23 November 2012

Congo-Kinshasa: After the Kampala Summit, the Ball Is Now in DRC and M23's Court

The rebels now say they're ready to march into Bukavu, the other major city on the border with Rwanda. The M23 then plans to head to Kisangani, and ... ( Resource: DRC Rebels 'March to Take Capital'


Despite the foolhardy actions of some in the international community, whose actions have done absolutely nothing to improve the situation in eastern DRC, there is some progress in the peace front now. Despite fevered speculation, the very nations that have been wrongly blamed for the violence, Rwanda and Uganda, are the very ones at the forefront of peace initiatives.

The meeting in Kampala, that brought together the ICGLR chairman, President Yoweri Museveni, President Paul Kagame and President Joseph Kabila, ended on a positive note, with a demand that M23 withdraws from Goma and end its offencive.

The M23 demands weren't ignored, with President Kabila promising to expeditiously look into the issues that caused the rebellion and find solutions for them.

This is a breakthrough; for too long, the DRC government refused to acknowledge the fact that M23 had genuine grievances that needed to be addressed urgently.

This agreement is something that the belligerents can build on. However, this will only become possible if both sides implement this deal in good faith. Unless good faith is maintained, similar outbreaks of violence will erupt once again. The peoples of Eastern Congo are exhausted by the reigning instability. Both sides have the responsibility to discuss the way forward. Violence will not solve the issues besieging the DRC, only dialogue and political solutions will.

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