On Thursday July 25, 2013, M23 Congolese rebels looted the town of Kiwandja in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). According to AfroAmerica Network sources in the area, M23 rebels surrounded the town of Kiwandja early in the morning of July 25, 2013 and drove several trucks into the center of the City. They then went from shop to shop and home to home, looting and loading the loot into the waiting trucks. After most of the shops were looted, M23 rebel soldiers drove the heavily loaded trucks in the direction of Bunagana, a town held by the rebels which is at the border between Rwanda, Uganda, and DRC.
“Everything I have been working for is gone. They[M23 rebels] looted everything: my shop, my crops, and my livestock,” said a tradesman in Kiwandja.
Meanwhile, the FARDC troops continue their unrelenting slaughter on the M23 rebels and have overrun the rebels’s headquarter of Rumangabo after violent combats that included massive aerial bombings. FARDC troops have shown unprecedented performance during their latest push against the rebels. Most credit their newfound bravery to their commander, the self styled Colonel Mamadou N’Dala Moustafa.
Colonel Mamadou N’Dala highlighted in late May 2013 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“. (see our article: FARDC Commander Colonel Mamadou N’Dala Moustafa Threatens to Bring War All Way to the Source of May 30, 2013).
Sources close to Colonel N’Diala Mamadou said that he still intends to keep his promises. His popularity has been so elevated that, recently, after a rumor spread that DRC President Joseph Kabila had recalled him to Kinshasa, violent riots directed against Joseph Kabila erupted in major tows in Eastern DRC.
Will Colonel Mamadou N’Dala followup with his threats to bring war to Rwanda? Probably not, but he has given a stinging lesson to the M23 Rebels and the Rwandan Special Forces supporting them.
Meanwhile, while the M23 rebels were looting Kiwandja, the US Secretary of State John Kerry told the United Nations Security Council that “In the Great Lakes region, there is an opportunity for peace. This is an area that has been beleaguered by targeted, egregious violence, and the framework that has been put in place is an opportunity to be able to make a difference. Special Envoy, former Senator Russ Feingold will indeed cooperate extremely closely with Special Representative Mary Robinson and looks forward to going to work in order to implement the framework and bring about a sustainable solution to the absence of governance and to the problems of violence in that part of the world.”
“we pledge to join the Security Council, the DRC, regional governments, and the international community to do everything in our power to achieve a comprehensive peace accord, ” US Secretary of State John Kerry later concluded in front of the UN Security Council Ministerial on the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
The question remains the following: what the United Nations will do when M23 rebels cannot even wait until US Secretary of State finishes to address the United Nations Security Council, before unleashing a campaign of terror and looting?
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