Before the United Nations Security Council, the UN special envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo spoke about the M23. The Congolese government wants the UN to formally condemn Rwanda.
The UN envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and head of MONUSCO blue helmets, Bintou Keita, spoke to the Security Council last Wednesday.
She explained that “the M23 is behaving more and more like a conventional army than like an armed group”. The Guinean asked that the Council "redouble its efforts in favor of a rapid de-escalation of the situation and the unconditional disarmament of the M23".
Insufficient for Kinshasa. On Thursday, Congolese government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said that " this diplomatic language is no longer sufficient ". "To say that it is the Rwandan army which operates under cover of M23 terrorists will mark, as in the past, the beginning of the end of this aggression".
A ras-le-bol of the Congolese minister, who deplores the inaction of the UN in the face of "dead children, the blue helmets killed, the displaced populations". This is part of Bintou Keita's testimony. The head of Monusco also warned that, "if the M23 continues its well-coordinated attacks against the FARDC and Monusco with increasing conventional capabilities, the mission could find itself facing a threat that goes beyond its current capabilities". .
For the first time in 20 years, Monusco risks being overwhelmed. According to Keita, the M23 "has increasingly sophisticated firepower and equipment". Mortars, heavy machine guns, precision shooting on aircraft…
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Where will help come from?
The head of the Blue Helmets in the DRC describes a conventional army, therefore. It also shed light on the recurrent deaths of civilians, the losses in the ranks of peacekeepers and the deaths of children. A member of civil society, Julienne Lusenge, describes for her part the horrors that civilians have been living in the region for years: rapes, brutal executions, women forced to eat human flesh...
Testimonies that should draw the attention of the UN Security Council to what is happening in eastern DRC. For Kinshasa, it would be neither more nor less than a conventional war against its Rwandan neighbor.
The general staff of the armed forces of the DRC (FARDC) issues daily accusations against Rwanda. And despite a Congolese counter-offensive, the M23 managed to take the town of Bonagana and several localities in Rutshuru, the capital of North Kivu.
The East African Community (EAC) has offered to deploy a regional military force in eastern DRC. Few details on the number of troops or the countries that will participate, but there is reason to believe that Uganda and Kenya will contribute to this operation.
For their part, the United States called for future EAC forces to coordinate their deployment with Monusco. The White House called on the M23 to lay down their arms and join the Nairobi disarmament initiative.