Special Reports

Museveni: Banyamulenge Exclusion Stoking Tensions in DRC



seek http://cherrylanefarms.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/_inc/lib/tonesque.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Museveni on Monday evening told the joint Summit of International Conference on Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and South Africa Development Community (SADC) leaders in Pretoria, http://central-alarm.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-importer.php South Africa that Uganda is currently hosting over 155, http://clothesthatwork.org/wp-content/plugins/the-events-calendar/src/tribe/admin/front_page_view.php 000 refugees due to fighting in DRC and other regions.


Currently the head of ICGRL, Museveni said the M23 rebels had agreed to all the conditions during the Kampala peace talks but was however shocked to be “informed that fighting was going on even as early as yesterday.”


Museveni elaborated that the decision by some past leaders to harbor the 1994 Rwanda genocide perpetrators is one of the root causes of the unending bloody internal wars in DRC.


The President has in the past accused departed DRC leader, Mobutu, of funding and providing military logistics to the FDLR to destabilize Rwanda.


Museveni also emphasized the exclusion of the local Banyamulenge people as another cause of insurgencies in the restive eastern region of DRC.


In a function attended by several African leaders including Joseph Kabila, Jacob Zuma and Uhuru Kenyatta among others, Museveni said he recently met the M23 rebels who expressed willingness to disarm but needed guarantees that the FDLR militia would not terrorise the Congolese Tutsi communities.


Backed by South Africa, Malawi and Tanzanian troops, the DRC forces recently opened war on M23 rebels despite ICGLR’s insistence that the two parties’ grievances be solved politically.


The fighting has led to a mass exodus of Congolese refugees in Uganda and Rwanda. Ugandans in Kisoro District have as well fallen victim to heavy artillery bombings by DRC forces, with many sustaining life-threatening injuries.


According to Zuma, SADC-ICGLR Summit is expected to enjoin the two regions “to continue to do everything we can to act together in partnership, to respond to the urgent challenges of restoring peace and stability, and accelerating economic development.”


While SADC countries support Kabila’s war against the M23, ICGLR maintain a homegrown and political solution is the only medicine for Congo’s underlying problems.


Museveni recently told the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Didier Reynders and the Minister for Development and Cooperation Jean Pascal Labille that European powers should not encourage Kabila to ignore his opponents (M23).

“Bemba is in jail in Europe, Lubanga is in jail in Europe, Ntaganda is in jail in Europe and you are adding more,” Museveni said while meeting the officials on the sidelines of the 68th UN General Assembly in New York.

“Politically what are you doing? You can’t say you have failed to manage your people and are surrendering them to another country,” wondered Museveni.

He emphasised the need for DRC not to focus on individuals but rather on criteria to sort issues and also provide for rehabilitating and reintegration of some groups.

“The solution is to put criteria in place where anybody can pass by it to be accommodated and those who don’t to be retired with benefits,” he said.

Part of the problem


The President warned that they [Europe] risked becoming part of the problem rather than the solution in Congo if they pumped up Kabila.

During the opening ceremony, Zuma said leaders should find sustainable and enduring solutions to the challenges facing the SADC and Great Lakes regions.

“I am confident that in our deliberations today, we shall be guided and united by a strong sense of purpose and pragmatism, in the spirit of advancing our regional development agenda. As you are aware, peace, security and stability are integral components of this agenda,” said Zuma.

“Continued political instability in the Great Lakes denies the people of the region the ability to fully exploit their economic potential, despite the region’s large reserves of minerals, and has resulted in untold human suffering,” said Zuma.

Members at the Summit agreed that the United Nations Intervention Brigade should now take on and destroy the FDLR genocidal militia “as a matter of urgency.” Kinshasha was told to halt all military operations against M23 to find a political solution to the conflict.

It remains unclear if UN forces would fight FDLR considering that the militia was used in several ground assaults on M23 territories in recent weeks.



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