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UN has failed at peace keeping role

By Vision Reporter

Added 30th November 2008 03:00 AM

RWANDA'S president, Paul Kagame, has accused the United Nations of betraying a pledge to combat Hutu extremists in eastern Congo and then blaming his country for the failure of a costly peacekeeping mission to end years of conflict.

RWANDA'S president, Paul Kagame, has accused the United Nations of betraying a pledge to combat Hutu extremists in eastern Congo and then blaming his country for the failure of a costly peacekeeping mission to end years of conflict.

By Shaka Robert

RWANDA'S president, Paul Kagame, has accused the United Nations of betraying a pledge to combat Hutu extremists in eastern Congo and then blaming his country for the failure of a costly peacekeeping mission to end years of conflict.

The international community spends $1.2b (sh198 trillion) every year on the MONUC mission in the Congo. Why would the international community spend so much and say they want to deal with the problem and they do not deal with it?

The UN peacekeeping force in Congo is already the largest and most expensive force of its kind anywhere in the world. However, its troops have been unwilling to prevent civilians from being killed in the worsening conflict. It was sent under the UN’s strongest possible mandate which gives soldiers the right to use “all necessary means” — that is, lethal force, to impose their will.

Who can blame Kagame for expressing his frustration. And where is the African Union in all this? The wider aims of MONUC, in disarming and re-integrating rebel forces into a joint defence force for the region have been sidelined as the war intensifies. To many MONUC’s mission on ground seems like military tourism.

The UN has been disappointing in its simplistic approach to conflicts in Africa. Since the black hawks fiasco of American marines in Mogadishu in 1992, the International community is just out of the loop on Africa’s conflicts. MONUC’s mandate is to keep peace. It is unbeleiveable how MONUC thought of achieving such a mission in a country that lacks peace.

The congolese minister of planning in an interview with The New Vision recently said his country’s military is being supported by the Belgian and French governments.

The French in colusion with the German government recently arrested the Rwanda Presidential Protocol Chief, Lt.Col.Kabuye for trial in Paris over accusations that she was part of a group that downed Gen. Habyarimana’s falcon Presidential Jet that ‘sparked’ the genocide.

Reliable intelligence indicates that Hutu extremists and former FDLR soldiers accused of genocide in Rwanda,1994 have been integrated in the congolese military infrastructure and used in offensives against Nkunda’s National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) in Kivu province. President Kabila has also crafted the support of the Angolan military to shore up his military offensive against Nkunda.

The timing of Kabuye’s arrest is a franco-phone conspiracy to divert Kigali’s political establishment into panic as a coalition in Congo crafts an attack on Nkunda. It aimed at paralysing the chain of command in the Kigali military that is suspected of supporting the Banyamulenge revolt in Kivu province.

Rwanda has been accused of providing weapons, soldiers and backing Nkunda and his rebels as a means of keeping at bay Hutu extremists who carried out the 1994 genocide of Rwanda’s Tutsi, and then fled into Congo.

Nkunda says he is fighting to defend Congolese Tutsis from the Hutu forces. Meanwhile, Kony is holed up in Garamba game park replenishing his combat stocks. Has the UN dealt with Kony in Garamba? The theatre of things is Congo. And the UN? It is keeping ‘peace’ amidst a growing humantarian catastrophe.

While Gen.Nkunda is ready to talk peace, Kinshasa is more belligerent despite losses at the frontline. Nkunda asserts he wants a role in the military and integration of his officers in the national army.
He also wants the agreement on mineral exploration between China and Kinshasa scrapped.

The later condition for talks gives a pointer on things in Congo and China.

The geo-political configuration makes Congo the trigger to regional conflicts as the mighty resort to proxy wars to inflame conflicts in the region as they wrestle for control of mineral resources.

The writer is a regional political analyst

UN has failed at peace keeping role

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