Friday, 3 March 2017

Why world silence on resurgence of #M23 rebellion - #Uganda #DRCongo?

In 2013 a combined AU force comprising of Tanzania, Malawi and South Africa defeated the Rwanda and Uganda backed M23 rebel outfit in eastern DRC before they fled to Uganda and Rwanda for sanctuary.

Kagame and Museveni treated the intervention as a betrayal on the part of Tanzania.  Consequently, the two moved to isolate it from the EAC economic block by way of formation of a Coalition of the Willing
(COWI) involving Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

In Uganda, a battalion of 730 defeated M23 fighters were housed at Bihanga Army Training School but their status remained unclear.  Since there are unconfirmed reports indicating that they have often been used by the Museveni regime to suppress political dissent in the capital, Kampala.  At the conclusion of the Museveni/Kabila meeting in Kasese in mid 2016, Museveni stated thus:  "Am still conducting
consultations with the group to find out why they don’t want to go back to their country.  Am going to ask them directly, why if all the guarantees have been put in place and then we shall inform the Congolese."

Indeed, since January 2017, Museveni continues to 'inform the Congolese’ about M23.  After several weeks of denial, in February the Museveni regime conceded that the M23 fighters were escaping from
Bihanga.  It pretended to intercept a few of them enroute to eastern DRC.  Kisoro district has borne the brunt of the fresh M23.  The L.C 5 Chairman, Abel Bizimana warned local youths against joining M23 rebels with promises of pay in gold, US Dollars and employment. 

He went ahead to allege that some five local government leaders were recruiting local youths into M23 ranks.  Sadly, the district Chairman was threatened with impeachment.  Insecurity is at its peak in Kisoro district hence affecting tourism.  The Kisoro Resident District Commissioner has now conceded that local youths are being recruited into the M23 ranks and are calling themselves Political Cadres of M23.

Just across in DRC, the Congolese army is battling the M23 fighters with 22 reportedly killed in a single battle two days ago.  The fleeing M23 fighters are reportedly withdrawing to Uganda whenever the
going gets tough where they are protected by the Museveni army.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Part is used as the easy route by these fighters on they way to Congo from Rwanda and Uganda.  In one of such uncoordinated movements, the army and park rangers clashed with a small group of M23 rebels inside the national park leaving Uganda's Cpl. David Ochuna dead while another is seriously injured.  The army is struggling hard to make a cover-up of the incident.

Why is the world silent on the current resurgence of M23?


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