The demobilised rebel M23 Movement has said it will not look on idly as the government of President Joseph Kabila falls short of addressing the ‘deteriorating security situation’ in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“The M23 Movement’s Political Directorate is very concerned about the socio-political and security situation prevailing in the province of North Kivu that seriously undermines regional peace and stability, sildenafil http://class-actions.us/wp-includes/class-wp-metadata-lazyloader.php ” M23’s political head, clinic http://class-actions.us/wp-admin/includes/class-language-pack-upgrader.php Bertrand Bisiimwa told ChimpReports on Tuesday.
He revealed that militia groups continue to commit atrocities in Beni (Mabu, patient Eringeti), Lubero (Miriki), Masisi (Kichanga), Rutshuru (Bwito, Busanza), which includes burning of houses, ravaging farms, looting livestock, and routine kidnappings.
Bisiimwa, whose movement was defeated in 2013 by a joint force of troops from South Africa, DRC, Malawi and Tanzania; said robberies, hold-up of transport vehicles and inter-ethnic conflicts in Goma, Masisi, Walikale, Lubero and Rutshuru were getting out of hand.
The M23 Movement said this situation was caused by government’s failure to implement the provisions of March 23 2009 Agreement between the National Congress for the Defense of the People, (CNDP) and the DRC Government.
Following the outbreak of war in Eastern Congo in 2012, the M23 commanded by Brig Sultan Makenga captured the provincial town of Goma and threatened to move towards Kinshasa.
Regional leaders prevailed over Makenga to lead his men out of the strategic town as a confidence-building measure to start peace talks.
Interestingly, DRC and its allies later bombed M23 bases until the rebels fled to Uganda and Rwanda.
The rebels and government signed in Nairobi a peace declaration calling for the neutralization of different national and foreign armed groups that roam the Eastern part of the country,
To this end, the Government pledged to work with the UN mission in DRC (MONUSCO) to improve security in conflict areas, protect civilians and address the problem of negative forces.
For each of areas of returning refugees, the Government undertook to secure, service and make these areas attractive; accelerate the deployment of the Community policing and implementation of basic development projects and social reintegration; revitalize and expand local conciliation committees.
The Government further committed to setting up a National Reconciliation Commission with a mandate to promote national reconciliation and the peaceful resolution of conflicts; address and recommend appropriate legislation against ethnic discrimination and incitement to hatred; settle or resolve ethnic conflicts, including land disputes; provide civic education to promote peaceful coexistence, to better understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and to strengthen patriotism.
Reneging on promises
Curiously, said Bisiimwa, the Government has “always refused to be part of this logic, because clearly it feeds on inter-ethnic conflicts to maintain instability in Kivu. And whenever the situation tends to rot, it bounces to play the firefighter.”
He said the “stubbornness to maintain this kind of state among local ethnic communities reveals unequivocal intention to push the civilians to arm themselves and kill each other to create an artificial crisis which would make sections of the country ungovernable. This allows the Government to virtually create a common enemy to Congolese people that will serve as a scapegoat for its inability to respect the social contract that binds to the people.”
He also called for the release of activists only identified as Lucha and Filimbi who were recently arrested during demonstrations.
The M23 made demands from the DRC government which include implementing all the provisions of March 23rd 2009 Agreement and Nairobi Declarations of December 12 2013, “especially those concerning peace, security and peaceful coexistence among all our ethnic communities in the disaster areas.”
Bisiimwa said his movement also wants government to put in place a fund to support programmes for strengthening security, national reconciliation, peaceful coexistence and reconstruction of disaster areas for a period of 5 years.
Asked what specific action would be taken if the government does not respond to their demands, a high ranking M23 official responded: “We think government will look into our concerns and address them. But we will not let the situation deteriorate further.”
Bisiimwa said the United Nations should “put an end to procrastination and hesitation of their Intervention Brigade which gathers so many pretexts to evade its obligation to effectively neutralize the FDLR and ADF.”
He emphasised that the Intervention Brigade has the mandate to “conduct military operations unilaterally against armed groups, especially where innocent civilians are dying by the hundreds.”
In the midst of emerging calls for civil action by the opposition Forum for Democratic Change in protest against maltreatment of the their leaders; the First Lady Janet Kataaha Museveni has applauded the youths especially in the capital Kampala for disregarding these calls.
On Monday afternoon the FDC party launched what the dubbed the ‘Free my Vote’ campaign, page http://cultnews.com/wp-includes/class-wp-error.php that appeals to party supporters and sympathizers to among others sit at home all day on selected days, website like this http://ctrdv.fr/pmb3/opac_css/includes/interpreter/bbcode.inc.php wear mourning clothes, decease pray and shun businessmen and artists who have been supportive of the ruling government.
The party is also organizing a street march, in protest of the incarceration by police of their candidate in last month’s presidential elections Col Dr Kizza Besigye, who remains in confinement at his home in Kasangati.
In her short message as the country joins the world to mark the International Women’s Day, First Lady Janet Museveni said she was obliged to express her gratitude as a mother, to the youths for refusing to embrace these calls by the opposition.
Mrs. Museveni described the youth’s response to the calls as “exemplary,” adding, “It is noteworthy for Ugandans to realize the pivotal role the youths have played in ensuring that our country Uganda and the city of Kampala in particular continues to be quiet and peaceful, allowing normal life to prevail.
“You have enabled the government, the private sector and ordinary traders to continue with business as usual by rejecting the impunity and manipulation of some selfish people who want to use you to threaten and eventually disturb the peace of our homeland.”
She added, “On behalf of all Ugandan mothers of good will, I salute our youths with pride and gratitude for the blessing your generation has become to Uganda.”
The announcement of the Free my Vote campaign yesterday was met largely with negative remarks from the public, with many accusing the opposition party of trying to hurt the country’s economic progress.
Tweeted one Kyobe Sarah, “Semujju Nganda (the FDC spokesperson) is calling upon Ugandans to stay at home on Thursdays yet for him he is well assured of his job as an MP through 2016 to 2021”
FDC’s mobilization Secretary Ingrid Turinawe says the campaign will involve a number of activities and protests to push for the cause “both easy and tough but all peaceful and non violent.”
“Freedom is fought for,” he stresses. “It takes sacrifice, determination and boldness to be part.”
The stay-home-Thursdays she said are a test to especially people in leadership positions, “some of whom have always failed to come to the streets for reasons well known to them.”
“You cannot handle tear gas, but can you sacrifice a day off your daily work? Some of our celebrated leaders abandoned their well paying jobs and headed to the bush that lasted 5 full years. We are asked to identify with one of us. Not that we like or enjoy it. Just in solidarity..then we roll into high gear protests.”
But the First Lady said she was impressed that the calls for violence have not been well embraced.
She noted, “Choosing to stand for peace…makes Uganda stand tall, stronger and richer today, than it would have been; violence, destruction and bloodshed.”
“I ask you to remain from and committed to building a better country for your own children, for that will guarantee more days of peace and prosperity.”