African leaders fail to agree on Congo force
Fooling us about Uganda’s neutrality in the Congo Conflict!!! Militarizing the Congo to help USA and allies to rape Congo resources: DRC troops, civilians fleeing to Uganda after rebel clasheshttp://watchmanafrica.blogspot.com/2012/07/fooling-us-about-ugandas-neutrality-in.html
Hillary Clinton’s messianic entry into Uganda amidst the politics of Ebola scare: US’ Hillary starts Africa tour, here in Uganda tomorrow: Washington says Ms Clinton’s meeting with Museveni on Friday will focus on regional security, human rights and democracy: Oh! Really
Kagame may be charged with aiding war crimes – US: Oh! reallyhttp://watchmanafrica.blogspot.com/2012/07/kagame-may-be-charged-with-aiding-war.html
Seeing through the lies, hypocrisy and disinformation antics of the American New world system: US to cut military aid to Rwanda over support of Congo rebels: Oh really!
Great Lakes countries call for end to fighting in DR Congo
By RISDEL KASASIRA
Posted Thursday, August 9 2012 at 01:00
Posted Thursday, August 9 2012 at 01:00
In SummaryAn international force will be deployed to flash out M23 rebels, Lord’s Resistance Army, Allied Democratic forces and FDLR, all operating in eastern Congo.
The Great Lakes leaders yesterday called for immediate and complete halt to fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that has occurred over the last one month.
The leaders also warned that they would impose sanctions on anybody supporting M23 rebel movement and other rebel groups operating in the vast mineral rich country.
The two-day meeting that took place in Kampala chaired by President Museveni also resolved to form an international neutral force composed of troops from Great Lakes Region that will be deployed in DR Congo to fight all rebel groups.
“The sanctions would include freezing assets of those supporting the rebel groups,” said Foreign Affairs minister Okello Oryem at a press conference after the summit.
Kinshasa government has accused Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels fighting to overthrow President Joseph Kabila.
Defence ministers from DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Angola, Congo Brazzaville and Uganda will start meeting in Goma, DR Congo, this weekend before submitting a report defining the modalities of the force composition, size and nature to President Museveni in two weeks.
Mr Museveni is the current chairperson of the Great Lakes Region countries. The International Conference for Great Lakes Region heads of state meeting will again meet in Kampala in four weeks’ time to discuss the deployment of the force.
Presidents Museveni, Kagame of Rwanda, Kabila of DR Congo, Tanzania’s Jakaya Kikwete, Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, and Kenya’s vice president Kolonzo Musyoka signed the resolutions.
The leaders also agreed to set up a fund to support victims of the humanitarian crisis in DR Congo with Uganda making the first contribution of $1million (Shs2.4b). When asked whether DR Congo was comfortable with Rwanda being part of the force to be formed, Mr Oryem said both Rwanda and DR Congo have agreed to work together and end the hostilities. “The fact that President Kabila signed the declaration is an indication that he approves the decisions made here,” he said.
However, after the meeting, a man claiming to be Congolese circulated a document to journalists at the venue, accusing Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels. The undated two-page document raised five issues that the Congolese people want addressed.
“The Congolese people demand the suppression of crimes committed by Rwanda in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” it said, “Rwanda has created from scratch the M23 Movement.” But the Mr Oryem said the document does not represent the views of the Congolese government.
Great Lakes regional leaders call for sanctions against saboteurs of DR Congo peace process
The two day Great Lakes Regional leader’s summit was called to find lasting solution and to bring to immediate end the fighting in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The leaders from the 11 countries comprising the great lakes agreed to support the efforts of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to restore peace and security in Eastern DRC particularly in the North Kivu province.
In what could be seen as collective responsibility, the heads of state resolved to impose sanctions against any country working against the current peace process in Congo.
According to the communiqué read out at the conclusion of the summit, a subcommittee made up of the ministers of defense of Angola, Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda Uganda and Tanzania will be established to deal with the Eastern DRC security situation.
A trust fund to support victims of the humanitarian crisis in Eastern DRC and neighboring countries has also been set up with an initial contribution of one million dollars from Uganda.
The Heads of State have in a unanimous decision agreed to undertake vigorous efforts with a view to ensure that there is a complete halt to the fighting in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo without excluding the possibility of sanctions against those who obstruct the peace process in DRC.
Regional leaders agree on neutral force for Congo
Publish Date: Aug 08, 2012
By Vision Reporter
Regional leaders meeting in Kampala on Wednesday agreed to establish a neutral force to police the Rwanda-DR Congo border and hunt down armed groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The meeting presided over by President Yoweri Museveni was convened to defuse tensions between Rwanda and DR Congo, which have traded accusations of supporting each other's rebels.
A statement issued after the summit said the leaders have agreed to set up a committee of regional defence ministers tasked with coming up with "actionable steps to ensure that fighting stops completely."
The committee, made up of seven of the 11 nations in the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), including Rwanda and DR Congo, will also "provide details on the operationalisation of the neutral international force."
Defence ministers from Angola, Burundi, Republic of Congo, Uganda and Tanzania will also be on the committee, which was given a month to submit its report to leaders.
Presidents; Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania), Pierre Nkurunziza (Burundi) and Kenyan vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka attended the summit.
Other leaders are Sudan vice-president Dr. El-Haj Adam Yousuf and Angola’s foreign affairs minister George Chicoti.
There were also delegations from the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Zambia.
The United Nations is represented by Abou Moussa, the special representative for Central Africa while the Africa Union (AU) is represented by the AU chairperson’s special representative to LRAaffected areas, Francisco Madeira.
The summit is organized under the auspices of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
The attendance of Kagame and Kabila was seen as a boost to the talks as an agreement on a neutral force to police their borders and neutralise rebel groups depends mainly on them.
'Neutral force' of little use in eastern DR Congo: analysts
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hx9Hl2WWUHbX25WSLVuNUt74mBAQ?docId=CNG.edda344064b69ec0739ccf8a305833f5.151NAIROBI — The "neutral force" that Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda say they want to create may never materialise and would be no panacea for eastern DR Congo even if it does, analysts said Wednesday.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his Congolese counterpart Joseph Kabila have agreed "in principle" to such a force after months of back-and-forth clashes between rebel fighters and the regular army in the hills and jungles of DR Congo's east.
But some observers warn that such a force would be of little use in a region that is already patrolled by 19,000 United Nations troops.
"This neutral force makes absolutely no sense," said Gerard Prunier, a historian who follows the region.
"MONUSCO is already there and having a hard time of it," he said, referring to the UN force in DR Congo.
"It's not by adding another vegetable to the soup that they're going to improve the flavour."
Kigali and Kinshasa have diverging views on how to build a buffer force, with Kinshasa initially in favour of using the UN mission already deployed in the region, and Kigali opposed to the idea.
Since then, regional powers have met twice to hammer out details for a force but the first meeting -- made up of regional defence ministers in Khartoum -- appeared to make no tangible progress.
The latest meeting, which ended Wednesday in Kampala, resulted only in a commitment to meet again in a month, and the mandating of a handful of the same defence chiefs who met in Khartoum to come up with new proposals.
Uganda said a communique noting member states would seek "home-grown solutions" meant the force would be made up of troops from the 11-nation regional bloc, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
"The force will be an international force composed of regional forces," said Uganda's acting foreign minister, Henry Okello Oryem.
But if the force is to be truly neutral, that could exclude contributions from several of the 11 ICGLR nations, notably Angola, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, given their involvement in earlier DR Congo conflicts.
Another regional analyst, Jason Stearns, referred in an article this week to the force as being "chimerical" and difficult to achieve.
"Donors are already spending $1.4 billion annually on the UN peacekeeping mission in the Congo. It is unlikely that they would want to spend millions more on a new, aggressive mission to hunt down rebel forces," he argued.
"It will take months -- at least -- to create and deploy a neutral force. During this time, the M23 and related armed groups are likely to make moves and gain ground," he added.
Nations contributing to the UN force MONUSCO are also unlikely to favour a more aggressive mandate for their men, he said.
Back at its July summit, the African Union said it was willing to contribute troops to such a force.
Another difficulty is finding troops sufficiently battle-hardened to take on the main rebel groups in difficult terrain, analysts say.
M23, the Congolese rebel movement, has a number of officers and a good proportion of men who originate from the region in which they are fighting.
The Hutu rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) originate from neighbouring Rwanda, but have had bases in the forests of eastern DRC for the best part of the past two decades.
African leaders fail to agree on Congo force
(Reuters) - African leaders failed on Wednesday to agree on the make-up of a proposed neutral force to tackle the insurgency in eastern Democratic of Congo, diplomats at a regional meeting said.
Fighting between M23 rebels and Congolese government forces has displaced nearly half a million people since April. Regional leaders last month brokered a deal for a "neutral force" to be set up to take on Congo-based rebel groups.
But the heads of state of east and central African nations meeting to discuss the eastern Congo crisis were divided over whether the troops for a mission to Congo would be drawn from regional countries alone, or would be an international force.
Rwanda and Uganda, under pressure from the West to cut all links to the M23 insurgency, want a regional force to tackle the rebels. But Congo has in the past resisted such calls, favoring an expanded role for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo.
All 11 members of the International Conference of Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) signed a final communique in Kampala, pledging to seek "home-grown solutions" to the fighting.
But a diplomat who declined to be identified said the agreement lacked any real solutions about which countries would provide the troops and who would fund them.
"They've just kicked the can down the road," he said.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni said the heads of state would meet again in four weeks to discuss the findings of defense ministers who were asked to look into the size and make-up of such a force and its logistical requirements.
The U.N. Security Council last week demanded an end to foreign support for the Tutsi-led M23 rebels, a rebuke diplomats said was aimed at Rwanda and Uganda.
Rwanda has denied accusations by U.N. experts that its military officials have provided equipment and recruits for the M23 rebellion. Uganda has also rejected similar accusations.
Ugandan Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem told reporters Congo President Joseph Kabila has agreed for troops from regional ICGLR states to tackle the M23 rebels.
But Congolese Defence Minister Alexandre Luba Ntambo did not confirm this. He said the "composition and the size of the international neutral force" was to be discussed when the committee of defence ministers meets.
Benjamin Mbonimpa, a member of M23's political wing, said representatives from his group were ready for dialogue.
"In my opinion they haven't moved forward," he said. "We are actors in the conflict, but the Congolese government wants to negotiate with other actors who aren't on the ground."
The U.N. has more than 17,000 peacekeepers in Congo but has often been hard pressed to halt fighting and protect civilians in the vast, unruly central African state which produces gold, copper, tin, diamonds and other minerals.
Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said there was a need to try a regional force this time around.
"We've had an international force in the DRC in the last 13 years and here we are, if not the same then more instability in the region," she said after the meeting.
"What we expect to get from the chiefs of defence ... is a clear picture of what this force should look like."
UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said on Wednesday a "terrible" humanitarian situation was developing in eastern Congo.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday urged Rwanda and other Great Lakes states to stop supporting the M23 rebels. Donors including the United States, Britain, the Netherlands and Germany have suspended some of their financial aid to Rwanda over the accusations that it is backs the rebels.
(Additional reporting by Jonny Hogg in eastern Congo; Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Rosalind Russell)
DR Congo, Rwanda Sign Pact to Fight Rebels in Eastern Congo
Congo News Agency - July 15, 2012
DR Congo’s President Joseph Kabila and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame have endorsed a pact seeking the creation of a new military force comprised of soldiers from “neutral” countries to fight and “eradicate” the armed groups operating in eastern Congo, including the M23 rebels led by warlord Bosco Ntaganda and the Rwandan rebels of the FDLR.
The pact was signed in Addis-Ababa on Thursday by foreign affairs ministers and defense ministers from the member states of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). It calls for the “ICGLR to work with the AU and the UN on an immediate establishment of a neutral International Force to eradicate the M23, FDLR and all other Negative Forces in Eastern DRC and patrol and secure the Border Zones.”
Outgoing AU commission chairman Jean Ping told leaders at the opening of the summit that the organization was ready to contribute to such a force in eastern Congo. Leaders at the summit elected South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the new AU chair on Sunday.
The Congolese government, rights groups and a United Nations Group of Experts report have accused Rwandan authorities of supplying men, ammunitions and weapons to the M23 rebels led by Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges.
Rwandan authorities have come under increased pressure from foreign partners, including the United States, to stop supporting the M23 rebels.
The signing of the pact may have sealed the fate of warlord Bosco Ntaganda. In 2009, Congolese and Rwandan authorities struck a deal that led to the arrest of warlord Laurent Nkunda, who was later replaced by his then deputy, Bosco Ntaganda, as commander-in-chief of the rebel CNDP.
This time around, Rwanda cannot afford to just put Ntaganda “under house arrest” as it did with Nkunda. Unlike Ntaganda, Nkunda has inexplicably never been charged by the ICC for the numerous war crimes committed by the CNDP. It is however unlikely that Ntaganda will ever be handed over to the ICC. He knows too much. It is more likely that the man nicknamed “The Terminator” by his victims will sooner or later be terminated himself by his backers.