Friday, April 01, 2005

Some light in the Great Lakes?

Thanks to Brian's comment to a previous post, I went to roam the net again, and did not have look far to find out that there are very interesting and "hope-bearing" - even though probably puncutual - events taking place in the Great Lakes:
DRC-RWANDA: Rebel group ready to disarm

NAIROBI, 31 Mar 2005 (IRIN) - Leaders of a Rwandan armed group operating from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced on Thursday their intention to end attacks against their homeland, according to the UN Mission in the DRC, known as MONUC.

Moreover, the leaders of the Forces démocratique de libération de Rwanda (FDLR) indicated a willingness to enter a UN programme of disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation, reinstallation and rehabilitation (DDRRR).

"In the light of this declaration by the FDLR, MONUC is ready to work out a timetable and details for undertaking the repatriation," MONUC said in a statement.

Hutu Rebels offer appology for the Genocide
To really understand the importance of this event, one must remember that the main excuse for Pres. Kagame's sustained policy of military intervention in the Congo (DRC), is officially based on the notion that there are numbers and numbers of armed and unchecked Hutu rebels in the East of the DRC, that are intent on overthrowing the largely Tutsi-led RPF regime in Kigali. That these rebels would reach the decisionm in discussion with the Congolese government, to abandon weapons, should - normally - anihilate any argument in favor of Rwandan intervention... which would effectively mean a true turn of events towards peace (Ain't that a beautiful concept).

On the homefront in Congo, also, several militiamen have come to turn in their weapons, and start living normal lives. And that was also a major development. However:
Congo militias fail arms deadline

A UN military officer in the Democratic Republic of Congo has said the response to a disarmament deadline for local militias was "not encouraging".
Col Hussein Mahmoud, deputy commander of UN forces in the eastern Ituri region, said fewer than half of 15,000 fighters had given up their weapons.

Col Mahmoud said UN peacekeepers would now act to forcibly disarm those who flouted the midnight deadline.
A rather sad development, except from the fact that the UN forces - it seems - will finally show the backbone that we have wanted them to show for a VERY LONG time now. In fact, that is what they are there to do, technically, since they are there under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter; many Congolese people have been wondering as to what generated the apparent reluctance to use those powers at their disposal. It is sad that it took 9 Blue Helmets dying for MONUC to react, considering there is the effect of a tsunami every month, amongst the Congolese people. I have deep respect for the UN, but I still wonder...

1 comment:

Brian said...

Darn, I was gonna blog about that but you beat me to it! :-)

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