Africa Faces Another Intertribal Bloodbath

Chairperson of the African Union Macky Sall calls for dialogue between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda amid rising tensions between the two countries over the resurgence of the M23 rebels. Rwanda calls it an “internal DR Congo conflict” and also calls for the release of two “kidnapped” Rwandan soldiers along its border with DR Congo.

In March 2013, the United Nations Security Council authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade within MONUSCO to carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without the Congolese national army, against armed groups that threaten peace in eastern DRC. The brigade is based in North Kivu and is made up of a total of 3,069 peacekeepers. It is tasked with neutralizing armed groups, reducing the threat posed to State authority and civilian security and make space for stabilization activities. The FIB alongside the Government Forces (FARDC) engaged the M23 in July 2013, August 2013 and September to October 2013.

The M23 is made up primarily of Tutsis and opposes the Hutu Power militia Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (a group that counts among its number the original members of the Interahamwe that carried out the 1994 Rwandan Genocide) as well as area Mai-Mai (community militias mostly created and supported by the Democratic Republic of Congo). JTVC political analysts suggests this latest upheaval could recreate conditions that led to blood shed between Tutsis and the Hutu people.  

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