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Colonel Makenga: the New Rwandan Proxy Warlord in DRC

First there was the renegade General Laurent Nkunda, then the indicted war criminal General Bosco Ntaganda, and now the soon-to be General Colonel Sultani Makenga. What do they have in common?
All three are from Rwandan ethnic Tutsis, who fought within Rwandan Patritiot Front Army (RPA) from 1990-1997, became part of the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF), were sent into Zaire, now the DRC, to fight for Laurent Desire Kabila, became Congolese rebels within the RCD Goma, then part of the Congolese army after the Pretoria Accord, and then rebelled against the Congolese authorities, and created a new rebellion called CNDP, then integrated the Congolese Army FARDC, and then rebelled again. Their story could only make the head spin.
Only a few costmetic differences: Laurent Nkunda followed this path to the letter. General Bosco Ntaganda made a quick stunt in Kisangani and Ituri Province on General Kagame’s mission to support the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga. It is when on this mission that he massacred hundreds of thousand of civilians and earned the deserved nickname of “Terminator.” Colonel Makenga kept a low profile, until recently.
There is one major similarity among the three warlords: all them are the creation of the Rwandan dictator and military junta commander, General Paul Kagame and have served as his proxy warlords in the DRC. These warlord and their militias are an extension of the Rwandan Defense Forces and their job is to make sure that the Congolese natural resources continue to flow to Rwanda and enrich the coffers of the small clique of cronies around the Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame.
When these warlords are spent or becomes a hot potato, General Paul Kagame does not hesitate to bring them to Rwanda and replace them with a new convenient warlord.
That happened to General Laurent Nkunda in Januay 2009. He had been accused by the United Nations and the United States of being a nuisance in DRC and the US wanted him either sent into exile or arrested. General Paul Kagame had a better idea: he put him under house arrest in Rwanda. After all, General Nkunda was his employee and hit man with too many secrets. Recently, General Nkunda has been seen driving in expensive cars around Kigali and Gisenyi, with a heavy military escort. In Gisenyi, he is housed in beautiful lakeside mansion in Kigufi.
Recently, General Ntaganda become even more of a nuisance. Sought by the International Criminal Court, accused of multiple war crimes by several NGO and of mutiny and rebellion by the DRC Government, he was just too much of thorn in the back of General Paul Kagame.

The next step could already be predicted. Last week, the DRC and Rwandan government agreed on joint military operations against… the FDLR, not General Ntaganda. Rwanda sent three thousand troops into the DRC (see our article:Rwanda Sends 3 Thousand Troops in DRC ) and General Bosco Ntaganda, who was threatening teh FARDC from South-Kivu to Oriental Province, suddenly vanished.
The next day, a new warlord was born. Colonel Makenga, conveniently rebelled, left Bukavu, crossed Walikale, and Masisi and reached Rutshuru, where he created yet another armed group: The Congolese National Army (ANC), with M23 March 23 Movement, being the political branch. This is the new Rwandan Military proxy militia of General Paul Kagame that will take over from General Bosco Ntaganda. Actually sources said he left Bukavu, through the Rwandan border town of Cyangugu, then Kibuye, then Gisenyi, then Kibumba and reached Rutshuru. Most of his troops crossed at the same time as the 3000 Rwandan troops.

How about the whereabouts of General Ntaganda? Rumors have it that he has been captured, shot and killed, or has already reached Ituri with the help of Colonel Ruhorimbere, FARDC commander of Beni (see our article General Bosco Ntaganda Moving troops to Ituri and Masisi). Other rumors are that he is already under house arrest in Rwanda.
Meanwhile, sources in Goma informed AfroAmerica Network that the 3,000 troops from Rwandan that crossed into DRC last week have reached the farm belonging to General Bosco Ntaganda and unearthed a large cache os weapons, more than 2o tones according to other sources within MONUSCO. Yes, the Rwandan military has made sure than the weapons it supplied to General Ntaganda do not fall into the hands of MONUSCO!
One of our Congolese correspondents told us: “Do not be surprised. This is the Congo, where all kind of things can happen.”
The coming weeks or months will inform us on the fate of the new Rwandan proxy militia and their new leader Colonel Makenga. As for General Bosco Ntaganda, General Paul Kagame must surely knows where he is.

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