Tag: <span>Congo</span>

Congo Apelaciones

Nubes Oscuras Sobre El Este Del Congo.

Imagen destacada: Foto por Flow Clark, en Unsplash.

Por si no hubiera ya suficientes tensiones en la República Democrática del Congo (RDC), hay un recrudecimiento de los combates desde mediados de octubre en la provincia de Kivu del Norte, siendo Goma la ciudad central. El conflicto armado actual es entre una milicia liderada por tutsis, el M23, y las fuerzas del gobierno de RDC.

El gobierno estima que unas 200.000 personas han sido desplazadas. El presidente de la RDC, Felix Tshisekedi, ha pedido la creación de milicias locales para ayudar a los soldados del gobierno. La Misión de Estabilización de las Naciones Unidas en el Congo (MONUSCO), que ha estado en la República Democrática del Congo desde 1999 y es la mayor fuerza de mantenimiento de la paz de la ONU con unos 15.000 miembros, no ha podido detener los combates y es cada vez más criticada por la población local.

The President of the RDC, Felix Tshisekedi

El Presidente de la República Democrática del Congo, S.E. Sr. Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo. Por Quirinale.it, Atribución, vía Wikimedia Commons.

El gobierno de RDC acusa a Ruanda de apoyar al M23, acusaciones que Ruanda niega. En respuesta, el gobierno de Ruanda acusa a la República Democrática del Congo de apoyar a una milicia armada contra Ruanda, las Fuerzas Democráticas para la Liberación de Ruanda (FDLR), una milicia dirigida por hutu. Tanto los tutsi como los hutu están en la República Democrática del Congo desde la lucha contra el genocidio de 1993 en Ruanda. Los combates actuales se suman a la inseguridad de la zona. La lucha también ha detenido en gran medida las actividades comerciales transfronterizas, en gran parte realizadas por pequeñas comerciantes. Como resultado, el precio de los suministros de alimentos existentes ha aumentado considerablemente y es de temer la escasez.

MONUSCO

Rutshuru, Kivu del Norte, RD Congo. Fuerzas Especiales de MONUSCO y unidades de la Brigada de Intervención acercándose a las posiciones de las Fuerzas Democráticas para la Liberación de Ruanda (FDLR) durante una operación conjunta MONUSCO-FARDC. Este tipo de intervenciones que permitieron la destrucción total de las bases de las FDLR y con el objetivo de desbaratar los planes y actividades nocivas del grupo armado continuarán mientras sea necesario. Foto MONUSCO/Fuerza. Por MONUSCO Photos, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, vía Wikimedia Commons.

Los combates han incrementado las tensiones entre Ruanda y la RDC, tensiones que también impactan en las relaciones con Uganda, que ha recibido un buen número de refugiados de la RDC y con Burundi, un país inestable. Hay un inicio de negociaciones Ruanda-RDC en Angola bajo el liderazgo del gobierno angoleño. Sin embargo, la falta de confianza entre Ruanda y la RDC es grande, y sería útil realizar esfuerzos internacionales más amplios. También existe la necesidad de esfuerzos de consolidación de la paz no gubernamentales locales que también pueden ser facilitados por ONG internacionales. La situación requiere mucha atención y, si es posible, una acción rápida.

 

Rene Wadlow, Presidente, Asociación de Ciudadanos del Mundo.

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Congo Appeals

Dark Clouds Over Eastern Congo.

Featured Image: Photo by Flow ClarkUnsplash.

As if there were not already enough tensions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC), there is a renewal of fighting since mid-October in the province of North Kivu, Goma being the central city.  The current armed conflict is between a Tutsi-led militia, M23, and the forces of the RDC government. 

The government estimates that some 200,000 people have been displaced.  The President of the RDC, Felix Tshisekedi, has called for the creation of local militias to help the government soldiers.  The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) which has been in the RDC since 1999 and is the largest U.N. peacekeeping force of some 15,000 members, has been unable to halt the fighting and is increasingly criticized by the local population.

The President of the RDC, Felix Tshisekedi

 The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, H.E. Mr. Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo. By Quirinale.it, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons.

The RDC government accuses Rwanda of being the backers of the M23, accusations which Rwanda denies.  In response, the Rwanda government accuses the DRC of supporting an anti-Rwanda armed militia, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Hutu-led militia.  Both the Tutsi and the Hutu are in the RDC since the 1993 genocide fighting in Rwanda.  The current fighting adds to the insecurity of the area.  The fighting has also largely stopped cross-frontier commercial activities, largely done by women small traders.  As a result, the price of existing food supplies has increased greatly, and shortages are to be feared.

MONUSCO

Rutshuru, North Kivu, DR Congo. MONUSCO Special Forces and units from the Intervention Brigade approaching Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) positions during a MONUSCO-FARDC joint operation. This type of intervention which allowed the complete destruction of FDLR bases and with the aim of disrupting the armed group’s plans and harmful activities will continue for as long as necessary. Photo MONUSCO/Force. By MONUSCO Photos, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

The fighting has increased tensions between Rwanda and the RDC, tensions which also impact relations with Uganda, which has received a good number of refugees from the RDC and with Burundi, an unstable country.  There is a start of Rwanda-RDC negotiations in Angola under the leadership of the Angolan government.  However, the lack of trust between Rwanda and the RDC is great, and broader international efforts would be useful.  There is also a need for local non-governmental peacebuilding efforts which can also be facilitated by international NGOs.  The situation requires close attention and if possible, speedy action.

 

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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Republic of Congo Appeals

Democratic Republic of Congo — Need for Reconciliation Bridge-Builders.

Photo by Kaysha on Unsplash

On bridges are stated the limits in tons

of the loads they can bear.

But I’ve never yet found one that can bear more

than we do. Although we are not made of roman freestone,

nor of steel, nor of concrete.

From “Bridges” – Ondra Lysohorsky

Translated from the Lachian by Davis Gill.

The killing on 22 February 2021 near Goma in Eastern Congo of the Italian Ambassador to the Congo has highlighted the continuing insecurity of the area and the need for renewed efforts at peacebuilding. The Ambassador of Italy, Luca Attanasio, was part of a two-car convoy of the U.N. World Food Program to visit a school meal program run by the Program which has recently been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The convoy was fired upon by a group of six individuals. The Ambassador and one of the drivers were killed.

At this stage, it is not known which of some 45 armed groups in the area carried out the attack and if the convoy was attacked because it was of the United Nations or if any two-car convoy would hve been attacked in the hope of looting the contents.  While the U.N. Secretary-General has called for an  investigation, an investigation is unlikely to be able to say more than that the whole area is unstable and that more than U.N. or Congolese grovernment troops are necessary to bring stability.

Armed Violence Continues.

Despite a new president of the Democratic Republic of Congo who promised to tackle poverty at its roots, armed violence continues.  Felix Tshisekedi, son of the late, long-time opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, put an end to the 18-year rule of Joseph Kabila.  However, in a number of provinces of the country, especially the east, armed violence continues between the army and different tribal-based militias.  In some area, war lords battle among themselves.

The United Nations has some 20:,000 peacemakers in Congo (MONUC), the UN’s  most numerous peacekeeping mission, but their capacity is stretched to the limit.  While MONUC has proven effective at securing peace in the Ituri district in north-eastern Congo, it has been much less successful in the two Kivu provinces.

The eastern area of Congo is the scene of fighting at least since 1998 — in part as a result of the genocide in neighboring Rwanda in 1994.  In mid-1994, more than one million Rwandan Hutu refugees poured into the Kivu provinces, fleeing the advance of the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front, now become the government of Rwanda.  Many of these Hutu were still armed, among them, the “genocidaire” who a couple of months before had led the killings of some 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda.  They continued to kill Tutsi living in the Congo, many of whom had migrated there in the 18th century.

Techniques of Conflict Resolution.

The people in eastern Congo have lived together for many centuries and had developed techniques of conflict resolution, especially between the two chief agricultural lifestyles: that of agriculture and cattle herding.  However, the influx of a large number of Hutu, local political considerations, a desire to control the wealth of the area — rich in gold, tin and tropical timber — all these factors have overburdened the local techniques of conflict resolution and have opened the door to new, negative forces interested only in making money and gaining political power.

UN peace-keeping troops are effective when there is peace to keep.  What is required today in eastern Congo and in certain other parts of the country is not so much more soldiers under UN command, than reconciliation bridge-builders, persons who are able to restore relations among the ethnic groups of the area.  The United Nations, national governments, and non-governmental organizations need to develop bridge-building teams who can help to strengthen local efforts at conflict resolution and re-establishing community relations.  In the Kivu provinces, many of the problems arise from land tenure issues.  With the large number of people displaced and villages destroyed, it may be necessary to review completely land tenure and land use issues.

The Importance of Decentralization and Con-Federal Forms of Government.

The Association of World Citizens has stressed the need in States deeply divided on geographic and ethnic lines such as the Democratic Republic of Congo  to manage diversity as a strength rather than as a weakness..  There is often a tendency for leaders of States divided on ethnic lines to “over-centralize” the Administration in the hope of creating “national unity”.  In practice, such efforts at centralized government lead to some areas and some groups to feel marginalized or excluded.  In such cases armed violence seems to be the fastest  way to receive attention and to get “a share of the economic pie.”  Thus, the Association of World Citizens has stressed the importance of decentralization and con-federal forms of government as an alternative to the creation of new independent states which is often the first demand of marginalized areas.

World citizens were among those in the early 1950s who stressed the need to create UN peace-keeping forces with soldiers especially trained for such a task.  Today, a new type of world civil servant is needed — those who in areas of tension and conflict can undertake the slow but important task of restoring confidence among peoples in conflict, establishing contacts and looking for ways to build upon common interests.

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

The Uprooted.

Increasing numbers of people in countries around the world, have been forced from their homes, by armed conflicts and systematic violations of human rights. Those who cross internationally recognized borders…

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