Goma-DRC: They don’t care about us.

Congolese populations fleeing Bunagana area in the first months of the ongoing crisis in Eastern Congo

Yes, like in Michael Jackson’s song – they don’t care about us.

You might wonder who “they” could be. It’s US, UK, Rwanda and Uganda.

And “us”, are people from the Great Lakes region, and particularly Congolese, all ethnicity included even those of Rwandan descent who have settled in Eastern Congo for many generations.

Also part of “us” are those who found their unstable refuge in that part of the Democratic Republic of Congo following the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and the two wars of invasion waged in 1996 and 1998 by a coalition of Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

Only those who are not in a position of ending the overall suffering of populations in the region seem to be the ones effectively caring about “us”.

Think about Dr. Denis Mukwete, Managing Director of Panzi Hospital who narrowly escaped death when an attempt on his life was recently carried out at his home in Bukavu.

He cannot bring peace to his native Eastern Congo, but through his work and dedication, his actions demonstrate a high level of care for his people and others in the region.

There are many like him with different levels of dedication in a number of places with similar determination towards people of the Great Lakes region.

The Mukwete’s are on one side. On the other, there are those highlighted countries which, because of their positions, could end the misery of millions.

But because they don’t care about “us”, people of the Great Lakes region, despite tons of tools of propaganda and intoxication saying the contrary, they demonstrate on the ground that they don’t really care.

It could hardly be understood about the opposite, seeing MONUSCO with all the means at its disposal being unable to bring peace in Eastern Congo.

And by MONUSCO, people should picture countries which have historically used UN institutions for their hegemonic agendas.

Struggling with a title

In writing this article I struggled with choosing its title. I wanted to come up with one which summed up the entire picture of what is going on in Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In parallel, I reflected on the ongoing suffering of Palestinian people who are also at the mercy of an Israeli government which is, as a matter of paradox, also 100% backed by US as are the governments of Rwanda and Uganda.

For many years and reasons, I have been following closely dramatic events that Eastern Congo has experienced over and over again.

Of course, it’s not everyone who has special connections with the region or is compassionate with the condition of humankind who is writing about what is happening in that part of the world.

Not everyone care about people in the same way, if they ever do.

Even the majority don’t care.

Yes, I struggled with the title.

At once I thought of calling this article: “Rwanda on the verge of taking Goma.”

Though this is the reality, such focus wouldn’t reflect the whole context.

It wouldn’t for example show exactly who is acting through Rwanda in capturing that Congolese city.

The city has become the main transit of illicit exploitation of DRC minerals into Rwanda, and from there to multinationals interested in Congolese minerals.

If the 3,500 Rwandan soldiers announced by DRC government who are fighting alongside M23, in case they are not the real M23, are using night-vision equipment and 120 mm mortars, we already know that Rwanda and Uganda armies are equipped and trained by the Pentagon with a budget worth billions of dollars.

We know today how US intelligence helped tracking Rwandan Hutus refugees who in 96/97 were massacred in the thousands in Congolese forests.

Without much twisting the reality, Rwandan soldiers could ironically be called US soldiers in the Great Lakes region, who are deployed across the continent to defend American interests, without being US citizens or having pledged allegiance to the US flag.

At the eve of another massive tragedy which started months ago with the creation of M23 with concerted support of Rwanda and Uganda, and an apparent tacit benediction of influential Western personalities, I settled for a title close to caring.

Looking back at the number of victims rising into millions, and still counting, there is evidence of a total lack of care for Congolese populations and others in the region.

There seems to be an overwhelming outcry, particularly among populations of the region telling those pretending to care at the cost of wasted billions of dollars, to stop their hypocrisy.

With the resumption of fighting since Thursday 15th November 2012 between FARDC and M23+Rwanda, and the latter having more powerful equipment and noticeably an effective warfare propaganda machinery, it’s a matter of time that Goma could fall in the hands of the Rwandan backed rebels.

What next?

On Saturday 17th November 2012, Mr Gerard Araud, the Permanent French Ambassador at the UN requested an emergency meeting of the Security Council following the worrying development of the situation in Goma and its surroundings.

The French Ambassador apparently hoped that the institution would stop M23 and its backers in ongoing displacement of civilian populations causing acute humanitarian problems.

He said to the press:

I hope that we’ll get a signal from the Security Council telling the M23 to stop its attacks and also to all the countries concerned to enter into a real negotiation.”

On the question about a strong signal being sent to Rwanda, he explained:

The real question is a negotiation between Kigali and Kinshasa. That would be the only way to move on.”

At least if that last wish of the French Ambassador could have been fulfilled, we could stop turning around with accusations followed with denials between DRC and Rwanda.

Unfortunately, the urgent emergency meeting of the Security Council ended with the usual formal condemnation of sides in confrontation without pointing at the real known instigators of trouble.

On Monday of the same week, Susan Rice, the US Permanent Ambassador, had twitted after US decision to take restrictive measures against Sultani Makenga, M23 leader, and at the end of the discussions of the UN Security Council sanctions committee saying:

New U.S. and UN sanctions on Sultani Makenga show the world will not stand for heinous atrocities committed on his orders by the M23 in DRC. These new sanctions send an important message to other perpetrators of atrocities in DRC: accountability.”

It’s like the US Ambassador being well aware of how ineffective such measures are in alleviating the suffering of populations at the hands of these warlords backed by Uganda and Rwanda, themselves agents of US, that explains the reason they are taken.

She is not fooling no one on the matter. Bosco Ntaganda and Nkundabatware, both warlords indicted by ICC, aren’t they both under the guardianship of Paul Kagame? How many atrocities have they carried out?

How many sanctions hang over their heads? Anyone serious about accountability would sanction Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni. But that apparently won’t happen soon.

As the picture on the ground evolves, Goma will fall sooner or later in Rwandan hands under M23 official banner. This is an old cliché. The only difference today is the very negative portrayal of Paul Kagame everywhere, particularly in Western countries where he is depicted as a ruthless and corrupt dictator, without any respect of human rights for his compatriots.

The majority of donor countries to Rwanda decided to stop their aid budgets to the country. This was following evidence of its interference in Congo through backing M23. It will be interesting to see how will be their reaction when GOMA will fall knowing that it wouldn’t have fallen without a strong backing of Rwanda.

While the Rwandan president continues analyzing with his close allies the best options on how to present to the world his next trophy, those who care should not give up on raising awareness about the suffering caused to populations of the Great Lakes region by Paul Kagame’s persistent wars.

And to those who are still questioning the failure of MONUSCO to protect populations or bring overall peace to DRC, Congolese author Patrick Mbeko answers that,

MONUSCO will not do anything, because its real purpose is not about bringing or keeping peace.”

He went on explaining in a long note published online, a number of historical and interesting case studies where effectively UN so-called peacekeeping missions, instead of bringing peace, defended interests of their powerful commissioners.

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