The Congo–A quirky coup. And dangerous convergence of interests?

Quick background

On Monday December 30, an attempted coup was carried out in the DR Congo with coordinated attacks in Kinshasa, the capital city, and in Lubumbashi, centre of the country’s mining region. (map) The Congolese Army quickly quelled the coup and regained control of the international airport and state radio and television stations in Kinshasa.  In total, about 40 attackers and up to 60 civilians were killed.

Before the TV transmission feed was cut, the attackers announced on air to the country: “Mukungubila has come to free you from the slavery of the Rwandan.”

Paul Joseph Mukungubila is a self-proclaimed Christian prophet who has a church in Lubumbashi with a small number of followers.

Why Mukungubila is Angry

2014 01 04 Joseph Mukungubila-2In recent weeks Mukungubila has been highly critical of the Government’s peace agreement with the Tutsi-led M23 rebel group. On December 5, he published an open letter on his ministry’s facebook page in which he condemns the Government’s soft treatment of the M23 rebels, asserts that the M23 are all Rwandans, claims Rwandan President Paul Kagame is poised to annex part of the Congo. He also decries Congo President Joseph Kabila’s advocacy for legislation that will provide citizenship and land to “newcomers.”

Given its quick defeat, one might be tempted to look back on this most recent coup attempt with a shake of the head and dismiss it as just another unpredictable quirky event in the life of the Congo.

But maybe we shouldn’t.

Many Congolese share Mukungubila’s belief that President Joseph Kabila is not Congolese, but rather a Rwandan imposter who serves the interests of Rwanda–the Congo’s mortal enemy.

Many more Congolese citizens agree that Congolese “Rwandophones” are not indigenous to the Congo and therefore should be “sent back” to Rwanda. Congolese Rwandophones are ethnic Hutu and Tutsi citizens who speak Kinyarwanda, the Rwandan language. Some of them have lived in eastern Congo for generations, going back to the late 1800s, while others have been in the DRC for 50 years or less. Nearly all were born and raised in the DR Congo.

Etienne Tshisekedi, the strong presidential candidate in 2011, shares these beliefs, as do his followers.

Etienne Kabila, who claims to be the rightful some of former President Laurent Kabila, shares these beliefs. There were the basis of his 2013 coup attempt.

The Lingala speaking Congolese diaspora at demonstrations in Toronto and Ottawa a couple of years back repeatedly chased away a Canadian-Congolese man who spoke Swahili, derisively calling him “Rwandan.”

If you are Congolese and believe that President Kabila is a Rwandan imposter. And believe that Rwandans are the perpetrators of violence, massacres and gang rape in the Congo. And believe that the Congolese legislature is considering giving Rwandans land and rights in the DR Congo. What would you do?

The Rallying Cry

Pastor Mukungubila is a small fish in the big Congo pond, but his rallying cry to send the “Rwandans” back to Rwanda resonates deeply among large segments of the Congolese population, and also among segments of the Congolese diaspora.

For those of use interested in a long term stable peace and human rights in this beautiful but troubled country, we must understand that the call for “Rwandans” to be sent back to Rwanda is in fact a call for ethnic cleansing.

This quirky coup unites strange and powerful bedfellows in the call to topple President Kabila.

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One Response to The Congo–A quirky coup. And dangerous convergence of interests?

  1. Hola April 26, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    RICHARD LION RDF participated in Kimia 1, Kimia 2, Umoja Wetu, Amani Leo, Amani Kamilifu. Most of these RDF are M23 rbeels masquerading as Fardc. Unlike General Nkunda who is authentic true Congolese, Terminator Ntaganda is a Rwandese Citizen. But, Kagame wants the world to believe that Ntaganda is Congolese. Kagame wants to force Ntaganda down Congo’s throat as he did for Kabarebe who was MADE Congolese and Congo’s Chief of Staff. Today Kararebe has returned back to his Rwandese nationality of origin in Kigali. It will be the same for Ntaganda when he gives his place of birth, his home permanent residence and address in Kinigi, his past professional experience in the RPF (from October 1, 1990 to 1996 in Rwanda, and from 1996 to March 2013: RPF Expeditionary Forces in Zaire/Drc embedded in Afdl, Rcd-Goma, UPC-Lubanga in Ituri, Cndp and M23). Even his ICC arrest warrant clearly states he is of Rwandese nationality. President Kabila allowed RDF SPECIAL FORCES and DMI to carry out targeted assassination of Fdlr leaders on Congo soil. They killed the FDLR Chief of Staff Col. Mugaragu and an elite battalion’s commander Col. Kanzeguhera. Other several important Fdlr officers have also been wiped out by those RDF commandos. Kabila has done everything possible to comply with Rwanda’s security demands about Fdlr (this Fdlr thing being the underlying root cause of Rwanda chronic aggressions of the Drc, according to Kagamists). But, Rwanda is not an honest peace broker. It is Rwanda who created the current Fdlr leaders. It is worth to note that there are two Fdlr: One still commanded by General Rwarakabije, a former Fdlr Chief of staff who defected to Kigali from where he still coordinates operations inside Kivu aimed to sabotaging the DRRR (disarmament, demobilisation and repatriation, reintegration and resettlement) operations. It is this group that carries out massive rapes and killings in Kivu, and it is used to manufacture blackmails and treason charges against Rwandese opposition figures like Mushayidi, Ingabire, Rusesabagina of Hotel Rwanda, General Kayumba, Colonel Karegeya, etc. The Fdlr-Rwarakabije includes Fdlr combatants who are repatriated from Drc, sent to Rwanda, demobilized, and then sent back to DRC, when the need arises. So, it’s a vicious circle. THE FDLR WILL NEVER GO AWAY BECAUSE KAGAME WANTS IT TO REMAIN ALIVE SO HE CAN CASH ON IT AND BUILD HIS PROPAGANDA ON THE ENDLESS MENACE THE GROUP REPRESENTS TO RWANDA. The second group of Fdlr includes chicken and pig thieves, bandits who were in conflict with Rwarakabije in the bush; and who are afraid of returning to Rwanda; especially now that General Rwarakabije is the Head of Rwandan prisons. The problem for Rwanda is not this Fdlr-Rwarakabije or theses potato and goat thieves. The problem is how to open political space so that 15% of Tutsi and 85% of Hutus can share power, either by democratic means (one person, one voice), or by political design (like in Burundi: 40%-60%). Instead of burying their head in the sand and masturbating themselves politically, Kagamists have to realise that everything has a beginning and an end. This phony political discourse of saying that there are no tribes in Rwanda is a lie. How come then there are tribes in the sister republic of Burundi? How come then there are Tutsi in Kivu? Why does Kagame keep asking rights for Congolese Tutsis but keep silence about Rwandese Hutus’ rights? Why can Kagame ask Kabila to rule Congo BY RESPECTING ETHNIC REPRESENTATIONS yet Kagame himself does not do that in his own army in Rwanda? How many Hutus are in the High Command? Why does Kagame ask Congo to do what Rwanda does not do? In Congo, Tutsis represent less than 1% of the total population. Yet, in Kivu, 90% of colonels in Fardc are Tutsis. Congolese Tutsis are very much afraid of the M23 war backlash! They know that RPF will come and go, but Congolese Tutsis will have to live with their fellow brothers and sisters Congolese citizens whose families have been wiped out by Ntaganda and other criminals on Kagame’s payroll.

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