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February 14-27, 2015

Weekly Media Monitoring report for The Democratic Republic of Congo
Posted on February 27, 2015

Contents

Compiled by Marie Lamensch

  • Kinshasa renounces Monusco’s support in fight against the FDLR
  • Addis Abbaba Accords: Working Group worried
  • Armed groups in North Kivu
  • Elections
  • Jihadists in the DRC?

Kinshasa renounces Monusco’s support in fight against the FDLR

(Agence Congolaise Presse, government-owned news agency, article dated 25 February 2015, in English)

Début officiel des opérations militaires des FARDC contre les rebelles rwandais des FDLR au Sud-Kivu

  • The FARDC’s military operations against the FDLR in South Kivu started on 24 February in Lemera, Uvira, according to Major Simon Tubajike. The army has taken control of Cam Revo, two combatants have been taken prisoner.
  • Civil society confirms the presence of the army and added that FDLR militants are on the run.

(L’Observateur, independent/privately-owned newspaper, article dated 18 February 2015, in English)

Porte-parole militaire de la Monusco, Félix Prosper Basse : » notre coopération ne se limite pas qu’aux opérations contre les FDLR

  • Monusco takes note of the decision taken by Congolese government not to use the support of the UN mission during military operations against the FDLR. Monusco, who did not expect this position, nonetheless saluted the President’s decision but nonetheless added that the FDLR question is one that concerns the entire region and Monusco. Spokesperson Major Simon Tubajike explained that neutralizing the FDLR is part of the UN mission’s mandate and Monusco would have wished to participate. He also added that Monusco does not interfere in the government’s affairs and that contact has been on-going.
  • Charles Antoine Bambara understand the arguments of the President and explained that even though partners do not always agree, they have common objectives, which is the protection of civilians and peace.
  • On the capacity of the FARDC to conduct the operations, Monusco’s military spokesperson is not worried because the army has gained new capacities and has showed its ability to conduct unilateral operations. He added that Monusco continues to help the army in various ways, including against the FRPI, the ADF and the FNL.

(L’Observateur, independent/privately-owned newspaper, article dated 18 February 2015, in English)

Traque des FDLR / RDC-Onu : est-ce la rupture totale ?

  • Following the end of the ultimatum given to Kinshasa regarding the presence of two FARDC officers suspected of human rights violations, President Kabila announced the army would not use the support of the UN mission to conduct an operation against FDLR.
  • Lambert Mende gave Monusco the possibility to conduct operations on its own.
  • This decision will be taken by the Security Council, which is responsible for Monusco’s mandate.
  • Kinshasa’s decision was unexpected even though the relationship between the government and the UN mission has often been on and off.
  • The journalist reminds that the UN has been involved in 140 allegations of sexual abuse between December 2004 and August 2006, despite its zero tolerance policy. Incidents also occurred in Eritrea, Burundi, Sudan, Liberia, and Côte d’Ivoire.

(L’Observateur, independent/privately-owned newspaper, article dated 16 February 2015, in English)

Processus de désarmement des FDLR : La RDC s’affranchit du soutien Onusien

  • In a communiqué President Kabila told Martin Kobler (Monusco) and ambassadors in the DRC that the FARDC would not use the support of Monusco during military operations against the FDLR.
  • Observers says the decision should not come as a surprise despite the fact that combatting the FDLR is part of the UN mission’s mandate. Monusco had conditioned its support when it asked the government to sideline two officers suspected of committing human rights abuses. Kinshasa refused due to a lack of evidence.
  • Kinshasa reminded Monusco that it has authority over these matters and will not be told what to do. He also asked them to respect national sovereignty and national institutions, and underlined that the DRC is not under the tutelage of the UN.

(L’Observateur, independent/privately-owned newspaper, article dated 14 February 2015, in English)

Alors que l’opération Sukola II est en cours d’exécution, Traque des FDLR : entre l’Onu et Kinshasa, c’est le désamour

  • Monusco and Kinshasa have fallen out of love. Kinshasa has decided not to collaborate with Monusco during Operation Sukola II against the FDLR because the UN Mission has accused two generals and several superior officers of being complicit of or responsible for grave human rights violations. Monusco asked Kinshasa to replace them but Kinshasa wants evidence.
  • Government spokesperson Lambert Mende described Monusco’s behaviour as “unacceptable” and accused them of being responsible for the presence of the FDLR in the DRC. Monusco should stop denying its responsibility and let the government deal with the problem. The military operation will go on with or without MONUSCO, he continued.
  • In the meantime, civilians are suffering and want action, added the journalist

(Le Potentiel, independent/privately-owned newspaper, article dated 25 February 2015, in English)

Traque contre les FDLR: la Monusco négocie avec Kinshasa pour la reprise de son aide

  • The UN Representative for military operations in the DRC is trying to negotiate Monusco support to operations against the FDLR after the government announced that it would go at it alone. General Wafy recognized the ability of the FDLR to conduct these operations but regretted the fact the Monusco is not allowed to help considering that it is part of its mandate. The UN is in contact with political authorities to resume political dialog. Gen. Wafy nonetheless stated his frustration and regretted the government’s decision.

(Kongo Times, independent media (Congo and Rwanda, controversial), article dated 16 February, 2015)

  • Kinshasa decision not to use the support of Monusco during military operations against the FDLR comes one month before the end of Monusco’s mandate.
  • President Kabila denounced the international community’s interference in internal affairs and underline that the DRC is a sovereign country not under the tutelage of the UN or any other state. Kinshasa has the authority over the position of its officers I the army.
  • The decision may be a sign that the government no longer requires the help of the UN mission or that it does not care about the presence of the FDLR on Congolese soil and does not plan to neutralize the militants.
  • Louis Michel, EU deputy and former Belgian Foreign Minister, says the situation in the DRC is potentially explosive and could have consequences on the entire region, especially ahead of the elections.

(Kongo Times, independent media (Congo and Rwanda, controversial), article dated 27 February, 2015)

Document d’enquête sur l'infiltration rwandaise en RDC

  • Summary of an inquiry on Rwandan infiltration in the DRC. The inquiry documents the strategy of a vast clandestine network and Rwandan Tutsi lobby that infiltrated the Congolese army and the police – 25 000 soldiers and 354 officers, including 32 generals, 140 colonels and 70 majors.
  • Region: North and South Kivu.
  • Mission: prepare the balkanization of the DRC and its annexation to Rwanda and Uganda.
  • The document identifies the officers and Rwandan politicians in Kigali and Kinshasa who are the main pivots of the network.
Addis Abbaba Accords: Working Group worried

(L’Observateur, independent/privately-owned newspaper, article dated 26 February 2015, in English)

Deux ans après la signature de l’Accord-cadre d’Addis-Abeba : Des inquiétudes persistent sur le processus de paix en RDC

  • February marks the two-year anniversary of the Framework Agreement for peace, security and cooperation in the DRC and Great Lakes Region.
  • The member organisation of the Monitoring Working group expressed their worries over the peace process in the DRC.
  • Two years after the signing, much remains to be done. They fear the Agreement will become one of many other failed peace agreements in the DRC. The signatories and their partners still have to go “from words to action.”
  • There is a lack of implementation and a lot of procrastination regarding the neutralisation of armed groups and in the electoral process.
  • The Working Group calls for dialog and consensus surrounding the electoral process.
  • On the reform of the security sector, small progress has been made but implementation remains poor and there is a lack of strategy and funding.
  • On national reconciliation, tolerance and democratisation, the members of the Working Group affirm that the selective application of the amnesty law challenges national cohesion and the credibility of the process of reconciliation.
  • The government must honour its commitments and work with Monusco, especially regarding the neutralisation of armed groups.
  • The Working Group remains worried over the lack of engagement of Special Envoys.
  • The international community must maintain pressure on the signatories to maintain their obligations.
Armed groups in North Kivu

(L’Observateur, independent/privately-owned newspaper, article dated 24 February 2015, in English)

Ituri/Province Orientale : Refuge des groupes armés traqués au Nord Kivu

  • Populations of Ituri and other villages in Orientale Province are worried over the presence of the FDLR and the ADF who are fleeing military operations conducted by the FARDC in neighbouring North Kivu.
  • Mambasa civil society warned about the dangers of the FDLR in the area, especially in Bakaiko forest where security forces are absent. Their presence may rekindle the climate of insecurity and violence. Martin Makala pleaded for the deployment of the army.
  • The FDLR is heavily armed, according to the local co-administrator, but has not yet committed abuses against civilians.
  • Several months ago, locals had already sounded the alarm about the presence of the ADF. The latter killed at least 30 people in December in Irumu. Security remains fragile. 
  • Humanitarian sources in Ituri have welcomed many IDPs since last November, all of whom were fleeing the ADF.
Elections

(L’Observateur, independent/privately-owned newspaper, article dated 18 February 2015, in English)

Dans une déclaration hier mercredi, L’Union Européenne qualifie de » Pas important » le processus électoral en RDC

  • A EU delegation, in accord with EU diplomats in the DRC, published a declaration on the adoption and the promulgation of the new electoral law and on the electoral process in the DRC.
  • The EU and its member states will continue to dialogue with all parties and actors in the process, including the government, the Parliament, CENI, political parties and civil society in order to contribute to the success of the elections and in accordance with the agenda.
  • EU members understand the need for a peaceful political climate, freedom of expression, information and demonstration, open political space, and independence and impartiality of justice.
Jihadists in the DRC?

(Le Potentiel, independent/privately-owned newspaper, article dated 27 February 2015, in English)

Djihadistes soupçonnés de se cacher en RDC: la Belgique envoie des agents de renseignement Publié le 27 février 2015

  • Jihadists may be hiding in the DRC, especially in Beni. Belgium will be sending four intelligence officers, according to the Belgian Minister for Defence and the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The four instructors will form analysts for 2 or 3 weeks.
  • The presence of jihadists has not been confirmed but may come from Sudan.
  • The aim of the training is to strengthen the exchange of information, according to Minister Didier Reynders.
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