MONUSCO chief ignores root cause of Congo conflict, says Amb. Karega
Ambassador Vincent Karega has revealed that MONUSCO chief, Bintou Keita ignores root cause of Congo conflict. File
Moise M. Bahati
Vincent Karega, Rwanda’s former ambassador in Kinshasa, has questioned the commitment of the UN mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO) to ending the insecurity in the country’s east.
Rwanda believes that as long as the FDLR, a militia accused of perpetrating the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, remains in eastern Congo, the insecurity will not come to an end.
In a recent briefing to African diplomats in Kinshasa, Bintou Keita, the head of MONUSCO, talked about the situation in eastern DR Congo, where government forces are fighting the M23 rebel group.
According to Karega, Rwanda’s envoy in Kinshasa until his expulsion in October, said Keita’s briefing on M23 “failed to give the correct picture and address the root of cause of the problem” in eastern DR Congo.
The Congolese government accuses Rwanda of supporting the M23 – allegations Kigali has long dismissed, calling the conflict an intra-Congolese issue.
Rwanda instead denounces the collaboration between the DRC army (FARDC) and the FDLR in fighting the M23.
Tensions between the two countries have soured since Karega’s expulsion.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, November 12, Karega raised the issues Keita ignored, including the recent violation of Rwanda’s airspace by a Congolese warplane.
“Why does Bintou Keita fail to raise the dangerous escalation by DRC, which violated Rwanda’s airspace and territory when an FARDC Sukhoi SU-25 landed at Rubavu airport in Rwanda on Monday, 7 November?” Karega said.
While Keita said the M23 was trying to negotiate with the Congolese government – seeking the implementation of previous disarmament and reintegration agreements – Karega added, she did not “clarify that it is the DRC government that has failed to honour the agreements”.
Since April this year, different regional peaceful mechanisms have been established to end the insecurity in eastern Congo, where over 100 armed groups operate.
“Also not mentioned by Keita is that FARDC, together with FDLR, continues to launch military offensives against M23 in violation of the Nairobi, Bujumbura and Luanda processes,” Karega said.
The Rwandan government says the FARDC and the FDLR collaborated in shelling rockets on the Rwandan territory in May.
Karega said Keita “did not mention the threat of FDLR, the root cause of the conflict between DRC and Rwanda for over 25 years.”
“Doesn’t silence on FARDC/FDLR collaboration in fighting M23 raise doubts of MONUSCO’s commitment to a lasting solution and support to regional initiatives?
“Is Rwanda expected to wait for the FDLR that is being re-armed by the FARDC, in full view of MONUSCO, to cross the border and attack Rwanda?” Karega said adding “I will await the answers from Bintou Keita.”
Source New Times.