Why Rwanda will always be MONUSCO’s punching bag
Since 1999, the UN peace keeping force has been deployed in eastern DRC. Mandated to bring peace to this troubled region, peace remains as elusive as ever and only wars have become a custom.
Thirteen years is not a short time and this is why. A child born in 1999 is today in low high school having graduated from kindergarten and primary education, almost three years ago.
At the time United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1279, establishing MONUC as the peace keeping body in eastern DRC, Bill Clinton was still the President of the United States, George Bush Jnr came and went and now Obama is in his final leg on the first term.
At home, President Paul Kagame was still the Vice President and Laurent Desire Kabila was President of DRC.
That is how long this UN body has been operating inside the troubled waters of eastern DRC. Which begs the question, why has MONUC, re-baptized MONUSCO, failed to bring peace to DRC and why is the World or Community of Nations looking on with little interest?
Granted, DRC has its own problems that transcend decades and apportioning all the blame on the UN body would be as unfair as blaming the Pope for not converting all Muslims into Catholics.
However, what stands out prominently is that MONUSCO seems to be operating in the opposite direction of its mandate. Some elements within this body seem to be driven by a desire of self-enrichment as opposed to ending the suffering of the Congolese people in this volatile region.
Recall that MONUSCO is the largest UN peacekeeping force in the world made up of slightly above 19,000 military personnel, 760 military observers, 390 police personnel and over 1,000 members of police units. In addition, there are 900+ international civilian personnel working within MONUSCO.
The foot soldiers and members of the police come and go on a rotational basis. But the 900 plus international staff are permanent and are the key architects of the problems we see inside DRC.
These ones behave like what a colleague in one of these pages yesterday described as ‘mercenaries.’ These fellows are remunerated handsomely and enjoy abnormal allowances. They are the fellows who have built a network that engages in clandestine trade of Congolese minerals like numerous reports have pointed out.
For them a peaceful eastern DRC is not in their interest because it is a serious threat to their source of bread and butter.
These are the fellows in bed with the FDLR and have often been accused of arming the extremist outfit because without FDLR, their departure would be a foregone conclusion.
FDLR is the biggest equation for their survival and is the loose thread on which they hang to siphon Congolese in name of peacekeeping.
The world and specifically the Community of Nations should demand accountability. For the last 13 years they have been in the Congo, where’s the peace they were mandated to bring? Where is the value for the $1, 35-billion-a-year budget they spend?
Yet this money comes in as support to the DRC but ends in the pockets of these fellows and the little that remains, is spent on buying them sausages and burgers, while millions of ordinary Congolese go to bed on an empty stomach each day.
For these fellows to remain relevant and keep their siphoning taps flowing, they turn to Rwanda and use it as scapegoat. They are not even ashamed to quote a mentally incapacitated person or defecting rebels as source of their accusations on Rwanda without taking a moment to verify.
Because of the desperation to remain relevant and to be seen to be doing something, they turn to fabricating lies.
And this is not the first time or the last time the State of Rwanda will be dragged in this mess, simply because of one reason.
As long as Rwanda continues to seek solutions of making peace with DRC, by either winning the war of repatriating FDLR fighters or arresting the likes of Laurent Nkunda or engaging Kinshasa bilaterally, then it will always remain in the black books of these MONUSCO fellows.
Why? By doing so, Rwanda is cutting off food flowing to the plates of these fellows, and naturally anyone blocking you from a free piece of cake, even when it is legitimate, is your enemy number one!
Unfortunately, it is the innocent ordinary Congolese who will continue to suffer.
On a parting shot, I was in Nasho Training School on Monday as part of a media team invited to witness the pass out of a battalion of ‘Special Forces’ – having witnessed the military drills and expertise of these soldiers; one would conclude that it is simply an insult to draw them into the mess of DRC. If indeed, they were to be involved, the situation would be a lot more different.
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Contact email: akaeus[at]yahoo.com