Tag Archives: Joseph Kabila

Elections Not Possible Before April 2019: Congo’s Electoral Commission

congo election

Joseph Kabila has been continuously making use of all the efforts to postpone his stepping down from the chair of President of Democratic Republic of Congo. Presidential election was scheduled to be held last year in November but it was failed even though there was wide protest by opposition claiming it to be unconstitutional. Lately the electoral commission added fuel ...

Read More »

Congo insurgents told to renounce rebellion

African leaders told Congo’s M23 rebels on Tuesday they must publicly declare an end to their 20-month insurgency to allow the signing of a peace agreement with President Joseph Kabila’s government. Congolese M23 rebels The recommendation was made by heads of state from Southern Africa and the Great Lakes region who met through Monday night in the South African capital Pretoria to lend their weight to an international push to end the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite growing calls for peace, the M23 rebels and government forces were involved in artillery clashes on Monday near Congo’s border with Uganda. Both sides blamed the other for the shelling. A statement released by the South African-hosted summit in Pretoria said a peace agreement in eastern Congo could be signed “on condition that the M23 makes a public declaration renouncing rebellion, after which the Government would make a public declaration of acceptance.” “Five days after this is done, then a formal signing of the agreement would be done,” the statement said. It was signed by Malawian President Joyce Banda and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni representing the southern African and Great Lakes region leaders. M23′s political leader Bertrand Bisimwa said on Monday the group was ready to sign the peace deal, but he accused the army of attacking rebel positions with heavy weapons. Congolese President Kabila was present at the Pretoria meeting. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who has fiercely denied repeated reports by U.N. experts that his country backs and helps the M23 rebels, did not attend but sent his foreign minister. The summit congratulated Congolese government forces and a beefed-up U.N. peacekeeping mission in eastern Congo for “recapturing M23 strongholds and restoring government control”. A rapid Congolese army advance in recent weeks has driven the M23 rebels from towns and cornered them in the steep, forested hills along the Ugandan border, raising the prospect of peace in Congo’s violence-plagued east. Reuters

Read More »

M23 rebels announce ceasefire

Rebels in eastern Congo announced a ceasefire on Thursday in fighting with government troops hours before a visit to the conflict-plagued zone by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. M23 rebel leader Bisimwa (left) and the Military chief (right) Makenga addressing press conference in Bunagana, in March. File Photo “We’ve decided to announce this ceasefire to allow His Excellency Ban Ki-moon to visit Goma as he promised,” Amani Kabasha, political spokesman for the M23 rebel group, told Reuters following several days of clashes in the east near Goma on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s border with Rwanda. At least 20 people have been killed this week in three successive days of fighting between the Congolese army and M23, a Tutsi-dominated insurgency that has demanded political concessions from President Joseph Kabila’s government. The renewed combat after six months of relative calm underlines the challenges facing one of Africa’s most conflict-ridden regions, which will receive $1 billion in fresh development funds pledged by the World Bank. Ban and Kim, who will spend a few hours in Goma on Thursday meeting local and U.N. officials, say the World Bank funding will contribute to peace in the volatile Great Lakes region. But Ban has said the $1 billion to help finance health and education services, hydro-electric projects and cross-border trade is contingent on countries in the region honouring a peace deal brokered by the United Nations. U.N. experts have accused Rwanda of sending troops and weapons across the border to support the M23 last year. Rwanda denies the accusation. M23 spokesman Kabasha demanded that Congolese President Kabila also sign a formal ceasefire. “We’re very happy that Ban Ki-moon is coming to Congo, so he can see the real problems are deeper than what they appear,” he added. Talks between M23 and Congo’s government in Uganda have stalled. M23 is made up of members of a previous Tutsi-dominated rebellion who integrated into the army after a 2009 peace deal. But they deserted en masse last year and have stepped up training in preparation for the deployment of a U.N. brigade with a mandate to neutralise armed groups across the region. Reuters

Read More »

Displaced people caught up in fighting west of Goma / Médecins Sans Frontières forced to suspend activities in Mugunga III and Bulengo camps

PARIS, France, May 22, 2013 — Fighting with heavy weapons between the Congolese army (FARDC) and the rebel group M23 to the west of the provincial capital Goma resumed yesterday. Many people who were already displaced from their homes after earlier waves of violence are now caught between the shelling and gunfire. “Mugunga, Lac Vert and Buhimba camps are located on the road between Goma and Sake and have been in the middle of the shelling for the past two days.” said Thierry Goffeau, head of mission in North Kivu. “The road between Goma and Sake is strategically located, but fighting in such close proximity to people’s homes is endangering the lives of thousands of vulnerable people.” Six shells landed in the area of Mugunga camps on Tuesday, injuring at least 4 people. An MSF team was able to transfer these people to a nearby hospital facility supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Towns in the area were affected by the use of heavy artillery with several people injured. The district of Ndosho, near Goma, took the brunt of shelling with at least three people killed and more than a dozen wounded. Since the shooting started, residents of Mugunga III camp fled to other camps nearby or further into the city of Goma in search of safety. “A quarter of the camp has empited. People are continuing to leave, afraid they’ll end up trapped. Those who remain are distraught, not knowing where to go or how to react. People are panicking “said Thierry Goffeau. The active fighting and positioning of the combatants so close to the camp has forced MSF to suspend its activities in Mugunga and Bulengo camps. The team is assessing population movements and is ready to intervene if necessary. Last November, M23 launched a first attack on the city of Goma and Sake, forcing many people to flee and seek refuge in camps west of Goma. The fall of Goma ended ten days later and negotiations with the government of Joseph Kabila started. Renewed fighting between the FARDC and M23 comes ahead of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the country and the establishment of a special UN intervention brigade, which for the first time has a mandate to carry out targeted offensive operations against rebel groups in eastern DRC. In light of this, MSF calls on all parties to refrain from using force around IDP camps and in areas housing civilians. MSF provides primary care and secondary care in the province of North Kivu, working in health centers and mobile clinics. MSF supports referral hospitals in Mweso, Pinga, Masisi, Rutshuru, Walikale and Kitchanga.

Read More »

Rwanda won’t accept victimization over DRC – Kagame

President Paul Kagame has said Rwanda will not be victimized over the DR Congo crisis, which it neither created, nor compounds. President Paul Kagame Speaking at the leadership retreat at Gabiro School of Infantry in Rwanda on Thursday, Kagame said last year’s high-level UN meeting on the DR Congo crisis on September 27, in New York, was convened to “hang” Rwanda. The three-day leadership retreat on the development programme code-named Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2), was under the theme, “Working Together to Deliver EDPRS2.” The 300 leaders from the central and local governments are examining strategies to accelerate growth and achieve the targets set out in the country’s economic blueprint. Kagame said Rwandans should not cower in the face of victimisation because of “other people’s actions.” He said Rwandans never played a role in making some ethnic Rwandan citizens of the DR Congo. “Regarding the Rwandaphones living in the Congo, the question is who took them there?” he said. Kinyarwanda-speaking communities in the DR Congo have, for decades, been the centre of bloody tension with politicians in Kinshasa, sometimes questioning the former’s legitimacy as Congolese citizens. The alleged exclusion and persecution of Rwandaphones in the Congo forms part of the grievances of the M23 rebels, who took up arms against President Joseph Kabila’s government a year ago. They accused Kinshasa of reneging on a peace deal under which fighters in an earlier rebellion had been absorbed in the national army. Kagame said: “Assuming Rwanda contributed to DR Congo’s problems, say 10% of those problems, should we take responsibility for all their problems? Why hang Rwanda? Why not hang the Congolese?”

Read More »

Rwanda Govt retreat opens with call for better coordination

President Paul Kagame has called on public officials to perfect the art of coordination and communication among themselves as the country embarks on the implementation of a major five-year development agenda. President Kagame and Prime Minister Habumuremyi during the National Leadership Retreat yesterday. The President made the remarks while addressing 300 national and local leaders at the opening of the 10th National Leadership Retreat at Gabiro School of Infantry in Gatsibo District, Eastern Province. He noted that without coordination and teamwork among government agencies and other actors, the country would not achieve the targeted 11.5 per cent annual growth rate as envisaged under the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) II. “Without working together, we will not achieve our full potential and will not reach the targets we have set for ourselves. If you don’t let your strengths complement each other, we will only achieve a small percentage of our goals,” Kagame said. “We must improve on working together…no one can achieve results without working as part of a team.” The President added that while government officials have generally understood what they needed to do, they are at times unable to translate plans into actions. “We must increase our ability to move from words to action, from plans to implementation and achieve results.” Kagame emphasised that Rwanda is in position to deliver double digit annual growth rate considering that the country had maintained an average of eight per cent growth rate over the past few years, including last year when donors withheld or cut aid over allegations of Kigali’s support to a rebel group in the neighbouring DRC. Leaders must believe The President pointed out that this ambition (11.5 percent growth rate) was informed by the country’s unique context and experience, drawing parallels with countries which may be content with achieving as little as 1 per cent of growth rate. Rwanda is bidding to become a middle income economy by 2020, and this will require the country’s GDP per capita to increase from the current $644 to $1,240. The President urged the leaders to believe in achieving what the government has set its sights on. “We can’t accept to be hostages of pity; you have to believe that we can aspire, that we can achieve; we can’t be leaders who don’t believe because that means the country won’t believe,” he said, adding that the retreat was an opportunity to “renew our resolve” to deliver the desired results. “This is not just another holiday, its time and space to think and to believe.” DRC crisis The Head of State also talked of the injustices meted out on Rwanda with regard to the DRC crisis, particularly recalling a high-level UN meeting on the Congo crisis on September 27, last year, in New York, which he said had been called to “hang” Rwanda. He called on Rwandans not to cower in the wake of the consequences of “other people’s actions”, saying that the people of Rwanda played no role in making Rwandophones the citizens of the Congo. “The Rwandaphones living in the Congo, the question is who took them there?” he asked. Kinyarwanda-speaking communities in the Congo have for decades been the centre of bloody tensions, with politicians in Kinshasa sometimes questioning the former’s legitimacy as Congolese citizens. The colonial Berlin Conference of 1884 significantly reduced Rwanda’s territory, with several Rwandans effectively becoming citizens of neighbouring countries, including the Congo. The alleged exclusion and persecution of Rwandophones in the Congo form part of the grievances of the M23 rebels, who took up arms against President Joseph Kabila’s government a year ago, after the former accused Kinshasa of reneging on a peace deal under which fighters in an earlier rebellion had been absorbed in the national army. Kagame said: “Assuming Rwanda contributed to DRC’s problems, say 10 per cent of those problems, should we take responsibility for all their problems?…Why hang Rwanda? Why not hang the Congolese?” He said Rwanda was being punished for standing up for its rights. “Some look at Rwanda as a country that wants too much independence and stands in the way of certain interests...

Read More »

Museveni in Brazaville for security summit

President Yoweri Museveni is in the Republic of Congo Brazaville for a one day mini summit on regional security. The President joins President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Joseph Kabila of the DRC for the summit. President Museveni and President Denis Sassou Nguesso. PPU photo The leaders meet at a time when the UN is considering a neutral force to be deployed in the DRC with the mandate of the African Union and the United Nations. President Yoweri Museveni who is the current chairperson of ICGLR summit was asked to formally request African states, regional and international partners to provide financial, logistical and technical support to operationalization of the force. ICGLR member states which sit on the AU Peace and Security Council; Angola, the Republic of Congo, Kenya and Tanzania were tasked to make a joint presentation for approval of the deployment while the AU was urged to seek UN support.

Read More »