community around the conflict in the Kivu. This declaration is a perfect picture of the incoherence deliberately purported by the complexity of Western powers interests in Kabila's war against our people. Judge by yourself all the contradictions in here: Don't miss the contradiction with yesterday's call by American senators to find a political solution, when it is well known that Kabila is not going to Kampala. You will notice that Monusco-Fib-Fardc-Fdlr did no wrong. The press release above is something close to what in French we call "larmes de crocodile". Before a serious situation involving the UN crimes alongside fdlr, the State department has nothing else to say but condemn M23 and call it to desarm. Ha, why are we not surprised?

This afternoon,  with renewed combats, Mr. Kobler who yesterday was talking about punishing M23 fighters (, is saying that it is Kinshasa's government duty to protect the population. Can we get anymore chaotic? Wasn't Monusco and Fib doing just that when they led the carnage they stopped because they could see how futile their display was? One thing is certain, whether the International Community likes it or not, whether the US state department acknowledges it or not, the UN legitimacy has been compromised (, and it is a matter of time: we shall see it covered with the dark volcanic dust of our beloved land. 

We should not complain about the confusion, because the more the enemy lies, practically the better, these lies will backfire at some point. In the mean time, what all Kabila allies are not saying is that some the sons of these continent Zuma and Kikwete have sent to fight have lost their lives. The mainstream media will not allow you to know how south-Africans might be feeling about this whole mess, only a few months after the Seleka debacle in CAR. I hope those who lost their own will be allowed to mourn and that the opposition down there will ask pertinent questions to Zuma's boys.

Sunday, 25 August 2013


So the latest buzz is that 6 American Senators have passed through Goma today and now they could be in Kigali. Of course we have heard the slogan before: a political solution to the Kivu conflict. So why should it be the best when proposed by American senators, but not painstakingly worked out by Makenga's men? Distraction. They are here only to allow Kabila to mock the patience both of the rebels and the people. Why didn't they condemn MONUSCO and FIB association with FDLR-FARDC coalition? We have known for a long time the extent of the hypocritical Western powers whether under the UN colors or their individual country colors. Have you heard the two positions of great contradiction between Mary Robinson and the German guy heading the Monusco? What about the arrogance of the brésilian general? I shudder to think that Monusco is headed by a German. 

Anyway, I am talking about american senators, but I seem to have only questions tonight. Why did they have to go to Kigali after Goma? The UN is at war with M23 on behalf of Kabila, it is not at war with Kigali. After all the vile accusations against Rwanda by these same Western powers why would they combine a trip to Goma and one to Kigali? If they want M23 and Kinshasa to go back to Kampala, the most indicated destination should have been Kampala. Whatever their motives, they should know that enough is enough. Kinshasa has abused M23 good faith for far too long a time. If these guys should be talking to someone, it should be to Joseph Kabila to make him admit he will never win this war. But then, if they go to meet him, they'll probably promise to send him more UN forces to carry out the West's unfinished business in the Great Lakes, the one they started in the 1990s. The resistance on the part of our people looks like it has just started, given the might of our formidable enemies: those supporting Kabila in his belligerent and criminal record against the Kivu.

Saturday, 24 August 2013


Those who remember the fall of Siad Barré in Somalia in 1991 and what the UN together with the USA forces did in that country, can now have a picture of what MONUSCO and the FIB are undertaking in Goma. All these years, the UN has worked hard with the Western powers to transform the Kivu into the lawless and stateless land, with an active involvement of Joseph Kabila and his cronies. At this very moment, they are about to achieve their target. However, they have always underestimated the determination  of the sons and daughters of this land who are ready to die for it. A good number have already shed their own blood. And before we record for ourselves and our future generation the UNITED NATIONS'CRIMES against the Kivu people, let us just hold a minute of silence for the brave who have already given their lives for our freedom, the freedom of our land. Since the war is going on and we do not have time to mourn them just as yet, we however can, with our hearts silently sing our heroes vying to fight to the end this battle. It is the best homage we can pay them. In the same vein, we remember those who were brutally massacred. Not long ago we remembered the ones in Gatumba, in June we remembered Koko Denis Ntare. We also remember those fighting hidden battles: the families in IDP camps, refugees, and those in Goma who are facing the wrath of Paluku Kahongya with his civil society men. Among those fighting hidden battles we cannot fail to mention Laurent Nkunda in his prison in Rwanda.

As I was saying, the UN has planned and since 1999, tried to execute a plan of transforming the Kivu into a chaos. With the SUN City failure Nkunda stood up in 2004 to try and correct the Topsy-torvy direction that such mighty powers have imposed on our people. Since then, those same powers have not succeeded in their nasty effort because of the awakening of those who do not fear to defend their freedom in the corrupt quagmire that the DRC has become and more so with Joseph Kabila. The situation has reached a point where, Western Powers have chosen the worse alternative to achieve their goals. This alternative was unleashed yesterday when the United Nations decided to combat openly alongside FARDC-FDLR coalition. We knew it was going to happen, only we did not know how and at which precise moment. They have played into Joseph Kabila's hand beautifully. I wonder what Katumba Mwanke would say of this evolution of things:

1) After Mamadou previous failure and Kabila's boycott of the Kampala talks, we saw how the so called civil society was called in to send the population to the street so that they can demand war against Makenga's men. Who wasn't admitting defeat? The population of Kinshasa? 

2) Civil society in North Kivu works hand in hand with Julien Paluku, the infamous governor of the province: they did push for the war. When at the first attempt they realized Makenga's fighters held their ground, they tried another simultaneous move: demand from FARDC to launch bombs against civilians in a bid to bring the UN to enter the battle. Mind you, no human rights organisation has yet said anything about the horrendous attack on the civilians in Goma. The simultanoeus move was to call the population again to demonstrate against the UN to pressure them further. I hear that today they burnt two MONUSCO vehicles. I said, oh they should burn them all.

3) The above worked to perfection because MONUSCO and FIB came into battle yesterday, but instead of wiping the rebel fighters, we can confirm today that these same rebels have advance further.

4) What is Paluku doing now? Calling the population to loot, like FARDC and burn businesses suspected or known to belong to Congolese tutsis. Here we go again, when the coalition FARDC-FDLR-MONUSCO-FIB fail in their battle against the rebels, then Congolese activists and Kabila cronies recur to their infaillible tactic: xenophobia. We all know it so well. If you follow any utterances of a guy who goes by the name of Thomas d'Aquin, you'll understand what I mean.

What can we conclude from here? That the UN is in an all out war against our people; that it is following in that the provocation of FARDC-FDLR coalition, provocation that has reached a point of no return by now. The rebels are not bound to stick to the positions they were holding as a pre-requisite for the Kampala talks. The intervention of the UN is one more reason over too many others for the rebels not to allow anyone to ask them to turn back. The UN and Kinshasa have wanted this, they will get it. It is a question of honor and dignity, a refusal to allow the true negative forces funded by foreign powers to keep our people in a chaotic situation. This continent has no need for new Somalias around here. Cheers to the Vijana fighting these UN criminals working with génocidaire forces.

Friday, 23 August 2013


Last night I could not give any SNIPETS from the front only because I have no airtime on my modem, that's the life of a teacher, always broke, ha! However, at the start of this Friday, I can only say what you already know: that the coalition FDLR-FARDC were defeated again by Makenga's fighters. Some started running away again as usual, but I believe they might be afraid of the population of Goma now because they keep promising them victory, which isn't coming by just as yet. They did not find any other solution than start dropping bombs into Goma: anyone who knows the town is aware that "Les deux Lampes" is at the heart of the estate called Majengo. What's wrong with FARDC-FDLR? Always making the population suffer for their repeated defeats? 

Let's try and understand why they did that. FARDC-FDLR know too well that the UN is a staunch ally of Joseph Kabila. FDLR and FARDC always count on the fact that those over 6000 UN forces  (FIB and MONUSCO combined) crowding Goma, Sake and who knows where else, are there to support them. So, when their commandants decided to bomb Majengo Estate, aware that Makenga's men are not there, it was in a bid to draw the UN forces into the battle. When they decided to bomb parts of Rwanda, it was in a bid to draw this country into the conflict, very much wanting to see Ken Roth jump unto their move to accuse Rwanda again. 

What did this criminal move achieve? Neither the UN nor Rwanda have been dragged into the mess. I do hope that the UN, FIB and MONUSCO together are not foolish to give in to such childish scheming  by FARDC-FDLR. But let's assume that Kabila and his UN allies have planned this strategy. If they did, then we are likely to see these possible scenarii:

1) FIB and MONUSCO give in to FARDC-FDLR scheming and they use all their military might to fight Makenga. The underlying motive for the UN to do this, as you know is not to just fight Makenga, but also to allow terrorists attempting to destabilize the neighbouring countries to do their dirty job. That is where the UN will be starting a regional war, which will be a greater catastrophe than their supervised genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and their supervised destruction of the Kivu since 1999. I do hope that Mary Robinson is aware of this and is calculating either the benefits her bosses will be reaping, or the total disgrace of the organisation she represents and that has failed the Congo since the early days of the independence. I hope that by now she knows she represents an organisation that sends mercenaries to the DRC calling them peace keeping missions.

2) This strategy fails, in the improbable case where the UN forces refuse to be dragged in the FARDC-FDLR defeats. This should be the moment of the truth, when instead of supporting Kabila in his belligerent stubbornness, the UN forces him to once and for all discuss the political solutions proposed by the Movement Makenga has built up against all odds. 

There is a third possibility that should be the best of all: that the ICGLR block takes this opportunity to show the world how a regional block can be the best peace broker by standing its ground, despite Kikwete's inclination to flirt with everyone supporting local terrorists known as FDLR, with the disguise of the UN support. The population of the Kivu, especially that in Goma, our people in IDP camps and those we have at the mercy of UNHCR can tell Kikwete how useless the UN is in the DRC. If ICGLR is given the chance to handle this matter, even Kabila will be better off, but the Congolese people are tired of him. We have no alternative but wait and see what happens next.

Thursday, 22 August 2013


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.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


This gentleman puts it quite clearly: Kabila and his mentors are looking for a way of preparing his reelection into power and a distraction of the people from focusing on his failure particularly around Goma. We can actually say that these consultations are his last life-saver in power. However he cannot prepare them properly knowing the dark clouds over Goma are still there and getting darker. He cannot lie to anyone that he will get his adversaries to buy into his idea of consultations because they know those consultations are not about re-settling our people in the Kivu, those who are in IDP camps and those who are outside the country. North-Kivu fighters know that Kabila's consultations are not about rebuilding the ultra-dilapidated infrastructure: road, hospitals, schools, even markets. Indeed, the only roads known in the east of the DRC are those built by the belgians in colonial times. You can imagine what they have become after the FDLR  settlement in the Kivu by the United Nations and Mobutu. 

A few days ago, I warned that we might hear soon the ugly sound of weapons because our dearest president knows no other language. But there is some cacophony in his camp. His soldiers, commanded by the now famous Mamadou, failed to defeat Makenga's freedom fighters.  Actually Mamadou, according to credible sources, has fallen out of Kabila's favor because he precisely failed in that mission, which was meant to save the face of the rais. Now, the rais has called in forces from Kisangani. I talked about 20 trucks of soldiers who arrived in Rwindi last week. They are supposed to defend the front of Lubero, Kanyabayonga and Rwindi. Now more have arrived from Kisangani by plane and have landed in Goma. This commandant called Basile, who was in Minova, has also been instructed to bring down to Goma his battalion. However, things are not as smooth as they sound. The troupes, earlier commanded by Mamadou have been trained by the Chinese, are being accused by the new comers of having done nothing. Who trained the new comers? The belgians in Kisangani, see some coincidence with Reynders visit? Now these belgian trained FARDC are fighting with the Chinese trained ones. Basile's battalion, at the moment, has lost its commander because he has been accused of somehow sympathizing with Makenga's cause. He has been kicked out. His battalion isn't amused. Te result is that we have on the Goma front 3 different FARDC, equally disgruntled about each other. And those are the ones Joseph Kabila has put together to protect teh City fearing it could be run over by Makenga's fighters.

Why over-militarize Goma once again? The rais is afraid of a successful attempt to seize Goma now, which could complicate, jeohopardize his life-saver operation "consultations". The question is, of which use is the over-militarization of Goma without a commandant? I say this because Mamadou is right now a persona non grata to Kabila. And to my knowledge, no other commandant has been appointed. FARDC always run before their adversary when they have commandants. What will they do without a specified order of commandment? May be the rais will come to command his men in person. We shall see. In the mean time, we know his consultations are not about peace and much less development of our people.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


Title: African Initiative on Mining Review Conference opens 
Author: Yao Graham 
Category: Resource Extraction 
Date: 8/15/2013 
Source: African Initiative on Mining Environment and Society Review 
Source Website: Ghanaweb 

Summary & Comment: The global economic community has been saying that economies are rising in Africa; true, exports of mineral and other resources continue high. However much of that goes to the management and shareholders of TNC's; local costs of food are higher, also personal costs of living - petrol, electricity etc. "is sponoring this conference It brings together 40 representatives of CSO's and key social constituencies from across Africa to develop common perspectives on the challenges of realizing the African Mining Vision. It is on the theme: "The Africa Mining Vision: From Promise to Realization"." There is mixed support for the Vision as put forward and adopted by the AU. It attempts to keep more of fruits of mining in the producing country. JK 

The commodity dependence of most African countries has intensified, despite claims of remarkable economic performance in recent times, Dr Yao Graham, Coordinator of the Third World Network Africa, has said.
Addressing participants at the 14th Review and Strategy Conference of African Initiative on Mining Environment and Society (AIMES), Dr Graham said amidst the deafening rhetoric that Africa is rising; most countries on the continent continue to reel under unfavourable economic conditions. "The economies of most countries on the continent are fragile and this is going side by side with the deafening rhetoric that Africa was rising," he said, at the opening session of the conference.

Increased global demand for minerals, the accompanying price rises and growing mining investments have led to the growth in exports and earnings and resultant economic growth in mineral producing African countries.
The three-day AIMES conference seeks to broaden consensus for a re-orientation of policies for structural transformation of Africa's economies. The AIMES is a pan-African network of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) working on mining and development issues since 1998, and brings together a broad spectrum of groups working on different aspects of mining and development, focusing on the theme of mining's role in Africa's development.
It brings together 40 representatives of CSO's and key social constituencies from across Africa to develop common perspectives on the challenges of realizing the African Mining Vision. It is on the theme: "The Africa Mining Vision: From Promise to Realization".

The objectives of the conference is to increase members' knowledge of the content of status and processes around ongoing mining reform agenda at various levels; define an advocacy agenda and strategy for the network, in respect of the AMV reform agenda, and agree ways of strengthening AIMES and enhancing its outreach to other networks and constituencies. Dr Graham said besides the falling commodity prices on the international market, contract secrecy in the mining sector was a major hindrance to harnessing resources for development.
There is also the problem of poor management of resources, he said. Dr Graham said Africa's economies should escape from their raw material commodity export dependence, a feature which has been accentuated by the ongoing commodity boom, and must embark on a path of commodity based industrialization. The thematic areas for the conference include the Africa Mining Vision struggle to advance the rights and interests of constituencies and definition of an agenda of collective engagement, optimizing mining revenue and utilization and relevance of ongoing campaigns for the work of AIMES; and tackling the challenges of mining and structural transformation.
Source: GhanaWeb.

Saturday, 17 August 2013


On s'agite à Kinshasa. Avec une expression éloquante que j'ai trouvée sur un article intéressant: "Joseph Kabila a échoué sur tous les fronts". Il y en a qui ont encore des doutes là-dessus. Mais one ne s'agite pas qu'à Kinshasa. On s'agite aussi au front depuis quelques jours. D'abord on signale quelque assemblée d'une certaine importance, tenue par les FDLR dans le Walikale, avec une représentation de la Tanzanie et de la RDC, allez déviner pourquoi. Ensuite on signale le mouvement des FARDC, qui après leur échec à Kanyaruchinya s'étaient repliées sur Goma. Il parait qu'ils sont maintenant à une centaine de mètres de la ligne de leurs frères d'armes devenus adversaires par les bons offices du rais et sa belligérante équipe, belligérante et xénophobe: souvenez-vous de la "signature génétique" de Tshibanda et des mille et un propos de Lambert Mende. Enfin on fait était des renforts militaires stationnés à la Rwindi, venant de Kisangani.

Comme quoi nous avons toujours raison quand nous gardons en tête que Kabila ne temporise que pour essayer de frapper plus fort militairement. Ceux qui disent qu'il a échoué dans tous les domaines devraient insister sur l'échec persistant de ses options militaires. Au cours des dernières semaines n'ayant pas trouvé d'autres moyens de recourir à la force, il a tenté d'utiliser la population de Goma, d'abord contre l'ONU et ensuite contre ses adversaires. Cela n'a pas marché. J'espère que la population de Goma se rend aujourd'hui compte de la manipulation kabiliste via la société civile. Qu'est-ce qui ne va pas avec la population de Goma? Croit-elle que son véritable bourreau -Kabila et sa clique dans et hors de la province- la sauverait, mais de quoi? D'une volonté de remettre de l'ordre? Quel aveuglement. On s'agite aussi à Goma, donc! Au moins devrions nous dire, la société civile. Elle a en fait montré ses couleurs dans l'affaire Muhindo. Ah, que de lacheté cette affaire a pu montré: le peuple, la court suprême, les activistes des droits de l'homme etc... Où HRW pour défendre Muhindo, oh non, pardon, pour eux ce Muhindo en a attenté contre la suprême autorité du chef de l'Etat, donc il n'a pas de droit.

Mais comment s'agit-on à Kinshasa? Le fait que Kengo ait mis les boeufs devant la charrue a dévoilé un peu plus la désintegration du pouvoir de Joseph Kabila. Ses alliés vont devoir le racheter à très haut prix maintenant. Si Kengo annonce déjà un gouvernement d'union nationale comme résultat des concertations non encore initiées, pourquoi ne pas aller directement en besogne. Il faut vraiment être amnésique pour proposer un gouvernement d'union nationale pour un pouvoir qui est fondé sur la division. Et Kengo, Kabila, Minaku croient que c'est cela qui resuscitera l'Etat et retablira l'ordre? Non. Qui, croiet-ils, voudra s'allier avec le diable? Le panorama qu'a toujours présenté la majorité présidentielle n'augure rien en terme de fondation d'un gouvernement, et ne parlons pas d'union nationale!!! Une belle analyse de la situation à Kinshasa démontre assez bien le manque de provision pour une quelconque union, encore moins nationale.

Pour une énième fois, Kabila agite les soldats sur le front au nord de Munigi pour que le faible imaginaire congolais s'en prenne à ses adversaires au lieu de s'en prendre à ses échecs répétés. Je ne serais pas surprise par le fait que le passage du Noko belge lui ait redonné du tonus bagarreur. En effet, pendant que Didiers Reynders pronait le dialogue entre Kigali et les FDLR, il soulignait que la RDC avec son trio FARDC-FDLR-FIB-MONUSCO devrait continuer à faire la guerre à leur bête  noire dans le Nord-Kivu. C'est sur qu'il en a aussi assuré le financement au rais. Ne vous étonnez pas si le crépitement des armes se fait entendre encore.Toute cette confusion finira par montrer qui s'en prend au peuple vraiment.

Thursday, 15 August 2013


Today there is so much talking going on around the "consultations" organised by the rais in Kinshasa. Now we know that Sassou Nguesso is the mediator of such consultations. It reminds me of Obasanjo, or Mkapa et al. Where do these guys who have not taken their country to any particularly known levels of development suddenly become wise enough to be mediators in complicated matters like those facing the DRC? The only reason behind that must be found if you try following the money funding this kind of endeavor: follow the money and you will find the real organizers of such consultations and mediation. Once you find the source of the funds, you will also get to know what is the real agenda, the real outcome expected, because it will be proportionate to the levels of interest the source of funds has in the planned outcome. Any Congolese who cares about the fate of this country knows it. 

Taken from the point of view of the sitting incumbent in Kinshasa, it means that he is getting paid to run a futile exercise whose outcome will never benefit the people. And at this precise moment in time, due to Kabila's consistent defeats against the rebels in the Kivu, these so called national consultations  provide him with a golden tool to distract the the Congolese people from those defeats. For the young men who have resisted his attacks so well, the whole buzz about the imminent consultations will be a golden opportunity to check who, among their supporters particularly the new comers, is really interested in their plight. I am also supposing that those young men resisting Kabila so well understand that those consultations are just another smoke-screen, hence not a priority for them. Our usually so-called "per-diemistes" will be ready to leave Bunagana in haste for Kinshasa, as soon as they know how much is the per-diem. Which will be as bad for the cause as the Ntaganda-Runiga affair. Isn't it surprising to see Kabila funded media appointing Ruberwa as the "spokeperson" of M23 before Kengo wa Dondo, in the preliminary phase to these much mediatised consultations? With all due respect, who is Ruberwa politically? I wish he appeared in the news talking about the Gatumba massacre, but he didn't. Always missing opportunities.

I'd like to think that the President of M23 is aware of all potential "per-diemistes" to Kinshasa around him over there. The sooner he figures them out, the better, because those are guys who are going to sabotage all the work achieved by Makenga since he started rebuilding the way to peace in the Kivu. The work to be done in the Kivu cannot be planned by the foreign agenda hidden in Kabila's move today. Rebuilding the foundation of lasting solutions in the Kivu cannot pass by the Bengale lights in Kinshasa.


Même pas subtilement!!!

Anatomy of a feeble analysis: a critical reading of Crisis Group’s latest report on the DR Congo by Judith Verweijen

Last week, the International Crisis Group (ICG) published a new report on the eastern DRC in which it zooms in on a conflict over customary power in the Ruzizi Plain (Uvira territory, South Kivu).  Apparently, ICG no longer tries to weigh in on broader diplomatic, political and military developments in the DRC, like the recently signed Framework Agreement and the current army restructuring process, but has decided to focus uniquely on conflict dynamics at the micro level. This choice reflects ICG’s understanding of the “root causes” of violence in the eastern DRC, which it describes as “local competition between communities for land and economic opportunities” (p.i).  As the report concludes: “far from the national and regional preoccupations of the national government and the United Nations, ethnic spaces are being redrawn by violence” (p.24). In order to prove this point, the report subsequently presents an “anatomy” of the conflict around the customary chiefdom of the Ruzizi Plain, portraying it as primarily resulting from ethnic tensions between the (“immigrant”) Barundi and the (“autochthon”) Bafuliro that have existed since the colonial era.
However, this portrayal greatly simplifies the complex and multi-layered causes of conflict and violence in the Ruzizi Plain and the adjacent Moyens Plateaux of Uvira. Not only has the majority of violence in this area not been directly related to the conflict around the chiefdom or ethnic tensions, it has crucial regional and national dimensions that the report glosses over. It achieves this reductionist interpretation through a highly selective and at times inaccurate presentation of the events. Given the importance of (as ICG puts it) “investing in knowledge before acting” (p.20), the inadequate analysis provided in the report is problematic. Based on extensive field research and the ongoing monitoring of developments in Uvira since 2010 for academic purposes, I will highlight three main interrelated weaknesses of ICG’s analysis.
1. The ICG report confounds “conflicts” and “violence”
It is undeniable that the assassination of the mwami (paramount chief) of the Barundi in April 2012 and the enthronization of his successor have triggered instability and led to a series of violent demonstrations and tit-for-tat massacres in the Ruzizi Plain. However, the far-out majority of violence in the Plain and the adjacent Moyens Plateaux over the past years has not been directly related to this or other ethnic conflicts. Rather, it is the result of the ongoing activities of the Burundian rebel group FNL, various Fuliro-led Mai Mai and self-defence groups, the Congolese army (FARDC), the Rwandan-led FDLR, groups of demobilized from the Congo Wars, and local bandits.
While some of these armed actors have occasionally drawn upon ethnic narratives for the purposes of mobilization, and have been involved in conflicts around local governance, an analysis of their practices and alliances (in Uvira) learns that these are by no means uniquely informed by ethnic motives or customary and land conflicts.  Rather, they seem to a large extent driven by military competition and geared towards violent accumulation. Their peaks in activity have not been directly related to customary, ethnic or land conflicts. In 2009, the Kimia II operations pushed the FDLR, which used to control most of the Moyens Plateaux of Lemera and had strong influence in the Ruzizi Plain, towards the Itombwe forest[1], causing major upheaval. Another upsurge in violence could be detected in 2011, when three Fuliro army and police deserters-the Colonels Nyerere Bunana and Baleke Sumaili and Major Bede Rusagara-re-entered the maquis with the encouragement of businessmen and politicians from Uvira, capitalizing upon the voids left by the FARDC regimentation process.  In 2012 and 2013, the operations of the Congolese and Burundian army (FDN) against the FNL, which has been one of the main authors of violent attacks and banditry in the Ruzizi Plain, trigged important instability, leading to massive displacement and the permanent occupation of Kiliba/ONDS(in the Plain) by the FDN.
Again, this violence did not result from the customary conflict in the Ruzizi Plain or inter-ethnic tensions. Clearly, there is a need to disaggregate the variables “violence” and “conflict”, which  ICG seems to confound. Conflicts around local governance, land and economic opportunities do not automatically lead to violence, nor is all violence in Uvira necessarily related to such conflicts. Furthermore, the relation between violence and the customary conflict in the Plain appears to be the opposite of what ICG suggests: were it not for the context of ongoing violence and the presence of militia, whose members were directly involved in the assassination of the mwami and the subsequent escalation, one can wonder to what extent the conflict around the chiefdom would have led to violent incidents in the first place.
2. The ICG report downplays the crucial regional and national dimensions of the violence in the Ruzizi Plain and the Moyens Plateaux of Uvira
The important role played by foreign armed groups and militaries in the production of violence in the Ruzizi Plain, as highlighted above, reveals that this violence has a distinctly regional dimension. This is all the more so since nearly all Fuliro-led armed groups in Uvira have ties to Burundian armed factions, while profiting from the trans-border trafficking networks that the ICG report rightly identifies as a key source of instability. In particular the group of Bede Rusagara, an ex-CNDP FARDC deserter, has a pronounced regional character. As a key ally of M23 in South Kivu, it has extensively profited from recruitment and financing networks in Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda (S/2012/843:21-23).[2]
But there are also important national dimensions to armed group activity in Uvira. The development of the self-defence militia of the mwami of the Bafuliro (FALL), together with Bede’s group centrally implicated in the unrest around the chiefdom, is telling in this respect. Although it later evolved into mostly a power tool of the mwami, the FALL’s creation in 2009 was predominantly a reaction to the insecurity caused by the Kimia II operations and the failure of the FARDC to protect the population against retaliatory attacks by the FDLR.[3] Furthermore, the FARDC has not only tolerated the FALL, it has also provided it with ammunitions and carried out joint operations (S/2011/738, p.73), thus playing a crucial role in its development.
The ICG report’s failure to acknowledge the key role of the FARDC in the ongoing violence in Uvira is also manifested in its neglect of the army’s contribution to the escalation of the conflict around the chiefdom of the Ruzizi Plain. In particular the FARDC’s perceived lack of neutrality has aggravated the conflict in important ways, as it has created incentives for the protagonists to take recourse to self-defence militia.[4]  Established business interests and patronage alliances have further undermined the credibility of the FARDC’s interventions, including that of the Commander of the Luberizi base, who owns at least 15 hectares of land in the Plain, and the officers of the 111th regiment involved in the (competition over the) various trans-boundary trafficking networks.[5] Yet, the ICG report is all but silent on the role of the FARDC, locating agency almost exclusively in “local actors”.
This reading of the events is all the more remarkable as the report explicitly recognizes the catalysing effects of the 2011 national elections on the conflict, even describing the latter as “collateral damage” of the elections (p.11). While it is an open question in how far the reinstallation of the mwami of the Barundi results from an electoral strategy of Joseph Kabila, as the report suggests (p.13),[6] it is certain that pre-and post-electoral tensions have significantly contributed to the escalation of the conflict, not least through the intensified financing of armed groups and militia by electoral candidates both before and after the elections.[7] Interestingly, the report does not mention that the mwami of the Bafuliro, Ndare Simba, ran himself for the 2011 legislative elections, but failed to get elected. Some of my sources have identified this electoral disappointment as an important cause of his strategy to escalate the conflict with the Barundi, thus hoping to maintain his power in the face of dwindling legitimacy.[8] In general, while the report does mention intra-Fuliro tensions, it fails to recognize the extent to which these have led to “ethnic outbidding” as partly triggered by national political events and processes in both past and present.
3. The ICG report obliterates the socially constructed nature of ethnicity and overstates its importance
In its presentation of “the historical roots” of the current conflict, the report paints an inaccurate picture of a Fuliro people who have clashed since the colonial era with the “immigrant” Barundi (footnote 16, p.4). Not only is it questionable in how far a population that was present on the Kivus’ soil before the delineation of international boundaries can be labelled “immigrants”, this presentation of facts is based on a misreading of the complex roots of the Fuliro people and its chiefdom. Much like the Barundi, the Bafuliro were not a coherent “tribe” before the arrival of the colonizers, but are the product of a long process of the regrouping, territorialization and assimilation of various relatively mobile groups (including those coming from present-day Burundi)[9] and clans, and the imposition of a paramount ruler among various (quasi) autonomous chiefs (Muchukiwa 2006: 14-18, 90; Depelchin 1974: 48, 50). Therefore, the creation of the enlarged Chiefdom of the Bafuliro was a process that provoked almost as much resistance as the creation of the enlarged Chiefdom of the Barundi (Muchukiwa 2006: 83-90).  This makes it difficult to speak of a coherent opposition of “the Bafuliro” against “the Barundi” in the colonial era, as suggested by the ICG report[10] (p.4), specifically as it also occurred that certain Barundi sided with Fuliro chiefs in their fight against other Fuliro chiefs (Depelchin 1974: 93-94).
It was only in the immediate post-independence period that a more explicit and politicized Bafuliro/Barundi antagonism materialized under the influence of newly unleashed power competition, electoral pressures, administrative reorganization, and the Simba rebellion. However, it would be reductionist to suggest that the 1961 unrest in Uvira, and the Simba revolution that unfolded from 1963 onwards, were primarily related to ethnic-based tensions, although these certainly played an important role.[11] As pointed out by Verhaegen (1966: 273-275), these events were also the product of agitation against customary chiefs  seen as complicit  with the colonial authorities and their policies of taxation, forced labour, and land expropriation against the backdrop of increasing economic hardship due to a stark decline in cotton prices.
The antagonisms between Barundi and Bafuliro were reinforced in the 1980s, not least through the creation of the cités (urban administrative entities) of Sange and Kiliba, which entailed the amputation of around three quarters of the territory of the Chiefdom of the Ruzizi Plain and led to an important loss of its revenues (Muchukiwa 2006: 173).  In the 1990s, the tensions flared up under the influence of the announced transition to a multi-party democracy, which triggered a political competition that became primarily channelled along ethnic lines, in part as a result of conscious manipulation by Mobutu (Lanotte 2003: 29). In the Ruzizi Plain, this was manifested in popular manifestations provoked by a contentious census of Rwandophone populations, forcing the Barundi chief to flee in 1991.[12] The two subsequent Congo Wars militarized the conflict as one side became linked to the RCD and the other to the Mai Mai, further politicizing ethnic identities.
While these events show the long lineage of the Barundi/Bafuliro conflict in the Ruzizi Plain, they also demonstrate that it have often been national political developments, administrative reorganization and electoral pressures that have rendered ethnicity politically salient, and not only local competition around land and economic opportunities. Furthermore, a nuanced historical analysis should also uncover the non-ethnic dimensions of these conflicts.  As pointed out by Depelchin (1974:98-100), who emphasizes that the social fabric of the Barundi and the Bafuliro is closely interwoven through inter-marriages, cattle exchange and patronage ties, intra-ethnic conflict has historically been as important as inter-ethnic conflict in the Ruzizi Plain. This observation still holds today, and many of the socio-economic factors ICG correctly identifies as nourishing tensions in Uvira, including pressures on land and the re-opening of the Sucrerie of Kiliba (p.8), by no means feed conflict that falls exclusively along Barundi/Bafuliro fault lines.  This also applies to what is at present a crucial source of instability in Uvira: the negotiations surrounding the integration into the FARDC of a plethora of Fuliro warlords, which foster fierce power struggles between the political-economic networks that these military leaders are tied into. Again, it is intra-ethnic competition, fuelled by incentives stemming from national policies (in this case army integration) that produces unrest, and not “a will to local power by ethnic groups” (p.10).
Rather than being based on a nuanced analysis that recognizes the multi-dimensionality  and complexity of conflict dynamics and the production of violence in the eastern DRC, ICG’s presentation of the events in the Ruzizi Plain and the Moyens Plateaux of Uvira is moulded around a single narrative-that of “local ethnic and land conflicts” as the “root causes of violence”.  Certainly, ICG’s insight that a grasp on micro-dynamics is crucial for understanding conflict and violence in the eastern DRC is valuable, and it is right to point to the conflict-generating nature of local (land) governance, as partly stemming from the institution of customary chiefdom. Yet, this micro-focus becomes problematic if it leads to the downplaying of a range of crucial interlocking supra-local factors that are especially of importance for understanding when and why conflicts translate into violence.
It is difficult to see how without an end to manipulation by national and provincial politicians and businessmen, army reform, and the demobilization of the multitude of competing Fuliro armed groups (which ICG does mention as solutions-but of tertiary importance), and perhaps most importantly, a halt to the activities of the FNL, peace can be restored in the Ruzizi Plain. Furthermore, one wonders in how far the primary solutions proposed by ICG-a reorganization of local governance, the reigning in of the power of customary chiefs, and land management reforms (which are all “national policies” that require state-building for their implementation, even though ICG labels them as “local solutions for local conflicts” (p.19)), will in the current climate of ongoing armed group activity not provoke more, rather than less violence.  This prioritization of policy solutions appears to rest upon an altogether feeble analysis of the instability in Uvira, making it doubtful in how far ICG itself lives up to the imperative of “improving knowledge of the local context” (p.20) that it so vigorously advocates.
CIRESKI (2012) Etude analytique sur la milice FALL, unpublished document
Depelchin, J. (1974) From Pre-Capitalism to Imperialism: A History of Social and Economic Formations in Eastern Zaire (Uvira Zone, c.1800-1965). Stanford University, PhD Dissertation
Lanotte, O. (2003). République Démocratique du Congo.Guerres sans frontières. De Joseph-Désiré Mobutu à Joseph Kabila. Brussels: GRIP and Éditions Complexe.
Muchukiwa, B. (2006). Territoires ethniques et territoires étatiques. Pouvoirs locaux et conflits interethniques au Sud Kivu (R.D.Congo). Paris: L’Harmattan.
UN Security Council (2012), S/2012/348,  Interim Report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo
UN Security Council (2012). S/2012/843, Final Report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo
UN Security Council (2011). S/2011/738, Final Report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo
Verhaegen, B. (1966). Rébellions au Congo. Tome 1. Brussels and Leopoldville: C.R.I.S.P., I.R.E.S. and I.N.E.P.

[1] For that reason, the FDLR no longer controls mines in the Moyens Plateaux as the report erroneously states (p.9), this is also not mentioned in §96 of S/2012/843, as is claimed in footnote 56.
[2] This complicates dominant readings of the M23 as being uniquely linked to “Rwandophone” interests, since the Mufuliro Bede has been a key defender of the “autochthon” Fuliro side in the conflict around the chiefdom. At the same time, it has (loosely) collaborating with the “Rwandophone” Banyamulenge forces of Nkingi Muhima (S/2012/843:22).
[3] The creation of the FALL is therefore not related to the 2011 FARDC regimentation process, as the report states (p.12). Furthermore, its members are not composed in majority of ex-Mai Mai Zabuloni (although they contain some), but of ex-Mai Mai Kayamba, Abdou and Ruarara, which were the main Mai Mai leaders in this part of Uvira during the Second War. Findings based on fieldwork in the Chiefdom of the Bafuliro in March and May 2010.
[4] The FARDC’s lack of perceived neutrality is to a large extent related to internal power struggles channelled along ethnic fault lines, which have been strongly exacerbated by CNDP and PARECO (dis)integration. In this case, it is also related to the power struggles unleashed by the departure of Col. Bernard Byamungu, the previous commander of the military sector of Uvira, who participated in the ex-CNDP orchestrated mutiny that started in this territory in March 2012 (S/2012/348: 18-20).
[5] Conclusions based on fieldwork in Luberizi and Sange, November 2011.
[6] My own sources cannot confirm or refute this reading. However, it seems implausible Kabila would rely for electoral support on a group (the Barundi) that has almost no electoral weight due to its clear minority status (20%).
[7] This includes for instance Mwami Ndare Simba’s use of the FALL for electoral campaigning, as documented by the NGO CIRESKI (2012), and the activities of failed candidate Emmanuel Ndigaya Ngezia (aka La Fantaisie), who has tried to capitalize upon the announced integration of Bafuliro and other Mai Mai leaders by attempting to create a unified political platform for these groups.
[8] Personal communication with members of civil society organizations based in Uvira, November 2012.
[9] For instance, the Bazige/Bahungu (Muchukiwa 2006:17-18).
[10] There have surely been important armed clashes between certain Barundi and Bafuliro chiefs (e.g. Mokogabwe and Lubisha) in the colonial era. These took mostly place in 1920/1921 and not in 1929 as the report suggests (p.4) (Muchukiwa 2006:153).
[11] Remarkably, the ICG report fails to mention that the anti-Barundi rhetoric of the radical provincial MP Musa Marundura was partly a strategy to cling to the power he had obtained in 1961, after Mwami Henri Simba of the Bafuliro had fled the political unrest (Verhaegen 1966: 269-270).Perhaps this omission is related to the fact that the ICG report refers to a Verhaegen volume on the Mulele rebellion in Kwilu (Bandundu) (footnote 19), and not to his classic work on the Simba rebellion in Uvira (Verhaegen 1966).
[12] It was only under the reign of the AFDL in 1996 that the mwami of the Barundi could return (see also ADEPAE & SVH 2011:41). The ICG report glosses over these developments by erroneously stating the Barundi chief was dismissed from power by the AFDL in 1996 (p.5).
Judith Verweijen is Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala.