Let’s not be fooled again. Nothing has changed. Only a different pace on the same path, the one of preserving US interests in the Great Lakes region.
Everything started with the report published by the UN group of experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo back in June last year. The team had shown evidence of the Rwandan interference in Congolese affairs through comprehensive support of yet another rebellion in DRC – M23. Before 2012, the Rwandan president Paul Kagame with his own soldiers or funded militias/rebels had been several times in that country under the cover up of different names. The ultimate objective aimed at has always been to plunder DRC resources. And this has not stopped. Humanitarian consequences have been so far more than 6 million of dead and half a million of women raped.
When the UN experts produced their report, Bosco Ntaganda, though an already ICC convict for previous atrocities committed in Eastern Congo, was still in the nebulous structure of the new rebel group. Through an internal restructuration, he was put aside in the leadership to make the international community believe that he wasn’t anymore part of the rebel movement though he continued pulling the strings from behind. After M23 and its Rwandan and Ugandan backers forced the government of Kinshasa into negotiations, this following the 10 days occupation of Goma in November 2012, the January 24th Peace Framework signed in Addis Abeba brought a new dimension to the Congolese conflict.
Another element into the Congolese conflict-puzzle was the fact that Rwanda has a seat among the 15 members of the UN Security Council since January 1st. For that reason, Paul Kagame’s government has to change its behavior in Eastern Congo. Though being certainly difficult for an institution founded on lies as policies, it has to adapt because it is being more closely monitored than before. Many have argued that by accepting Rwanda at the UNSC, that in itself has lowered the seriousness and or integrity left to that institution, knowing well how Paul Kagame’s government is unworthy of such privilege because of its significant responsibility in the instability of the Great Lakes region for almost 20 years.
Barack Obama being in his last term, can people from DRC, Rwanda and even Uganda hope that the victims of Kagame and Museveni will see some change in US foreign policy towards the region? Unfortunately they cannot. And they shouldn’t. They have lost too much during the last 20 years because of the American attitude. It would be irrational on their part to believe otherwise. Congolese, Rwandans and Ugandans’ liberation from their respective dictatorships depends on them and nobody else. If US foreign policy has not changed the question would be why now getting hands on one of the criminals involved in DRC?
Did Bosco Ntaganda go really to US Embassy in Rwanda by himself? It is all manipulation. The same way there hasn’t been any fighting between the so-called 2 sides inside M23, despite what mainstream media have made everybody to believe. The visit of Joseph Kabila in Kampala in recent weeks and the agreement to include General Sultan Makenga with his rebels in FARDC structures are all parts of the same politics. And ending honorably the insurrection of M23 on the rebel group side was part of the equation.
But what continue to be the fate of Nkundabatware and Makenga who are both under international warrants. The latter gets some promotion inside FARDC. The former is still enjoying Kagame’s hospitality. What about the other criminals from the region all researched by international jurisdictions? If US have ever been on the sides of the victims, unless it stops from working with the Kagame or Museveni alike, let’s not get fooled by any of their sensationalism about minor criminals when the commanders are still in place and ready to unleash new lieutenants to lead new militias.
In the meantime, as in previous developments of the DRC tragedy, Congolese and at some extent Rwandan people continue to be the losing sides.