Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The Congo peace accord backstory

Awhile back, the Catholic bishops in the Congo backed a peace accord.

 StrategyPage has a summary on the story and what is going on there.

 February 6, 2017: Many Congolese are not convinced the president Kabila will ever comply with the December 31, 2016 agreement brokered by the Catholic Church. That deal (“the December accord”) was made between the political opposition and several senior members of Kabila’s government. However, Kabila himself was not personally a party to the agreement. The agreement stipulated that Kabila could remain in power until national elections are held near the end of 2017.... 

so why does he want to stay in power? follow the money:

Kabila and his family are wealthy and that fortune could be lost or severely depleted if a reform-minded new government decides to recover billions stolen by corrupt politicians. The Kabila clan has extensive mineral interests (including gold, cobalt, diamonds and copper). Many of these family interests are in Katanga province. Corruption in the government Kabila controls has made his family and associates wealthier. It’s an old and wretched story. (Austin Bay)

 read the whole thing.

AlJ has an article on the M23 rebels.

International human rights groups say M23 fighters have been responsible for widespread war crimes, including summary executions, rapes, and the forced recruitment of children. In March 2013, following infighting between two M23 factions, Ntaganda turned himself in to the United States embassy in Rwanda and was extradited to The Hague.
Why the rebellion?The rebels say they started their rebellion because they were not happy with the pay and conditions in the Congolese army. But Congolese government officials and analysts say the mutiny began when the government came under pressure to arrest Ntaganda and hand him over to the ICC.
Given the fact that M23 is a ragtag army, and the vast 1136km distance between Goma and Kinshasa, it is highly unlikely that the rebels can topple the government. But they have continued to fight, sometimes emerging victorious after battles with poorly trained and ill-equipped soldiers. Many say the rebellion is fuelled by the presence of vast mineral resources in eastern DR Congo, claiming the rebels want to win control of them.
again follow the money.

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