Western-Backed Terrorism in The Congo: Where Is General Laurent Nkunda?
EDITOR'S CHOICE | 22.06.2015

Western-Backed Terrorism in The Congo: Where Is General Laurent Nkunda?

In 2009, after years of bloody insurrection in Congo, General Laurent Nkunda was ‘arrested’ with great fanfare in Rwanda.  Wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity, not a word about his situation has been reported for years.  Are the regimes in Rwanda and Uganda using Laurent Nkunda and comrades in a new thrust to destabilize eastern Congo?  The perpetual aggressors in this long, bloody saga of despair and death served on millions of innocent people in central Africa, Rwanda and Uganda protect the interests and insure the profits of their U.S., Canadian, European and Israeli patrons.  Meanwhile, with a new insurrection afoot in eastern Congo, the western media and its modern day intelligence mercenaries spin disinformation to project black African chaos and whitewash the corruptions of Empire.

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Image: FARDC troops from the 1st integrated brigade on operations in South Kivu. 
Photo c. keith harmon snow 2006.

In the twilight hours of 2 June 2015 residents of the city of Goma, in Congo’s eastern province of North Kivu, were awoken after midnight by gunshots, mortars and heavy artillery fire, and battle tanks.  The fighting lasted several hours.  At daybreak most government offices, schools and businesses remained closed.  The fighting resumed around 11:00 AM, and receded to the Rwanda border as Congolese tanks pressed the attackers back to Rwanda.

We are in great stress since last night.”  An official in Goma who asked not to be named reports that this is the work of the regimes in Rwanda and Uganda. From about 1:00 to 3:00 in the morning there was a lot of firing inside the town of Goma and on the border with Rwanda: Simple and heavy guns and even war tanks.  Officially, we have no precision, but it’s known that Kagame’s forces entered Congo this night.  Eight Congolese soldiers were killed; I saw one of them with my own eyes in the Virunga quarter of Goma.   The Governor and Congolese military officers are keeping quiet. [1]

Gunmen attacked the airport in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s largest city, Goma, in an overnight raid in which four government soldiers and three suspected assailants were killed, a local official and a witness said on Tuesday.”  The Reutersnews syndicate produced the only report that appeared in western media venues on 2 June 2015.  Reuters reported that North Kivu governor Julien Paluku referred to the attackers only as ‘bandits’. “A Congolese security official involved in the clashes and a Goma-based diplomat said the assailants were Mai-Mai fighters, members of one of the dozens of armed militias that control large parts of Congo’s mineral-rich eastern borderlands. [2]

Later in the day on 2 June 2015, Agence France Presse attributed the attack to a criminal gang and called the war-torn North Kivu a ‘restless province’, suggesting that the province itself is inherently prone to permanent unrest of the African variety.  ”At least one soldier and a gunman were killed overnight when a gang raided the Goma airport in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo during an apparent robbery, officials said Tuesday.  ’Bandits got inside the airport area to try to steal from depots (storing goods) waiting to be loaded on to cargo planes,’ the governor of the restless North Kivu province, Julien Paluku, toldAFP.” [3]

By 3 June 2015 the supposed culprits had been captured, and the western news syndicates were regurgitating claims by Congolese officials that the ‘bandit’ leader of the ‘gang’ was ‘a criminal from the distant city of Butembo’ who had recruited other criminals and organized an attack on Goma airport.  The reportage is confused: the attack is blamed on both ‘criminals’ and ‘ethnic Mai Mai militia’ and the Reuters correspondent ignores the contradictions.

Soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have captured the man suspected of being behind a deadly attack this week on the largest airport in the east of the country, the government’s spokesperson said on Wednesday,” Reuters continued.  ”At least four soldiers and three suspected assailants were killed in the gun attack at Goma airport on Tuesday that military and diplomatic sources said was the work of ethnic Mai-Mai fighters. [4]

“The region has seen years of conflict involving dozens of armed militia such as the Mai-Mai that control large parts of the mineral-rich eastern borderlands, but attacks of this kind are rare.

Reuters falsely spins this as an uncharacteristic attack atypical of war-torn eastern Congo, where Ugandan and Rwandan militias under the command of presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame have perpetrated war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide since at least 1994.

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Similarly, there is also no mention by Reuters of the vast tracts of mineral-rich land that have been acquired and cleared of Congolese people by western mining companies like Banro Gold Corporation [5], Metallurg [6], Casa Minerals [7], or Alphamin [8], the western mining firm that has captured massive concessions in North Kivu (see Map).

Government spokesperson Lambert Mende described the man captured as a ‘criminal’ from the town of Butembo, some 270 km north of Goma. [9]

This is bullshit!”  The (unnamed) Goma official is adamant.  ”How can a group of Mai Mai leave Butembo 290 km from Goma and come to attack the airport!  And for which purpose?  Everyone knows there is no food or weapons at the Goma airport.  The [DRC] government does not want to accuse Rwanda, but Congolese people are not stupid.[10]

The 3 June 2015 Reuters article also attributes the capture of the ‘criminals’ and ‘bandits’ to the friendly cooperative assistance of neighboring Rwanda.  ”The man was arrested in Goma thanks to information provided by three captured assailants and intelligence help from neighboring Rwanda, whose phone networks the attackers used, [DRC spokesman Lambert] Mende later told Reuters.” [11]

The assailants came from Rwanda and went back to Rwanda.” The unnamed DRC official in Goma is certain that the attack is part of the new Rwandan-Ugandan military thrust — the newly and euphemistically named Christian Movement for the Reconstruction of the Congo (MCRC) — in eastern Congo.  ”There were almost 20 Mai Mai being held [in advance] just to be accused in case the attack failed.  Congolese tanks fired in the direction of Rwanda and the retreating assailants.  These were Tutsi soldiers and they came from Rwanda.  We are afraid as we know the government is hiding the truth: people saw Rwanda troops coming into Congo.[12]

The Reuters story is further confused by the inclusion of a Associated Press photograph captioned: “Congolese soldiers visit territory retaken last week from M23 rebels near the Rwandan border Joseph Kay AP.”  The Rwandan/Ugandan backed M23 insurgency was named in recognition of the 23 March 2009 peace treaty that integrated the former Rwandan/Ugandan army, theNational Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), into the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo(FARDC).  M23 soldiers claimed that the Congolese government failed to honor the terms of the agreement, and so they launched another war.  The recycled AP photograph by Joseph Kay originated in an AP story of 6 September 2013, but has been used over and over for various and diverse disinformation.[13a]

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Image: United Nations (MONUC) helicopter departing an eastern Congo airport. Photo c. 2007 keith harmon snow.

The real story is that Congo appears to be on the cusp of a new insurrection.  Like the RCD, CNDP and M23 occupations, this is yet another military thrust by Rwanda and Uganda to destabilize eastern Congo and seize absolute control.  The first objective: take control of Goma.

On 6 June 2015 the Rwandan ‘news’ venue Imirasire, one of the main propaganda/disinformation venues of the regime of Paul Kagame, run by the Directorate of Military Intelligence, published a very short clip claiming that the attack on Goma airport was perpetrated by “a new rebel group headed by a former politician.”  While naming the problem more accurately than Reuters or the Congolese government were willing to do, the Imirasire report is laughable in its pretensions about violence and minerals theft. [13b]

Some Mai Mai from the Cheka [armed] group infiltrated Goma from the bush,” says the unnamed official in Goma, “and soldiers came from Rwanda and both attacked in the night under heavy rain with hope to take the airport, but they failed because the FARDC they found there were Republican Guards, trained by the USA and Israel, the best soldiers we have in Congo.  The last noise from the fighting was in the area of ‘La grande barriere’ on the Rwanda border.  Workers at the Congolese border office and Republican Guards confirmed.  After they had failed, MCRC withdrew back to Rwanda.  Local authorities forbade TV stations to show the bodies of ‘bandits’ that were killed.[14]

THE WARLORD’S WARLORDS

For the past six years Rwandan General Laurent Nkunda has been hiding in Rwanda and Uganda, shielded from arrest or prosecution by Rwandan president Paul Kagame and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and their western backers.

Is General Laurent Nkunda now moving freely between Rwanda and Uganda, organizing a new insurrection in eastern Congo’s Kivu provinces, directing a new guerilla movement that has already perpetrated human rights atrocities and destabilized the eastern Congo?

Other known Rwandan war criminals with deep historical ties to General Laurent Nkunda are on the move.  One of these is Rwandan Major General Vincent Gatama, one of Nkunda’s former comrades, now in charge of Rwanda’s military operations in Congo.  On the night of 17 November 2012 then Colonel Vincent Gatama led a Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) special forces unit in the 2012 attack on Goma.[15]  Soon after the Goma attack, Paul Kagame promoted Gatama from Colonel to Major General in support of war operations to infiltrate and occupy eastern Congo.

Another of these Nkunda-allied warlords is General Bwambale Kakolele, a former leader of one of the original Rwanda- and Uganda-backed ‘rebel’ armies from the 1998-2002 war, the Congolese Rally for Democracy, and later one of General Nkunda’s top commanders in the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) insurrection.

Born in the Congo to the Nande tribe of Orientale Province, Bwambale Kakolele is a former Forces Armee Zairois (FAZ) soldier under the Mobutu regime who originally joined the Rwandan-Ugandan war of 1996-1997 to help oust long-time CIA-backed dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.  By late 2001 he was leading the RCD’s Movement for Liberation (RDC-ML) faction, and he was named by the United Nations for trafficking arms in violation of the wartime arms embargo.  After this Kakolele was part of theCongolese Revolutionary Movement (MRC), one of the scores of militias involved in the bloody Ituri conflicts of 2003-2008. General Nkunda and the CNDP joined forces with the MRC in 2006, and the MRC agreed to disarm in August 2007.

General Kakolele left the CNDP in 2008, and in 2011 was participating in DRC government activities that facilitated his being dispatched to north Kivu province.  The DRC government allegedly arrested him in 2013 in Beni, North Kivu, for blocking the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process. [16][17]

Like his military allies, General Kakolele is an opportunist who has pursued any profitable enterprise in war-torn Congo, no matter how ruthless and lawless, including diamonds, and he allegedly has deep long-standing ties to the Ugandan ‘rebel’ Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).  Like the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda, the ADF is on the U.S. government list of terrorist organizations.  Kakolele gains protection through his ties to various guerrilla armies backed by Rwanda and Uganda.

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Image: RwandAir air waybill proving Rwandan government mineral shipments out of Bukuvu, DRC on RwandAir, a company tightly linked to the regime through Kagame business kingpin John Mirenge; the transport chain involves DHL International, SGS Laboratories, SwissAir and other international corporations. 

Third on the list of Nkunda allied over-achievers in Congo bloodletting is Ugandan Colonel Sultani Makenga, another warlord who was also involved in the 2012 invasion of Goma, and one of president Yoweri Museveni and his half-brother General Salim Saleh’s protégés in the region.  Makenga is said to be very sick with HIV, but, allegedly, he participated in May meetings in Uganda where the new insurrection was born.

Finally, there is the rogue warlord Mai Mai leader Ntabo Ntaberi, alias ‘Cheka’, who has been plundering and killing in the Walikale and Lubero districts of North Kivu.  In 2010 soldiers under Cheka’s command raped some 300 women in Walikale region.  In 2013, after the defeat of the Rwandan M23 army, the regime in Rwanda provided troop reinforcements and arms to Cheka.

Throughout 2013, 2014 and early 2015 the forces under Cheka have perpetrated massive human rights atrocities and crimes against humanity in a wide swath of North Kivu between Lubero and Walikale.  Cheka has been hunting civilians in their villages and fields, accusing them of being collaborators of FDLR and Congolese Mai Mai, and killing them.  Crimes include summary executions, rape, mass abductions, forced marches and other forced labor, and shooting of children.  Commander Cheka is one of the most ruthless and dangerous military commanders on Congolese soil and he runs his own militia namedNduma Defense of the Congo.[18]

Cheka rose out of the forests of North Kivu on a self-declared mission to gain justice for the Congolese people, and was originally allied with the FDLR rebels in Kivu.  Corrupted by power and private profit — plundering resources and waging brutal campaigns of forced taxation — Cheka has served Paul Kagame’s interests by hunting down and assassinating FDLR leaders in Congo.  In March 2015 Cheka’s forces attacked villages where the FDLR reside in the Lubero territory of North Kivu.[19]

“Kagame gave Cheka equipment and men,” says the official in Goma.  ”Cheka replaced Laurent Nkunda and Bosco Ntaganda of CNDP, and Makenga of M23.  Cheka operates in Walikale and Lubero, 200 to 300 kilometers from Goma.”

Even Human Rights Watch has called for the arrest of Ntabo Ntaberi Cheka.[20]  The HRW report of January 2015 documents the most brutal atrocities committed by Cheka and his troops, and their backing by Rwanda.

Former NDC fighters also told Human Rights Watch that Cheka received financial and other military support from Rwanda. They said that Cheka’s ethnic Tutsi wife travels regularly to Rwanda and acts as a liaison with Cheka’s contacts in the country. One former fighter said that ammunition was often sent into Congo from Rwanda via Goma and was delivered to Cheka on motorcycles in bags of beans.[21]

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Image: Alphamin Resources maintains a clean, organized, shiny, operations base, accessed by helicopter
– a parallel economy to that of Congolese people who suffer extreme depredations.
Photo: Alphamin Bisie NI 43-101 Report.

There are allegations that Mai Mai Cheka has colluded with Alphamin Resources Corporation to displace artisanal Congolese miners.[22]  Meanwhile, several of the concessions stolen from Congolese people by Alphamin remain under ‘Force Majeure’ — a formal declaration, agreed to by the Congolese government in Kinshasa, establishing that the mining operations cannot proceed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Alphamin Resources Corporation is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and staffed with all white directors from North America, Europe and South Africa.  Alphamin controls vast tracts of North Kivu, mining concessions rich with tin, gold, coltan and copper, the largest of which is the Bisie Mine.[23]  The foreign control would not be possible without first neutralizing and/or eliminating the Congolese landowners.  Western mining companies achieve pacification and land control by any means necessary.

According to their own web site: “Alphamin, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Mining and Processing Congo Sprl (MPC), has full legal title (100 % ownership) over five exploration permits (No’s: PR 5270; PR 10346; PR 5266; PR 5267; and PR 4246) and an exploitation permit (PE 13155) in total covering 1,270 square kilometers in the North Kivu province. ” The Bisie Project falls on PE 13155.  Due to the current volatile security situation, three licenses (PR 5270, PR 5267 and PR 4246) are still under Force Majeure.

The Force Majeure was lifted at the Bisie Project in February 2012, and Alphamin Resources established a camp on the Bisie ridge and commenced exploration drilling in July 2012.

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Image: Concesions “100% owned by Alphamin” in North Kivu.

Thousands of Congolese artisanal miners have suffered loss of livelihood or life due to the occupation of large mining concessions by Alphamin, and the concomitant pacification of the communities through direct violence.  Artisanal miners have attacked Alphamin mining operations, and Cheka forces have attacked artisanal mining camps, and artisanal miners have attacked Alphamin operations after being themselves attacked by Cheka forces (that they believe to be aligned with Alphamin).[24]

Of course, many local miners have to leave their communities since those big companies come with papers and authorizations from Kinshasa.”  The unnamed Congolese official has visited many Kivu mining areas over the past 20 years.  ”In North Kivu it is Mining Processing of Congo, and just like with Banro Gold in Twangiza in South Kivu: they claim the right to receive ‘security’ assured by FARDC.[25]

Like their commanders-in-chief, Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, these Ugandan/Rwandan commanders have directed assassinations of political and military targets.

WAR CRIMES, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND GENOCIDE

In September 2005 the Congolese General Military Prosecutor issued international arrest warrants against General Nkunda and Rwandan Colonel Jules Mutebesi charging them with the creation of an insurrectional movement, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.  Even Human Rights Watch, the selective U.S.-based human rights organization that has been notoriously slanted in favor of team-U.S. interests in the Great Lakes region, in 2006 briefly outlined the history of Nkunda’s crimes, including “numerous war crimes and other serious human rights abuses during the past three years… summary executions, torture, and rape committed by soldiers under Nkunda’s command, in Bukavu in 2004 and in Kisangani in 2002.” [26]

Over the years Laurent Nkunda and his allied commanders have committed the most egregious war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, dictating the life and death of millions of people. Their crimes rival those of Paul Kagame, Yoweri Museveni, General James Kabarebe, General James Kazini, General Salim Saleh, and other high-level Tutsi-Hima commanders from Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.  They have established formal networks of organized crime premised on direct violence: criminal racketeering, looting, taxation, gunrunning and minerals plunder.  Their troops have committed massacres, mass rapes and extrajudicial executions of the most inhuman kinds.

This time they are calling their terrorist enterprise the Christian Movement for the Reconstruction of Congo (Mouvement Chretien pour la Reconstruction du Congo).

Their histories of atrocities are ugly, brutish and anything but short.

They have organized and run insurgency and counter-insurgency ‘programs’ to neutralize any ‘infrastructure’ and all opposition (and potential opposition) to their elite Tutsi-Hima agenda.  The word ‘infrastructure’ here refers to Congolese chiefs (mwamis), legitimate rulers, politicians, diplomats, soldiers, human rights defenders, civil society members, and ordinary people.  The euphemism ‘neutralize’ means to drive off, exile, make to defect to their (own) cause, capture, torture, maim, sexually mutilate, kill, disappear people.  Beheadings, amputations and butchering of corpses are common.  They have incinerated bodies, dead and alive.  There is no language that can make clear the extremes of their pathological behaviors.

They use networks of paid informers to spy and inform on anyone and everyone.  They infiltrate agents into social networks, political structures, government agencies, and military organizations.  They sow fear, mistrust, divisiveness and terror through psychological operations and propaganda.  Some of them have been trained, advised, schooled and indoctrinated by the leading institutions of terror in the west, and — through the regimes inn Rwanda and Uganda — they have relationships to AFRICOM, the Pentagon’s Africa Command.

None of this is much reported in the mass media and if reported at all the atrocities and crimes are blamed on the victims, some of which include armed resistance forces with legitimate rights, legitimate grievances and very real claims.

The agenda of the Kagame-Museveni axis is to depopulate the homes, villages and territories of the eastern Congo (as they did in Uganda 1980-1986 and Rwanda 1990-1995) of their rightful owners and repopulate them with outsiders; to create large, destitute, traumatized populations of refugees on the run for their lives or herded into death camps; to control the extractive (minerals, timber, agricultural commodities, petroleum, natural gas) industries; to control taxation at regional, national and international borders; to fill their pockets and bank accounts with cash; to militarize their private kingdoms; to terrorize and destabilize and manufacture perpetual war.  The documentation of these crimes is plentiful and irrefutable.

The commanders of the new MCRC guerrilla insurgency have done the ‘dirty work’ for Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame since the very beginning.  And, like their patron-dictators, no matter the documentation, no matter the evidence, no matter the eyewitnesses and proof of their crimes, most of them remain terrorists at large.  Under the secret programs of these Rwandan and Ugandan agents due process has been nonexistent, impunity the rule.  Millions and millions of lives have been destroyed, and it is happening again now.

They have been protected and/or supported by the U.S. administrations of William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barrack Obama.  AFRICOM supports Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni directly, and has military bases in Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

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Image: General Laurent Nkunda in his ‘saviors’ costume for this AP photo c. Jerome Delay 2008.

And why is the MCRC’s first objective to take Goma?  The control of Goma would be used as leverage to manipulate the international community to recognize and accept the demands of the MCRC, and these are the objectives of the Kagame and Museveni regimes: to occupy, control and annex eastern Congo.  In this effort the Tutsi-controlled regime of alias Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa is complicit.  By controlling Goma, the former Rwandan and Ugandan ‘rebel’ soldiers that were integrated into the FARDC but remain loyal to Rwanda and Uganda would join the MCRC insurrection.  By controlling Goma, Kagame can openly (more openly than in recent years) send Rwandan Defense Forces into Congo without international intervention.

UGLY, BRUTISH AND NOT SHORT

First there was Museveni’s war in Uganda, 1980-1986, with Paul Kagame fighting for the National Resistance Army and Yoweri Museveni.  They committed massive war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, often blamed on the losers.  Then they invaded Rwanda, in 1990, and for the next four years they did the same thing, only more finely tuned, more sophisticated, and arguably much more brutal.[27]

The violence wreaked on Congo-Zaire by Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame was exported by perpetrators who first waged genocidal campaigns and coups-d’état that violated the most fundamental international covenants on state sovereignty first in Uganda, then Rwanda, then Zaire (Congo).  On 6 April 1994, they assassinated heads of state from Rwanda and Burundi, again the most fundamental and egregious violations of international law.  The U.S., U.K., Canada and Israel could not have been happier.

These first campaigns of Tutsi-Hima guerrilla warfare set the stage for unprecedented violence as the terror regimes of Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame tortured, slaughtered, raped, disappeared, assassinated, and terrorized millions of innocent non-combatant civilians from Uganda to Rwanda to Burundi to Congo (and in South Sudan). They had the backing of western intelligence and covert operations at the start. [28a]

Next came the covert operations in Zaire (Congo) by the special forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) from 1994 to 1996.  RPA hit squads were dispatched to the Kivu provinces in Zaire well in advance of the U.S.-backed invasion that formally arrived in September 1996.  From July 1994 to August 1996 RPA Special Forces employing hit-and-run terror tactics crossed the Zaire border to commit targeted acts of terrorism, including sabotage, bombings, psychological warfare, assassinations, massacres, disappearing.

One of their primary strategies has always been the sowing of terror through pseudo-operations: disguised as some ‘enemy’ faction (whether such faction has ever been involved in violence or not) the RPA (and UPDF) commit atrocities, generally under cover of night, which are then blamed on the enemy faction, and provide justification for RPA assaults, retaliation, and occupations. [28b]  Under this rubric, the victims are portrayed as the killers, and the killers are portrayed as the victims.

Then in August of 1996 came the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) invasion of Zaire.  The establishment narrative portrays the 1996 invasion of Zaire as a purely Congolese affair led by Laurent Desire Kabila and the Alliance for the Democratic Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL-CZ).  Similarly, the ‘rebellions’ — bloody illegal guerrilla warfare insurgencies — in eastern Congo are typically portrayed as purely Congolese affairs, at least until the truth can no longer be denied, and then they become the subjects of propaganda campaigns that are duplicitous and expedient: damage control.

The United States military, intelligence apparatus, and diplomatic sector were 100% involved in the invasion of Zaire-Congo 1996-1998, providing logistics, weapons, aircraft, intelligence, satellite communications, and Special Operations Forces (U.S. Special Operations Command: SOCOM).  These were heavily armed and outfitted black- and brown-skinned U.S. troops, fluent in regional languages, on the ground in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo. [29]

Not only did the invading forces ruthlessly hunt and terminate every Rwandan Hutu man, women and child they could find, they also slaughtered tens or scores or hundreds of thousands of innocent Congolese Bantu people.   They used bulldozers and logging equipment to disappear the bodies. They dumped corpses into the vast Congo River and its vast tributaries.  They went back months later to the Congo forests and swamps to scavenge every skeleton they could find and disappear these once and for all. There are plenty of eyewitnesses who survived. [30][31]

Their campaigns of rape set the stage for the unprecedented sexual violence yet to come: sexual violence perpetrated by Rwandans and Ugandans but blamed on the Congolese.

Unable to control their proxy Laurent Desire Kabila, whom they chose to lead the Alliance for the Democratic Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL-CZ), and who then became president of the Congo (until his assassination in 2001), Rwanda and Uganda next used the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) and Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) to aggress the Congo in the manufactured ‘Congolese rebellion’ from 1998 to 2003.

After signing some peace treaties in 2003, Rwanda and Uganda next aggressed the Congo through an alphabet soup of warring guerrilla militias: RCD, RCD-Goma, RCD-K, RCD-ML, PFJC, MRC, FNI, FRPI…and many more.  From 2003 to 2006 some 26 militias operated in the Ituri sector of Orientale Province alone: Ituri became the bloodiest place on earth at that time.  Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian militias rampaged in the provinces of Orientale, North and South Kivu, and Maniema, ripping apart the last vestiges of social fabric, ripping out the timber and the minerals, littering fields with skeletons and skulls, and mass graves everywhere.

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Image: Skulls & skeletons in Bogoro, Orientale Province, DRC. Photo: c. keith harmon snow 2007.

In 2006, Rwanda and Uganda took their aggression against Congo to new levels through General Laurent Nkunda’s new Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) insurgency.

An arrest warrant was issued against Nkunda for war crimes, crimes against humanity and insurrection months ago but the police and army have done nothing about arresting him,” reported Alison Des Forges, senior advisor to the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, in 2006.  ”So long as Nkunda is at large, the civilian population remains at grave risk.[32]

Similarly, from 2006 onward, Rwandan General Bosco Ntaganda was wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity in northeastern Congo in 2002 and 2003, including recruiting and using child soldiers, murder, rape and sexual slavery.  Ntaganda is also a former leader of the Rwanda-backed CNDP, and Ntaganda and his fighters were integrated into FARDC after the peace agreement of 23 March 2009.

The M23 guerrilla insurgency was more aggression by Rwanda and Uganda against Congo that began in March 2012 based on a FARDC mutiny led by Bosco Ntaganda and Sultani Makenga.  The rebellion took the name ‘M23′ in recognition of the 23 March 2009 neutralization of the Rwandan CNDP.

Rwandan M23 troops occupied Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu, on 20 November 2012, and the FARDC and MONUSCO did nothing to stop them. General Vincent Gatama commanded RDF Special Forces allied with M23 and both armies were involved in massive atrocities.

In March 2013, after the Ntaganda and Mukenga factions of M23 came to blows, Ntaganda surrendered to the U.S. embassy in Rwanda and was flown to The Hague to be tried by the International Criminal Court.

The defeat of the M23 by November 2013 came as a victory for the 18-month military campaign against them by the FARDC the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade, and supported by Congolese civil society and activists. The 3096 SADC Force Intervention Brigade forces (attached to MONUSCO) from Malawi, South Africa, and Tanzania quickly routed the Rwandan M23 troops. [33]

Rwandan commanders Paul Kagame, James Kabarebe, Laurent Nkunda, Bosco Ntaganda, Sultani Makenga, Vincent Gatama, Kakolele Bwambale and Hippolyte Kanambe (alias Joseph Kabila) all hold titles to this long sordid pedigree of armed warfare sponsored, spawned, supported, spread and prosecuted by Rwanda, Uganda and their western backers.

Here is another way that Rwanda and Uganda and their western backers have advanced the elite Tutsi-Hima agenda to pacify, occupy and balkanize the eastern Congo, and create a Rwandan-controlled Republic of the Volcanoes: Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration.  Since the first DDR programs begun around 2003, thousands of Rwandan and Ugandan Tutsi soldiers have been integrated (sic) into the Armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC): it is meaningless to say that Rwandan Tutsi soldier can be re-integrated into a Congolese army.

Through the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) programs funded by the World Bank and western donors, these hostile foreign soldiers have been infiltrated into the FARDC, creating a national army compromised by having thousands of enemy (Rwandaphone) soldiers within its ranks.  The DDR section of MONUSCO supports the Government of the DRC, which retains the primary responsibility for defining the DDR policies.

The FARDC has seen more than 29 top-level commanders drawn from the Rwandan / Ugandan forces in its command structure. Additionally, there are some 300 more or less Rwandan Tutsi Captains in the regular FARDC ranks.[34]

Under the leadership of President Hippolyte Kanambe (alias Joseph Kabila) every peace treaty and joint DRC government / U.N. demobilization effort since 2003 has involved infiltration of hostile Rwandan and Ugandan soldiers into the Congolese military, national police, security services, parliament, government, governors offices, and more

This process of co-opting the Congo at the deepest levels began in 2003, when the decision was made to integrate some of the top war criminals into the Congolese power structure as Vice-Presidents of the transitional government; these included AzariasRuberwa (RCD); Arthur Z’ahidi Ngoma (RCD); and Jean-Pierre Bemba (MLC).  The Sun City ‘peace’ agreements declared amnesty to RCD combatants.

The Congo’s national army, FARDC, cannot conduct responsible military operations that serve the interests of the Congolese people.  The command structure is full of Rwandans and Ugandans aligned with Museveni and Kagame, with thousands of Tutsi soldiers in the ranks.  The command structure is disorganized, and this is due to the conflicting agendas, and the subterfuge of the Rwanda/Ugandan agents within.  There are parallel command structures dictated by military commander’s involvement in the illegal mining and taxation.  Many FARDC commanders, whether of Congolese or Rwandan origin, only seek to enrich themselves.  Embezzlement, racketeering, conscription of labor, combined with the routine entropy of a poorly paid and poorly managed national army, have created a culture of deception, manipulation and personal profit.  Finally, there may be as many as 14,000 Rwandans in the FARDC; soldiers of Rwandan and Ugandan origin that have been infiltrated into the FARDC desert at will, taking their weapons with them and turning them against the Congo.

FARDC Train016-2.jpg

Image: Troops of the first ‘integrated’ FARDC brigade in a training exercise led by the United Nations (MONUC)
in Bukavu, South Kivu, 2006. Photo: c. keith harmon snow 2006.

The government of Congo is also highly compromised by having many Tutsi politicians in in civilian ranks, not least of which is the president of the country.  President Hippolyte Kanambe (alias Joseph Kabila) is a Rwandan Tutsi who marched across Congo-Zaire under the guidance of his uncle, RPA general James Kabarebe, one of the top 40 RPA soldiers indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in 2009 by the International Court of Justice, Audiencia Nacionale, in Spain. Kanambe surreptitiously serves the interests of Rwanda and Uganda, and the United States, Canada, the U.K., Belgium and Israel.  Alias Joseph Kabila is not the son of Laurent Desire Kabila, and he never was.[35]

IMPUNITY FOR RWANDAN AND UGANDAN WARLORDS

One of Laurent Nkunda’s primary tasks with the AFDL-CZ was to ensure the assassination of the Hutu and Bantu customary chiefs in the collectives on the Congo-Rwanda border so that Rwandaphone agents could replace them.[36]

Nkunda was a senior officer in the Rwandan-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy-Goma (RCD-Goma).  In 2004 he was named general in a new national Congolese army created from troops of the dissident forces at the end (sic) of the war.   He refused the post and withdrew with hundreds of his troops to the forests of Masisi in North Kivu.  In August 2005, Nkunda announced a new ‘rebellion’: the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP).

Rwanda’s Majar General Gatama worked with Nkunda during the aggression of the Rwandan rebel CNDP.  Gatama later worked with Rwandan warlords General Bosco Ntaganda and Colonel Sultani Makenga during the guerilla M23 Movement.  Gatama was on the front lines in Congo when M23 was defeated by the joint military operations of the Congolese army (FARDC) and the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), sent by the South African Development Community (SADC).

Colonel Sultani Makenga is another Kagame henchman who was born in South Kivu (DRC) but joined the RPA invasion of Rwanda from Uganda in 1990.  Later sent back to Congo for the various rebel insurgencies manufactured by Kagame and Museveni, Makenga was always a very close collaborator with Laurent Nkunda.  When Nkunda was ‘arrested’ in Rwanda by Kagame, Colonel Makenga and General Bosco Ntaganda continued Rwanda’s dirty work in the M23 insurgency.

After Makenga and Ntaganda had a falling out in 2013, with Ntaganda evicted, Colonel Makenga became the de facto sole military leader of the victorious faction of M23.  After the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) defeated M23, Makenga left his command headquarters at Bunagana, which was also Laurent Nkunda’s base, and fled North Kivu to Uganda.

Although he has no ICC arrest warrant hanging over his head,” reported the BBC in November 2013, “the UN Security Council imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on him last year, accusing him of being responsible for the ‘killing and maiming, sexual violence, abduction, and forced displacement’ — a reference to the fact that some 800,000 people fled their homes during the 19-month [M23] rebellion. [37]

Reports say Colonel Makenga and about 1,700 fighters have been disarmed and are being held in a secret location,” reported the BBC on 7 November 2013.  ”The BBC‘s Catherine Byaruhanga in Kampala says Col Makenga poses a tough diplomatic challenge for Uganda… A Ugandan government spokesperson told the BBC a decision on whether to hand him over would have to wait until a peace deal is signed between DR Congo and the M23 rebels, which is expected this weekend. [38]

International press reports after September 2013 described how Col Sultani Mukenga ‘surrendered’ to the Ugandan government and his possible imminent extradition to Congo: it seems the regime in Kampala had no intentions, ever, of surrendering Mukenga to Congo.  The BBC does not perform a public service in advancing such propaganda.  Indeed, the press widely raised disingenuous questions about Makenga’s fate, and the ‘tough diplomatic challenge’ faced by the government of Uganda.

By November 2013 the western mass media was reporting that the M23 ‘rebels’ had ‘surrendered in Uganda’ or ‘turned themselves in’ in Rwanda.  This is a stale ruse, since one does not ‘turn themselves in’ or ‘surrender’ to the people that they work with and to whom they swear eternal blood allegiance.

The arrest of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s notorious rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda removes a major impediment to peace in one of the world’s most war-torn countries,” cheered TIME Magazine on 23 January 2009.  ”The fact that he was arrested in Rwanda also helps the government of President Paul Kagame restore a reputation severely tarnished last month, when the U.N. accused it of arming and supplying men to Nkunda and using him as a proxy inside Congo. [39]

TIME magazine has played a pivotal role whitewashing all western military and western corporate mining plunder in Congo, and it hammers the tired and false establishment narrative about genocide in Rwanda.  According to this narrative, which legitimizes the ongoing genocide against Rwandan Hutu people, Kagame invaded the Congo (Zaire) in 1996 purely “to stamp out the Hutugenocidaires sheltering in Congo.” [40]  The false narrative turns Hutu victims into killers, and the mass murder of innocent Hutu people into what is supposed to be a just and necessary punishment. [41]

Rwandan troops, RCD, M23, Ugandan army, CNDP, they all work together: these names like M23 and MCRC are meaningless.”  Jean Paul Romeo Rugero is a Rwandan born Hutu in exile.  In July 1994, at the age of 15, he fled Rwanda with his family and he survived the Rwandan Patriotic Army genocide against hundreds of thousands of innocent non-combatant Hutu men, women and children in Congo.  ”The soldiers in these ‘rebel’ armies know no borders.  They have been in all these armies: NRA, UPDF, RPA, RCD, CNDP, M23.  They don’t see any borders, they don’t see any countries; they just see one big Tutsi-Hima land and that is what they are fighting for.

THE FARCE OF HOUSE ARREST

In January 2009 the western press was blanketed with stories describing how General Laurent Nkunda had been arrested in Gisenyi, Rwanda, and was placed under house arrest by the government of Rwanda.  The prevailing wisdom said that Nkunda had become too much of a political liability to his boss, Paul Kagame, who was loosing funding from international donors that were worried about Nkunda’s impact on western mining operations in Congo.

With Nkunda’s arrest in 2009, one story after another provided Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni with the international fanfare they needed to distance their regimes from what was then the latest bloody insurgency in eastern Congo, led by Rwandan and Ugandan forces under the name of the ‘Congolese Revolutionary Army’, more popularly known as ‘M23′.

“The arrest of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s notorious rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda removes a major impediment to peace in one of the world’s most war-torn countries,” wrote TIME Magazine in January 2009.

 ”The fact that he was arrested in Rwanda also helps the government of President Paul Kagame restore a reputation severely tarnished last month, when the U.N. accused it of arming and supplying men to Nkunda and using him as a proxy inside Congo.”

Attempts by the government of Congo to extradite Nkunda to Congo for trial after his arrest in Gisenyi, Rwanda were blocked by Kigali, who claimed that Nkunda was being held under house arrest, the propaganda line widely parroted by the international media.

Rwandan dissidents claimed that Nkunda was living comfortably in Rwanda.

A year after his supposed arrest Nkunda’s defense attorney, Canadian barrister Stephane Bourgon began claiming that Nkunda’s rights were being violated.  Bourgon claimed that Rwanda was keeping Nkunda illegally in ‘no-man’s land’ without charge and that the Rwandan government was blocking access to his client. [42]

Stephane Bourgon is also a Royal Canadian Military College graduate who served in the Canadian Forces for more than 20 years as logistics officer and military legal advisor. [43]  (Canadian General Romeo Dallaire supported the Rwandan Patriotic Army invasion of Rwanda 1993-1994.)

“Former Congolese warlord Laurent Nkunda is ready to face trial for alleged war crimes or go into exile to end his detention without charge in Rwanda,” Bourgon reported in an interview with Reuters news service in 2010. [44]

In 2012, stories about Rwandan warlord Bosco Ntaganda — Nkunda’s rival and successor warlord running M23 — briefly captured the international spotlight, and most of these routinely mentioned that General Laurent Nkunda was being held under house arrest in Rwanda.

Bosco CNDP-2.jpg

Image: Rwandan warlord Bosco Ntaganda with officers of CNDP/M23 in North Kivu. Photo: c. unknown.

In June 2012, Kagame responded to international criticism with threats to turn Nkunda loose on Congo.  Rwanda continued to refuse to hand Nkunda over to Congo to face charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and insurrection, with Kagame disingenuously claiming concerns that Nkunda would not get a fair trial and might simply be killed for his ethnicity.[45]

In July 2012, the US, Netherlands, Sweden and Germany withdrew or delayed disbursement of their budgetary support to Rwanda in protest of Rwanda’s alleged support for M23 Congolese rebels.

By late 2012 the subject of Laurent Nkunda has slipped off the international news scene.

ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS

Beginning in mid-April 2015, hundreds of Uganda and Rwandan soldiers began infiltrating eastern Congo, crossing the border through the Virunga National Park and northern Lake Kivu region, to join the ranks of the latest Rwandan/Ugandan guerrilla occupation of eastern Congo.

Tags: Africa  Congo   Rwanda  US 

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