29 October 2012

East Africa: Regional Efforts Key to Solving DRC Crisis


A report dubbed "Ending the Deadlock: Towards a new vision of peace in eastern DRC", released recently by a London-based advocacy group, International Alert, argues that the major reason why Congolese and international efforts have, so far, failed to bring peace is because they have wrongly diagnosed the issues and, therefore, addressing the problems in the wrong way.

The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern region is complex, dates tens of years back, and of recent has spilled over to the neighbouring countries.

A controversial United Nations report, containing fabricated evidence, alleges that Rwanda and Uganda are supporting the M23 rebels, one of the several groups fighting the DRC government.

As the DRC government continues to spend time and resources blaming other countries for the suffering of its own people, everyone interested in peace, including the Congolese, should acknowledge that a solution will arise from the attitude of their country's leadership.

Furthermore, considering the spill-over nature of the conflict as well as proximity, the role of the regional countries cannot be underestimated.

This is what happened in 2009 when DRC neighbours helped solve the problem of CNDP, one of the rebel groups, by supporting the integration of its soldiers in the government army, including a dozen other militia groups.

This brought peace to the region, for a while at least, until the agreements were breached.

There is no doubt that the ongoing regional efforts - through the ICGLR - would bear fruit, if the DRC government respected its end of the bargain.

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