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looking for reliable information

February 17, 2009

It is almost one month since the Rwandan armed forces entered North Kivu to fight the FDLR. In spite of the dimension of the joint military operation RAF-CNDP-FARDC, little is known. People wonder what is happening in the field (specially the IDPs, whose return depend to a great extent on the success of this operation). Even though some local authorities (like the former governor of North Kivu, Eugene Serufuli) have visited the camps to encourage the ÌDPs to return, people remain very cautious.

Truth is the first casualty in a war, specially in one to which access is difficult. For the time being, we have been told that the joint forces have taken Nyabiondo and Kashebere, in Masisi and Walikale areas, and the FDLRs are fleeing towards Orientale province. Both parties (Rwanda and the DRC) are fighting to regain full control of Walikale area, where the richest mines in the DRC are found. People wonder if there is a hidden deal about them.

Casualty figures given (like here and here) can not be taken into consideration for the time being. A week ago, an IDP who knows someone who had came from Masisi that same day told me the FDLR was kicking the ass to the RAF.  But it is not easy to confirm it.

Rumours in Goma, though, say it is not being an easy task  for the RAF. The FDLR has proved not to be weak and MANY Rwandan soldiers (some witnesses say it seemed like the whole Rwandan army entering) have entered into Congolese soil, with combat helicopters crossing the skies of Goma towards Masisi. It is clear that this is not an operation like any other for Rwanda: the military effort is maximum.

In the meantime, president Sarkozy has declared that dismembering the DRC is out his plans, and balkanisation is a word being  used more and more around here. Even though there is a Congolese obsession about blaming the outside… something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

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