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Congo: The UN Combat Intervention Brigade is not there to combat resource theft

June 25, 2013

by Ann Garrison

KPFA Evening News June 22, 2013

KPFA Evening News Anchor Cameron Jones: On Friday, Uganda’s New Vision newspaper reported that Congolese President Joseph Kabila is deploying hundreds of soldiers and tanks at the edge of territory held by the M23 militia and that South Africa has deployed troops in the eastern Congolese city of Goma to reinforce the Tanzanian contingent of the United Nations Combat Intervention Brigade, which has been sent to root out M23 and other militias in Congo’s resource rich eastern provinces.

M23 military leader Gen. Sultani Makenga, rt, w troops near Sake, DRC 1112
M23 military leader Gen. Sultani Makenga, right, is camped with his troops near the town of Sake in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in this November 2012 photo. They so confidently control “their territory” that a June 25 story from Press TV reports, “M23 rebels who have set up a parallel government in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo have defended their right to organize criminal trials.”
M23, however, has said repeatedly that they have no intention of surrendering territory and are well prepared for any attack on their positions. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.

KPFA’s Ann Garrison: The 2012 report by the U.N. Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo says that the M23 militia, in the country’s east, is not only backed by the country’s eastern neighbors, Rwanda and Uganda, but also that Rwanda’s Defense Chief Charles Kayonga and Defense Minister James Kabarebe are at the top of its chain of command. Kayonga and Kabarebe answer in turn to Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Friends of the Congo’s Executive Director Maurice Carney told KPFA that the U.N. Combat Intervention Brigade is really just the U.S., U.K., and other Western powers’ excuse for continuing to support African dictators – Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Congo’s Joseph Kabila. All three, he says, collaborate with foreign interests to drain Congo of its vast resource wealth. Carney has long maintained that there is no military solution and that Americans must therefore urge the U.S. government to stop supporting African dictators.

Maurice Carney: It’s really important for your listening audience to understand the dynamic of what’s happening here. It’s clear what is causing the destabilization of eastern Congo, and that’s U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda sponsoring militia groups inside of the Congo. Everyone is in agreement on that.

Paul Kagame, Joseph Kabila, Ban Ki-moon, Yoweri Museveni at African Union summit 012813
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, Congo’s President Joseph Kabila, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni pose for a photo together at the African Union summit the last week of January 2013.
The U.S. is in agreement on it. The U.K. is in agreement on it. The U.N. Everyone knows that the militia inside the Congo, committing crimes against humanity – that militia is backed by Rwanda in particular and to some extent Uganda. Now, because these two countries are U.S. allies, and the United States runs diplomatic and political interference for them at the international level to cover the crimes that they commit locally, the U.N. has to come up with alternatives, as opposed to directly holding these U.S. allies accountable.

What actually needs to be done is for the United States, the United Kingdom to cease financing, arming, training, equipping these militaries, Rwanda and Uganda, that are sponsoring war criminals in the Congo.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Amidst ongoing violence and chaos, foreign interests drain Congo’s wealth in two ways. One, which has been much described in many years of U.N. reports, is the smuggling of Congo’s mineral wealth across its eastern borders to Rwanda and Uganda.

Maurice Carney, Kambale Musavuli of Friends of the Congo speak to United Steelworkers 020813
Maurice Carney, left, and Kambale Musavuli of Friends of the Congo, on their “Breaking the Silence” speaking tour, appeal on Feb. 8, 2013, to the United Steelworkers to pressure the U.S. government to side with the Congolese people and stop the forces raping the Congo of its vast mineral wealth by ending support for the countries that sponsor those forces.
The U.N. Panel of Experts on Illegal Minerals Trade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo wrote, in its first of a series of reports published between 2001 and 2008, that Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni were “becoming the godfathers of illegal resource exploitation and ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

Also amidst ongoing violence and chaos, the Congolese government, led by President Joseph Kabila, grants extraordinarily generous leases to multinational mining corporations which operate with little or no labor or environmental protection for the Congolese people. For Pacifica, KPFA and AfrobeatRadio.

Oakland writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, Colored Opinions, Black Star News and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, KPFA Evening News and her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at ann@afrobeatradio.com. If you want to see Ann Garrison’s independent reporting continue, please contribute on her website at anngarrison.com.

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6 thoughts on “Congo: The UN Combat Intervention Brigade is not there to combat resource theft

  1. therisingcontinent

    And what the proposal from the Tanzanian president Kikwete of having talks between armed rebels in the region with their respective governments [Rwanda, Uganda and DRC] would bring to the situation?

    Reply
    1. Ann_Garrison

      Ambrose, Friends of the Congo doesn't appear to take Kikwete's proposal seriously. I actually do because it challenges the claim, that the FDLR are the devil, and that everything the RPF does in Congo is justified by their need to hunt down the FDLR. It challenges the demonization of Hutu people that has gone on for so long.

      I can support the Kikwete statement without supporting the combat intervention brigade.

      Reply
  2. RPP

    AG:I think DRC people are confused by foreign amateur journalists and NGOs that are making a living at their own expenses. They should rather encourage Congolese to work out their own political settlement among themselves other than encouraging and supporting them to poking fingers in eyes of Rwanda. Anti-semantics politics will not help to resolve the DRC political nightmare. They are being ill-advised or misled that it is only foreigners that hold the key for the DRC political miracle. Any allegation that M23 is not Congolese is just a delusion. Any prospect that DRC resolution will be imposed on them by outsiders is also another delusion and fantasy. I think people need to visit politics of reality rather than continuing to enslave themselves in the world of fantasy. People need to understand the difference between politics of reality and that of delusion or fantasy.
    Politics is about engaging and building a nation and civil society. Emotional is about empathy and how we, personally feel, how we want to live our personal lives, how to solve our family affairs, how we want other to be to judged as well as how we would wish to see the whole world and people, look in own mirror. Therefore, politics reality and emotional feelings cannot be ledgered together. The problem with politics of empathy or emotional tends to create delusional thoughts to believers that they can defend what is indefendable or have the whole world in their own way of thinking.

    Reply
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