22 November 2012

Congo-Kinshasa: Sabre-Rattling Isn't the Solution for DRC's Problems


The latest twist in the crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with government forces being routed from Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province, has only added fuel to the conspiracy theory.

No one is taking the most flak than Rwanda, the interminable punching bag of DRC home-grown problems.

Irresponsible public statements preceding the fall of Goma, especially from DRC government officials such as their spokesman, Lambert Mende, not only served to distract public's attention from the country's weakness - especially its dysfunctional armed forces, they also in some way helped fan the fire.

Political sabre-rattling does not serve the interests of the suffering population who are directly affected by the conflict. What is needed is a sincere attempt to get to the root causes of the instability in the region. Speculation and face saving attempts to lay the blame elsewhere will only help to escalate the crisis that has mutated into a perennial vicious circle.

Let the Congolese warring parties grasp the latest resolutions by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) as if it was their last sacrament; Let them seriously consider it as the final bell to a lap that will spell either do-or- die for sustainable peace in the country and region as a whole.

By burying their heads in the sand and pretending to see Rwanda's ghost at every turn, DRC and some sections of the international community are not only doing a disservice to the affected population, they are also missing the bus to the intended destination - Peace.

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