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Our neighbours are here

January 20, 2009

Approximately 2,000 Rwandan soldiers have entered North Kivu this morning through Kibumba. Their deployment is part of an agreement with the government of the DRC to put an end to the presence of FDLR soldiers in the province.

Too many things are happening these days.

As events evolve, I have more and more the feeling of a resource sharing agreement getting real between Rwanda and the DRC. If you can not beat your enemy, join it. Specially if this is the only way you have to receive all the taxes you should be getting for mineral exports. And also if you are under international pressure to find a diplomatic solution.  Many Congolese will not be happy with this.

The BBC says that diplomatic and UN sources fear a humanitarian disaster because of a possible lack of military planning and consultation with the international community.

I very much doubt that the key international players have not been consulted. However, the lack of military planning seems clear. I was just talking to someone who came back this afternoon from Rutshuru, and CNDP forces around there were not aware of  the Rwandan deployment.

Meanwhile, the CNDP-Nkunda branch has declared their support to the military operation.

A military solution for the FDLR problem has therefore started, and the scenarios are multiple. How long will Rwandan forces remain in the territory? What will be the humanitarian consequences for the people of North Kivu?

But, above all: Will this make things better, or worse?

***

Addendum: CNDP´s taxes have completely stopped. This is great news for the people of Goma, as prices -specially food- will go down in following days.

A rumour circulating in Goma says that Bosco Ntaganda may have received 2,000.000 U$ as part of his agreement. Rumours are rumours. But it would make sense.

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