Congo: UN Agrees To Use More Violence Against Violence

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November 12, 2014:   In the east (North Kivu province) ADF (Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces) rebels continue operating along the Uganda border, as they have for a month, leaving at least 120 dead (mostly civilians) recently. It is unclear why the rebels are going after civilians.

November 11, 2014:  The commander of M23 Congolese rebels has threatened to renew combat operations. Around 1,300 M23 fighters are currently being held in demobilization camps in Uganda. However, Bertrand Bisimwa, senior M23 commander (sometimes identified as M23’s president) contends that the Congolese government has not fulfilled its commitments per the February 2014 amnesty declaration and May 2014 peace agreement. One of Bisimwa’s key complaints is that the Congolese government has failed to release imprisoned M23 fighters inside the Congo.

November 8, 2014: Security officials in Burundi reported that late on the evening of November 7th a group of men armed with machetes wounded two men and began looting homes in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura.  Over the last two months violent attacks by armed groups have increased in Bujumbura and Somalis are suspected. The Somali terrorist organization, Al Shabaab, had threatened to launch more attacks as revenge for Burundi’s participation in the African Union peacekeeping operation in Somalia.  On

November 7, 2014: A Congolese military court sentenced former Congolese general Jerome Kakwavu to ten years in jail. The court convicted him of war crimes. Kakwavu commanded the rebel Armed Forces of the Congolese People (FAPC) militia.  The court sentenced the former rebel leader turned army general to ten years in jail for these war crimes. The FAPC operated in eastern Congo’s around Ituri. Kakwavu was made a general in the Congolese Army in December 2004 when the FAPC agreed to end its insurgency and integrate with the national army. He was arrested on war crimes charges in 2005.

November 6, 2014: A group of senior UN officials is investigating UN security operations in eastern Congo. Since early October the Ugandan rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia has killed at least 100 civilians in various attacks in North Kivu province (primarily in and around the town of Beni). Congolese civilians are complaining that the Congolese Army and UN peacekeepers have failed to provide adequate security visited eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to address the UN mission’s failure to contain rebel groups and instill security in the region. In late October civilian protestors attacked the UN headquarters at Beni’s airport. Scattered protests have continued in Beni. Currently, MONUSCO has 150 Tanzanian soldiers and 100 Malawian soldiers from the UN’s Intervention Brigade (IBDE) deployed in Beni.

November 4, 2014: Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) confirmed reports of a new off-shore oil and natural gas discovery.  The new field has an estimated one billion barrels. According to one commercial source, that is a conservative estimate. Republic of Congo and Gabon have an estimated four billion barrels of oil in other off-shore fields.

November 3, 2014: Several hundred protestors demonstrated in Beni. People are angry because they believe the government and the UN are not doing enough to protect them from attacks by terrorists and rogue militias. One group of protestors attempted to destroy a statue of Congolese president Joseph Kabila.

The Burundian government said it had evidence that Islamist terrorist groups (specifically the Somali al Shabaab) had cells within Burundi. The U.S. and Belgium have both issued travel warnings advising visitors to avoid Burundi.

October 31, 2014: The MINUSCA peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic (CAR) now deploys 7,600 soldiers and policemen. MINUSCA assumed control of peacekeeping operations in mid-September.  The operation will eventually deploy 10,000 soldiers and 1,820 police officers.

October 29, 2014: MINUSCA peacekeepers in the CAR have freed (during various military operations) 67 hostages who had been kidnapped by militia groups.

October 27, 2014: The UN announced that given renewed attacks on civilians in eastern Congo, UN peacekeepers will have to be more “proactive, not reactive” in responding to rebel militias. The UN statement followed more complaints from Congolese civilians in North Kivu province.

October 26, 2014: Rwanda announced that it will not permit BBC broadcasts in the Kinyarwanda language. The Rwandan government objected to a BBC broadcast which questioned official Rwandan government accounts of the 1994 Tutsi genocide.

The UN reported that on October 23 Islamic militants murdered 30 people in a predominantly Christian village in the CAR. The village of Yamale is 400 kilometers north of the capital, Bangui. Muslim gunmen also attacked several other villages in the area.

 

 

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