President Barack OBAMA
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500,
H.E Prime Minister David CAMERON
10 Downing Street
London, SW1A 2AA
Ref: DRC Addis Ababa Peace Accord
Rwanda People’s Party has noted with great concern the signing of a peace agreement between regional governments that include DRC, Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique facilitated by African Union and the United Nations aimed at bringing sanity to this tortured country in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 24/02/2013. However, our Party has very grave concerns about the success of the imposed peace accord and the sequence at which one party to the conflict is favoured while another is excluded. This puts a very disturbing question mark on the legality of the whole process or whether this kind of blunder was well thought through or if it is just another episode of error of judgement of gigantic proportions that is the contributing factor to total breakdown and failure of leadership on the African continent. We believe that any accord forced or imposed on parties by external forces cannot help to resolve internal conflicts because the external forces never work towards the interests of the Congolese but towards self-serving interests. It has come to our knowledge that one of the parties in peace talks with the Government of DRC was not consulted or informed about the contents of the agreement and was not even notified about the process of signing of this infamous accord in Ethiopia. Our concern is that some of UN staff and her affiliated partners have been seen as part of the problem to the DRC conflict and we regret to say that UN partiality in the DRC conflict may end up in genocide similar to that visited upon our country Rwanda in 1994. We believe the said agreement represents nothing other than a cloud of darkness that is waiting to hover over the people of DRC and the continent of Africa courtesy of the United Nations. This is accord that is neither workable theoretically nor enforceable practically. It represents a total failure by the international community to comprehend the problems of DRC.
Your Excellences, the problem of the DRC will never be solved by the mere signing of an agreement between the DRC government and other African nations without incorporating opposing elements that are fighting to overthrow the Kinshasa dictatorial regime on a negotiating table. What is needed in the DRC is a political process aimed at achieving political change, because the government in Kinshasa is very corrupt, incompetent, out of touch with reality and incapable of forging links with the Congolese people. It does not matter who is a party to the Addis Ababa agreement or how many foreign troops will be deployed in DRC to protect a regime that is wreaking havoc on its own people; nothing will ever change in the absence of viable and tangible political change in the DRC.
This requires the Congolese commitment and ability to forge comprehensive political arrangements that involves all rebel groups, opposition politicians including President Etienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba, and civil rights movements. This is the only viable methodological approach that can help to rescue the DRC from a sinking ship. This also requires putting the interest of the DRC as a nation and people to prevail before that of the individual politicians.
Your Excellences first there was incompetence, total chaos and violation of protocols displayed by the UN, when they consciously sanctioned the regional initiative headed by President Museveni of Uganda, to help bring the DRC parties to end their political differences through a peaceful negotiated resolution. However, it was the same UN that deliberately imposed sanctions on key M23 officials, preventing them from travelling to Uganda to negotiate peace with the DRC government in order to work out a joint resolution aimed at ending 60 years of political insanity that has engulfed the DRC. The UN confusion has sent the wrong message to the Kabila regime, which interpreted UN action as support for military intervention to crush the M23 aspirations for equal rights, equal opportunities, equal protection and dignity for all Congolese people.
Your Excellences, secondly, the creation of an enforcement brigade within MONUSCO or any African led Force to fight M23 is not a wise resolution or an answer to the suffering of innocent, defenceless and downtrodden Congolese men and women that have been under intense persecution, rapes, segregation, brutal repression and orchestrated ethnic cleansing. We believe the DRC does not need foreign troops on its soil nor drones to spy on their communities. The DRC people need genuine peace that can address the causes of the conflict that include the political, social, economic, cultural and security issues. They want a peaceful environment, which can see the return of all DRC refugees who have been displaced for many decades to return and resettle in villages and communities rather than incarcerating them permanently in refugee camps inside the DRC and in neighbouring countries. Thirdly, although M23 is a party to the peace talks with the DRC Government they were not consulted by the UN about the deployment of the so called MONUSCO Enforcement Brigade or African led Force nor their role, composition and time frame of deployment in the DRC. There is lack of uniformity in methods of communication with all the parties’ involved in the peace talks. This has continued to create a climate of mistrust and uncertainty. We also believe that the UN and its affiliated partners and agencies have lost the trust and confidence of the people of the Great Lakes Region of Nations; they are being viewed as a liability rather than problem solvers. We believe, that their presence in a region where they are perceived as an occupation force and their continued involvement in fomenting regional wars have very grave consequences to regional political, economical and social stability.
Your Excellences, we strongly condemn the culture of the UN body and its affiliated organisations for their misleading information against M23, labelling the group as being Rwandan; extraction of false confessions from refugees in refugee camps, arranging false confessions and testimonies alleging that Rwanda and Uganda finance, train, equip and command M23, calls for the economic sanctions on Rwanda and indictment of some Rwandan military officers by the UN Security Council, leaking of the UN official confidential reports and documents pre-maturely to the press and media in a bid to influence the UN organs to punish Rwanda and Uganda. Much as the UN approach was intended to trigger public outcry and generate public sympathy for its funding activities and to justify its continued presence in the region, what is actually going on in Eastern part of the DRC can best be interpreted as a well-orchestrated and pre-meditated terror attack and ethnic cleansing campaign against Congolese Kinyarwanda speaking people.
Your Excellences, allow us to inform you of the level and extent to which more than 35 rebel groups have been terrorising, and raping DRC women for the past 20 years; some of them are allied with President Kabila, mineral traders and others act independently to protect their communities from persecution. They occupy pockets of territories in: Katanga, South and North Kivu, Province Olientale, Kasia Occidental, Kasai Oriental, Maniema, Equateur and Bandundu. These groups include; 1. FARDC (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo) notoriously known for its rape, killing and other gross human right abuses of Congolese people; 2. FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda); 3. ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) based in North Kivu; 4. Mai Mai Yakutumba in Fizi territory, a Bembe rebellion against Banyamulenge Community; 5. Mai Mai Sheka ( Nduma Defence for Congo ), an ethnic Nyanga group propped up by FDLR; 6. APCLS (Alliance des Patriotes pour un Congo Libre et Souverain), the strongest Mai Mai group in North Kivu; an ethnic Hunde group which mobilizes based on resistance against the return of ethnic Tutsi refugees and both Tutsi and Hutu dominance in Masisi territory; 7. Mai Mai Simba based in Maiko Park with operations across Kivu, Maniema and Orientale; 8. Mai Mai Muhamba around North West coast of Lake Edward; 9. Mai Mai Mutomboki, whose agenda is to ethnically cleanse the region and force all Kinyarwanda speakers out of DRC; 10. Mai Mai Gedeon in Katanga; 11. FRPI (Patriotic Resistance Forces of Ituri); 12. Mai Mai Nyatura in South Kivu; 13. Mudundu 40; 14. Mai Mai Mongol; 15. Mai Mai La Fontaine; 16. Armee de Resistance Populaire; 17. Forces Patriotiques pour la Liberation du Congo; 18. Mai Mai Kifuafua; 19. PARECO; 20. PARECO Fort; 21. M23 (March 23 Movement); 22. M26 Rebellion in North Kivu; 23. LRA: Lord’s Resistance Army; 24. UPCP: Union des Patriotes Congolais pour la Paix, 29.’ Union des Forces Revolutionnaires du Congo “(UFRC); (Belongs to President Kabila’s own brother) and many others rebellions are being born every other day.
Your Excellences, the HRW, GoE, MONUSCO and other NGOs have created the impression that the M23 is the only rebel group operating in the DRC; and that it was set up by Rwanda and commanded by Rwanda’s defence minister. This is a totally fabricated tale and a scam aimed at resonating with the groups’ syndicate activities and destabilising the DRC and the Great Lakes Region of Nations as a whole. The impact of this has displaced over 300000 innocent Congolese and led to the savagery and brutal rape of 219 women by FARDC (DRC army).
Your Excellences, we also believe that concentrating on one individual group or person such as Bosco Ntaganda has no significant or fundamental impact in ending the suffering of the Congolese people. Ntaganda is simply, a petty individual, in the chain of exploitation of the DRC resources on behalf of foreign companies. The emotional propaganda appeal or pouring out of “crocodile tears” by the HRW and other affiliated agencies in attempting to make Ntaganda a public enemy number one, we believe is just a scapegoat and a diversion aimed at covering up the on-going political culture of wide spread corruption, arms trafficking, scandals and abuses of the DRC resources of which MONUSCO and its affiliated supporting agencies are part of. Your Excellences, what is needed in the DRC is proactive approach to address issues that affect local people rather than reacting in crisis mode.
Your Excellences, there are over 56 different NGO organisations operating in Goma alone. This is more than the number of NGOs that went to support the people of Haiti after the disastrous earthquake that befell their country on 12 Jan 2010. We believe that NGO presence has created more harm than good because there is no single empowerment project going on in Eastern DRC. Instead a culture of dependency is being built up in the Internally Displaced Peoples camps.
Your Excellences, MONUSCO has been equally exploiting the suffering of the DRC people, with US$1.5 billion annual hand out, budgeted to pay their salaries for doing nothing other than fomenting regional instability and trade of arms with gunmen responsible for killing, torturing and raping women that it is supposed to protect. We believe that given the economic incentives available in the DRC, none of these agencies wants to leave the region due to personal economic self-interest. MONUSCO has completely failed to maintain peace, to protect DRC women from being raped, it is not engaged in any social and developmental activities that would help refugees to maximize their human potential. The group is also not involved in bridge and road construction or repairs, and has no viable programme to repatriate refugees back to their homes and villages.
Your Excellences, the behaviour of the human rights groups and other supporting agencies have also been equally disturbing and their credibility is questionable. Some of these groups have allegedly conspired with Kabila’s regime to cover up the savage and brutal rape of 219 women in Sake, Minova, Bukavu and Goma by the FARDC. The groups have been completely silent about the continued plight of women, brutal repression, discrimination and orchestrated ethnic cleansing of Kinyarwanda speaking people in the DRC. Your Excellences, we would like to inform you that rape and violence against women in the DRC has become a trade mark norm in this tortured nation. The silence of these human right groups and other supporting agencies including GoE, MONUSCO makes it easier for armed groups who are committing these heinous and other abominable crimes to cover up their barbaric crimes and makes it difficult to bring to justice culprits of these pre-meditated crimes. However, what should be in no doubt is that our Party’s concern is for all Congolese victims and not a question of the victims’ ethnicity; we stand against and reject all barbarism inflicted on the Congolese population by armed groups.
Your Excellences, we believe that there is a total failure on the side of the UN in dealing with the DRC crisis. Today the DRC is like a boiling volcano waiting to explode and if it explodes; the impact will have very far reaching consequences
similar to the tragedies of Rwanda in 1994 and Bangladesh in 1971.
To this extent, Your Excellences, my party would like to use this opportunity to call upon Rwanda and Uganda not to be a part of the process that would sanction a crusade of genocide of the Congolese Kinyarwanda speaking people no matter the price to pay in defiance of the international community. We also wish to call upon the international community, to carefully analyse the consequences and impact of the imposed peace and the role of MONUSCO Reinforcement Brigade or African led Force involvement in the DRC civil war.
Your Excellences, my party appeals for your intervention to resolve the DRC crisis by dealing with the root causes. We are aware that your countries and the UN may be acting under public pressure. Your Excellencies this is not the issue because your countries and the UN owe the world integrity and conscience in making the right decision however unpopular it may be. Please, allow use this quote: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”. Unquote, Martin Luther King, Jr, 1963.
Your Excellences, we also believe that there is a vital need to reform the UN and its affiliated agencies in order to be able to meet the challenges of the 21 century effectively. The allegations against MONUSCO, NGO, GoE and Civil Right groups that were involved in fomenting civil wars in the DRC to attract public sympathy for their continued presence in the DRC and the circumvention of funding procedures are critical failures of the groups. The UN failure, to find the equitable acceptable formula to end the genocide and carnage of Syrian people, is another UN weakness and chaotic confusion similar to that seen during the 1994 Rwanda genocide of Tutsi. Please, also allow the use of this quote “We have a stake in one another. What binds us together is greater than what drives us apart, and if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done for the people with who we share this World “ Unquote: Barack Obama”
Your Excellencies, you must act now to permanently end this insanity of the Congolese government, FARDC and other independent armed groups wrecking havoc of shame on their own people, mainly in the South and North Kivu provinces, where raping of women, terrorizing their communities and fighting for control of and access to mineral resources on behalf of foreign companies has become the infamous trade mark norm of the DRC.
I thank you very much for your time and kind consideration and look forward to a speedy response on this matter.
John V Karuranga,
President, Rwanda People’s Party