“The war will end where it began”, Colonel Mamadou N’Dala Moustafa said repeatedly in an interview with Congolese news media.
Photo: alleged body of RDF Commander Nkundukuri Butera abandoned by M23 rebels.
Colonel Mamadou N’Dala Moustafa is the Commander of the FARDC brigade working with the UN Intervention Brigade set up by the United Nations Security Council to fight against the M23 Congolese rebels. He is in charge of the protection of the North-Kivu provincial capital Goma and government facilities in the area.
In the interview, Colonel Mamadou N’Dala Moustafa said that his priority is the protection of the Congolese civilians and institutions, but that ultimately, he is ready to fight a war against the M23 Congolese Rebels and to bring the war to where it began. He did not specify the meaning of “where it [the war] began”, but speculations started to mount that he implied to “Kigali, Rwanda“.
According to several sources, including UN Group of Experts, Human Rights Watch, and the United States of America Government, M23 rebels were created, armed, founded and supported by Rwandan Defense Forces(RDF) leaders, including Defense Minister General James Kabarebe, Military Joint Chief of Staff, Charles Kayonga, and General Nziza, head of military intelligence services and top Rwandan political leaders, including General Paul Kagame himself. As late as last week, M23 rebels received reinforcement in troops and equipment from Rwanda (see our article: M23 Congolese Rebels Reinforced by Rwandan Defense Forces Target Goma)
“It is safe to say that M23 Congolese rebels in the M23 can not trample on Goma again. I’m sure, being a soldier and being patriotic, because for a soldier to go to the front line, you must be sure of yourself. Before initiating a battle, you must have the ambition to win. And we will win and bring the war to where it started,” he told Radio Kivu 1 journalists with energy.
His reassuring and yet provocative comments come when there are unconfirmed reports of a Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) high ranking officer Major Nkundukuri Butera who allegedly was killed by FARDC soldiers when they stormed M23 rebels positions late Wednesday. AfroAmerica Network has received a picture of the dead Rwandan officer, whose body was allegedly abandoned by M23 rebels when they fled following FARDC attacks. Sources contacted in Goma reported the same accounts but said the RDF commander was rather ambushed by Rwandan rebels who control the area.
Whether the FARDC will bring war to Kigali, Rwanda, assuming that this what Colonel Mamadou N’Dala Moustafa implied, remains to be seen. So far, FARDC soldiers have been unable to fend off attacks from numerous Congolese rebels and militia, a number of them created and funded by Rwandan Government.
The provocative comments by the Congolese FARDC Commander and the alleged death of the Rwandan M23 rebels commander come when the Rwandan Government is under intense international and regional pressure to negotiate with armed Rwandan Hutu rebellions based in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (see our article: Talk to Your Armed Opposition, Tanzanian President Kikwete Tells Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and Joseph Kabila of DRC of May 26, 2013)
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