The situation is tense in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo following the rumors that early counts show the veteran Congolese Etienne Tshisekedi has overwhelmingly won elections. Since yesterday, the military officers of the former Rwandan backed rebels, CNDP and Serufuri’s RCD have been mobilizing their militants against what they call the “upcoming Western DRC tyranny,” in a reference to the regime that will be implemented when and if Etienne Tshisekedi would become president. Etienne Tshisekedi hails from Western DRC in the province of West Kasai.
According to the latest leaked counts of the November 28, 2011 electoral ballots, Etienne Tshisekedi is leading the incumbent Joseph Kabila, by close to 3 to 1 margin.
During the campaign, Joseph Kabila heavily invested in Eastern DRC and appealed to Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame for help. General Paul Kagame sent troops to supervise elections and held strategy meeting with Congolese “Rwandophone” candidates in the town of Ruhengeri. During the meeting, General Paul Kagame warned the East Congolese leaders that if Joseph Kabila does not win, they would certainly lose all the advantages they have acquired during Kabila’s regime. General Paul Kagame said that for example, Eugene Serufuri Ngayabaseka and Julien Paluku owe their current post to Joseph Kabila and will certainly lose the position.
In the meeting, the political leaders and candidates in the East promised to campaign on the behalf of Joseph Kabila and received from General Paul Kagame the funds to do so.
Now that it appears that Joseph Kabila may be losing the election, these leaders have been meeting with the former rebels of the CNDP led by the war crimes suspect General Bosco Ntaganda and Rwandan military officers to plan for next moves. On the table are two options: 1) resume rebellion against the central Congolese government 2) conditionally recognize the Etienne Tshisekedi government with the understanding that CNDP and its allies will continue to control North and South Kivu provinces.
According to sources in Kivu, the former CNDP leader, General Laurent Nkunda who had been under house arrest in Rwanda, has been released and is participating in the strategy meetings.
Meanwhile Rwandan military are also trying to enlist some within Rwandan rebels based in the DRC and PARECO with the promise to give them a leading roles within the new rebellion.
The tense situation has created insecurity and situation appears to be boiling. Each rebel group, warlord, and militis appears to be rearming and getting its troops ready for battle. However, none appears to know who will be the opponent and what the objectives are. The only actor to benefit from the chaos
appears to be the Rwandan military. Joseph Kabila may be the pawn in that entangled geopolitical and security mess.
©2011 AfroAmerica Network.