Over more than a year now, the Congolese people have been the target of systematic massacres, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The crimes are followed by systematic looting of mineral and other natural resources and properties. According to sources in the region, in North-Kivu the crimes are committed by Rwandan troops under the cover of M23 rebels. The same sources have also reported that Rwandan troops and troops from Uganda have been operating in Ituri Province, under the cover of Allied Defence Forces (ADF) militia. Hence, the daily life of the Congolese in the territories of Beni and Rutshuru in North-Kivu province and in Ituri province presents the same similarities as what Rwandans experienced between 1990 and 1993: terrorist attacks orchestrated by the Rwanda Patriotic Front and, often conveniently blamed on the government.
A Replica of the 1990-1993 Situation in Rwanda.
In Rwanda, the terrorist attacks by RPF were aimed at breaking the mental resolve of the civilians, empty the lands and personal properties, and send the population into exile. RPF targeted civilians from both main Rwandan ethnic groups, blaming the, then, Rwandan government for the crimes.
The RPF leadership wanted to manipulate the international community with a well crafted propaganda, as the RPF troops were getting ready to seize power and take control of those properties by military conquest, while forcing the owners and the population into exile, while blaming the already struggling government ruling Rwanda.
30 years later, the same modus operandi can be observed in the provinces Ituri, North-Kivu and soon, South-Kivu of the DRC. The recent massacres in Kishishe, in November 2022 and Kasindi-Lubirigha, in January 2023 in North-Kivu are a clear example.
On November 29, 2022, 272 civilians, including 17 children, were killed in Kishishe, North Kivu. According to witnesses, on December 1-2, 2022 more civilians were killed in Rutshuru, with some being massacred while praying in a church, before the church was set on fire by M23 rebels.
In the same period, the UN Mission in DRC, Monusco, and many non government organizations reported 131 casualties, adding that several women were raped and others abducted into sexual slavery. The death toll was confirmed by Congolese industry minister Julien Paluku and the DRC government spokesman, Patrick Muyaya.
On January 15, 2023, at least 17 people were killed and around 20 others seriously injured in a church in the town of Kasindi-Lubirigha, North Kivu at around 90 kilometers northeast of the city of Beni, in Ituri.
Since 2022, many people from ethnic Tutsi in North-Kivu and Hema in Ituri were killed. M23 leaders were quick to blame FARDC and other allies, the same way RPF was blaming the Rwandan military for some killings of Tutsis, despite the fact that these Tutsis were killed by RPF special forces.
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Hypocrisy of African Leaders Called Out.
On January 26-27, 2023 in Accra, Ghana, The DRC Minister of Foreign Trade, Jean-Lucien Bussa, expressed his outrage of seeing heads of states watch the Rwandan troops, under the cover of M23 rebels systematically massacre civilians, commit war crimes, and loot the DRC, and but say nothing.
"African heads of state must stop being hypocrites and take sanctions against Rwanda," he said, during the first conference of Africa Prosperity Dialogues, which revolves around the theme: “ZLECAF: From ambition to action, promoting prosperity through continental trade”.
He added: “You also know that the Security Council has condemned Rwanda, the European Union and all other peace-loving countries. But what makes Rwanda unable to withdraw its forces? Heads of state stop being hypocrites. Decisions have to be made. When a country imposes itself as a donor of lessons, when, in reality it is the disruptor of security in the Great Lakes region and has been for more than twenty years.""
Despite the mediations by the African Union led by the Angolan President and of the EAC with the facilitation of the former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, Rwandan government has ignored the agreements and keept advancing its plan of balkanization of the DRC.
Balkanization of DRC in Progress
Meanwhile, Rwandan Defense Forces, under the cover of M23 rebels, have continued their advances on seizing the North-Kivu and heading to South-Kivu. By January 27, 2022, M23 Rebels were in full control of Kitchanga, a strategic town in Masisi territory, North Kivu and the areas of Burungu, Kilorirwe, Tebero, forcing the FARDC to withdraw towards Walikale. Masisi is a strategic target by Rwandan troops for its widely known precious minerals including coltan, cassiterite, cobalt, and gold.
On January 27, 2023, while acknowledging the recent advances of the Rwandan troops, the DRC government tried to reassure the population. The Minister of Communication and Media, Patrick Muayaya, while reporting on the Council of Ministers on Friday, January 27, 2023 said that DRC President Felix Tshisekedi wanted to "reassure the entire Congolese population in general, and that of North Kivu in particular, that all measures are taken to block the road to the adventures of Rwanda and the M23 terrorist movement"
According to the latest news obtained by AfroAmerica Network, the original balkanization plan of the DRC (see here DR Congo - Rwanda - Uganda: Growing Opposition Against Felix Tshisekedi; Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni Readying their Sons for the Thrones; M23 Leaders Condescend to Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye) has been extended to more provinces.
The plan now includes the provinces of Ituri, North-Kivu, South-Kivu and Tanganika.
According to AfroAmerica sources in the area, a secret meeting was recently held in Beni territory with the physical and virtual participation of M23 leaders, ADF leaders, and the military leaders of those preparing the operations in Tanganika. The meeting was attended by Maj Willy Ngoma and Maj Bahati of M23 and representatives of military leaderships and business people from two countries, reportedly Uganda and Kenya. The business people from Kenya appeared focused on the opportunities to exploit mineral resources, especially gold.
The Uganda's People Defense Forces(UPDF) have already formed 265 military instructors from the Hema ethnic group. These military instructors, with expertise in guerrila warfare and use of advanced weapons, have started to train Rwandan backed ADF fighters.
Most of the current top ADF fighters and commanders were recruited from 6,600 Rwandans who were expelled from Tanzania in 2013. In 2013, Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete ordered the expulsion of "illegal immigrants" and "criminals", amid heightening diplomatic tension with the Rwandan government over the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. President Jakaya Kikwete was then accusing Rwandan government of trying to destabilize Tanzania, in retaliation for its decision to send troops to DR Congo as part of a UN force seeking to disarm and neutralise the M23 rebel group. The M23 rebels were then, as now, widely seen as a proxy of Rwanda Defense Forces. (see M23 Rebels Are Rwandan Citizens, Says Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Membe and Tanzanian Officials Warn Rwandan General Paul Kagame Against Invasion).
According to AfroAmerica sources that followed the meeting, the balkanization of Katanga is lead by General John Numbi, a formed Congolese security officer and retainer of Joseph Kabila and who remains very close.
On 14 April 2021, former General John Numbi was charged with the murder of human rights activist Floribert Chebeya Bahizire and his driver Fidèle Bazana Edadi by the High Military Court, 11 years after the murder was committed.
Following reports of Katanga being part of the balkanization, many former close associates of Joseph Kabila have distanced from him. These include Evariste Boshab Mabudj, Former president of the National Assembly, and former chief of staff and interior minister in former DRC president Joseph Kabila's government.
In the meeting, a plan to invade the areas in northern Ituri and then progress south and take the town of Bunia, using the Ugandan and Rwandan troops deployed in South-Sudan, was also approved.
AfroAmerica Network will give more details and update the new dynamics in upcoming articles.
@AfroAmerica Network 2023