Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)
2008: More Ugandan troops, apparently another infantry battalion, has crossed
the border and joined several other battalions that are seeking out the
remnants of the Ugandan LRA rebels. The LRA rebel has been declared a war
criminal by the international court, and Congo is tolerating the Ugandan troops
on their territory. There are some Congolese troops in the area (the Garamba
forest), but the Ugandan troops are doing most of the work.
appears unable to get more African or European peacekeepers to serve in the
Congo. The peacekeeping effort in eastern Congo has gone on for years, and
seems no closer to a resolution. This is discouraging nations that usually
contribute to peacekeeping operations. There is also anger at the UN for not
allowing peacekeepers to act more aggressively against those pro and
anti-government forces that break the peace in the area.
2008: The UN accuses the Congolese
government and government of Rwanda of supporting "armed groups" in eastern
Congo. The UN believes the current Rwandan government exchanges intelligence
information with General Laurent Nkunda and that the Congolese government has
links to several militias. The Mai-Mai militias in several areas openly call
themselves Congolese government allies. The trick is moving past sharing
information and establishing alliances to financing operations and supplying
arms. That becomes murkier. The UN asserts that some militias have cooperated
with the Congolese government in exchange for ammunition supplies.
2008: France believes that no European
Union soldiers should be sent to Congo to reinforce UN peacekeeping forces, and
that African soldiers should be sent instead. France believes that Angola has
troops it could commit. However, General Laurent Nkunda regards Angola as an
ally of the Congolese government (which it is). France is willing to allow the
EU to provide logistical support.
2008: Talks between the government and General Laurent Nkunda's representatives
were suspended in Nairobi, Kenya. They are scheduled to resume December 17.
Nkunda's National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) now portrays
itself as a nation-wide rebel movement, meaning it does not want the talks with
the government to be "confined to eastern Congo." This has become a political
stumbling block in the negotiations. The government wants to deal with Nkunda
and the eastern Congo. As it is, the government has already given Nkunda part
of what he wants. Nkunda demanded that other rebel groups be excluded from the
direct talks and he got that. The government then said it would deal with "all
(other) armed groups" separately. Nkunda intends to make the CNDP a national coalition. Former Nigerian President
Olusegun Obasanjo Is serving as the U.N.'s chief mediator in talks between the
Congolese government and the CNDP. The African Union also has representatives
at the negotiations.