SADC tells Rwanda to stop immediately its interference in DRC and SADC

Southern African Development Community Heads of States at their 32nd Summit held in Maputo – Mozambique on August 18th, 2012

In an unusual move between African countries, Heads of states tell one of their own to behave. Africa Dictators online news outlet reported the story:

“Rarely do African heads of state publicly denounce one of their own – Kagame is so bad that it has come to this. The Rwandan autocrat’s isolation is bound to reach the African Union itself. South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will shortly become the chairwoman of the African Union (AU) Commission. Paul Kagame was one of the most ferocious opponents of Dlamini-Zuma’s candidacy. Now her SADC region has fingered Kagame as a trouble-causer.”

SADC regroups the following African countries: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

At the end of their 32nd Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government held in Maputo – Mozambique, their Final Communiqué published on August 18, 2012, reads,

 “On DRC, Summit noted with great concern that the security situation in the Eastern part of DRC has deteriorated in the last three (3) months, causing displacement of people and loss of lives and property. Summit also noted that this is being perpetrated by rebel groups with assistance of Rwanda, and urged the latter to cease immediately its interference that constitutes a threat to peace and stability, not only of the DRC, but also of the SADC Region.”

In 1999, Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia sent troops and military equipment to the Democratic Republic of Congo of former president Laurent Desire Kabila. At the time DRC was facing its second invasion from a joint coalition consisting of Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda in the space of 3 years. Without the intervention of the three SADC countries, the disintegration of DRC would be today complete and officialised into separate smaller states.

To end the 1999 DRC invasion by mainly Rwanda and Uganda, and sanction a retreat for Angolan, Namibian and Zimbabweans forces which had intervened to guarantee Congolese sovereignty, there were the treaty of Lusaka – Zambia signed on July 10, 1999. Terms of the treaty were that the parties agreed to halt all military operations within 24 hours of signing the agreement. Article I, clause 2, section c. Article I prohibited further military movement or the transfer of armaments to the battlefield and called on all nations to respect human rights and protect civilians.

Some parties to the conflict complied with the signed Lusaka treaty, but the situation on the ground did not change significantly, particularly Rwanda and Uganda, with their backed accomplices in Congolese political and military structures, strengthening instead their hold and exploitation of territories they controlled. It was in this context that MONUC and later on MONUSCO came to be part of the stabilisation process and former DRC president Laurent Desire Kabila was assassinated on January 18, 2001.

On April 19, 2002, the Sun City Agreement is signed between all warring parties in the Second Congo War including Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratie (RCD-Goma), backed by Rwanda and the Ugandan-backed Mouvement de Liberation du Congo (MLC). And one of the many weaknesses of this agreement, and which seems to have been deliberately devised that way by external parties interested in exploiting Congolese minerals and other resources was that it did not stipulate the unification of the army.

Ongoing insecurity with the recent emergence of M23, which has been reported by UN Group of Experts to receive support from both Rwanda, and Uganda by North Kivu local NGOs, has evolved from this imbroglio of not these countries, with their network of local militias and Congolese intermediaries, giving up on their illegal exploitation of DRC resources, without caring for human tragedies they continue creating in the region persistently.

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