NKUNDA'S CONGO CREDENTIALS
National Geographic July 2008 map showing
Goma Refugee City and gorilla habitat and
areas under control of FARDC (Kabila Congo Army),
FDLR (Rwandan Hutu army),
CNDP (Nkunda Congolese Tutsi army) and
U.N. Refugee/IDP camps (internally displaced people) and
Nkunda's town of Bunagana on Congo/Uganda border.
There seems to be a misconception in the Western world - and maybe even in the African world - that Nkunda, because he is a Tutsi, is less Congolese than other Congo tribes. Perhaps people don't realize that Congo is a huge country - it takes up almost the whole mid-section of Africa from the west to the east - and there are hundreds of different tribes in Congo. And not one of those tribes can lay claim to his tribe being more Congolese than another.
But if it were a contest to see who is more Congolese - Nkunda or its current president, Kabila - Nkunda would win hands down because Kabila was raised in some other African country, coming late to Congo due to his father being put in power there (choice of Uganda) even though he had no ties or dreams for Congo, other than to enrich himself selling out its resources as had Mobutu who Kabila replaced.
In my recent viewing of the LAST INTERVIEW OF NKUNDA, on January 3, 2009, I learned that Nkunda - before he became a soldier - was a chief in his home village of Bunagana:
"...If I can tell you what I know about these gorillas, it's that they are so comfortable for me because.... this is my born area. And I'm a local chief here. If I was not in the army you would have found me in Bunagana as a local chief...Yes, I'm a local chief of this area. These gorillas are in my born area and in my local responsibility area. I have their interest to protect them and to let them grow."...
I'd learned in an April 2008 London Guardian interview with Nkunda, NKUNDA FIGHTING FOR PEACE, that he was the SON of the chief of Bunagana and that his family has lived in that area for hundreds of years:
"...I was born in 1967 in North Kivu, in the Rutshuru territory. I am a son of a local chief in Bunagana. I became a soldier in Rwanda, and in 1996 I marched into Congo with Laurent Kabila to overthrow the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.....When I talk about "my people" I am talking about the Congolese – Hutus and Tutsis alike – they are my people, and they have the right to live in their country. My family is Tutsi and until 1995 they lived in Congo. I have lost cousins and sisters, and my brother lost his wife and two children to the FDLR. My family was one of the traditional chief families of Congo before the Belgians came in 1885. I'm known as that and I cannot be called Rwandan just because I am against the Hutu killers...."
These are strong credentials for Nkunda being a rightful son of Congo - and a worthy heir for Congo's leadership. But it's not just Nkunda's "roots" that make him a rightful leader for the Congo - it is also his philosophical and educational background which provide him with a vision and the tools to express that vision. Nkunda studied philosophy in school, and afterwards he became a teacher.
Nkunda's military expertise - acquired through necessity because his people and his country were attacked and he had to come to their defense - is just icing on the cake. Actually - as I also learned in the recent interview with Nkunda - his CNDP army is made up of a majority of the tribe of Hutu, and the people Nkunda protects in his territory are mainly Hutu:
"...But ask here, or go in Bunagana or Rutshuru and ask. They are going to tell you that the most secured area in Congo is the area under our control. Even when they are telling about Rutshuru massacres, no it's not true, it's not true. They say that we massacred Hutu tribe. The Executive Secretary of CNDP, the second in charge, is a Hutu. So you tell me about killing Hutu? In my army 60% are Hutu, 60% or 70% are Hutu tribe. Then you tell me that I used these soldiers to kill Hutu?....Why can I be managing Masisi, Rutshuru, where there is Hutu, 80% of the population is Hutu, then I come to kill only in Kiwanja and I am here since four years. How can you imagine that? It's not true...."
Another strength in Nkunda's credentials for leadership is that he has passed the test of fire - regarding temptation - and he didn't break. He was offered millions of dollars to leave Congo to live as a rich man in South Africa and he refused. This is testament to his statement, in the last interview, where he said:
"...But what I know is that I am doing for my people. And I cannot be courted by someone doing business here. I'll be courted by my people; not by someone doing business in the name of Humanitarian Affairs. I am not caring for it. Because I am in charge. Now I can do, and I have do. But they are doing business; they are paid for being in Congo. But I am not paid for it. But I have a responsibility for my people...."
Listening to Nkunda speak - as in the last interview - a person can hear for themselves the abilities the man has to inspire. It's time for Congolese - and all Africans - to stop clinging to small-time tribal thinking and expand their minds and their horizons to caring about their COUNTRY and not just their TRIBE. Or, as another great man who loved the Congo - President Kennedy - once said:
"Ask NOT what your country can do for you; ask what YOU can do for your country".
I believe Nkunda is a man who is following JFK's adage. He is DOING for his country, and it is time that others in his country ALSO do. ~ Jackie Jura
Nkunda: Part I and Nkunda: Part II and Nkunda: Part III and Nkunda: Part IV and Nkunda: Part V, January 3, 2009
NKUNDA & INTORE HEROES
NKUNDA PILGRIMAGE OF RECONCILIATION (Nyamitabo, Kitchanga, Nyanzale, Ngungu, Rubaya). You Tube, August/September 2006
A TRIBUTE TO COMMANDANTE NKUNDA ("a soldier of freedom in the army of men")
WILL KAGAME SACRIFICE NKUNDA?
NKUNDA CAN'T BE COURTED
NKUNDA HERO IN REBEL BOOK
IS NKUNDA REFS UNPERSON?
COMPATRIOTS DEMAND NKUNDA RELEASE
NKUNDA SAFE LIKE LUMUMBA?
FREE NKUNDA TO FIGHT FOR CONGO
KAGAME HELPING NKUNDA NOT (Rwanda arrests Nkunda January 22, 2009)
NKUNDA SAVED CONGO GORILLAS (January 3, 2009 interview)
NKUNDA SAY UN CRIMINALS IN CONGO (January 3, 2009 interview)
NKUNDA SAY CONGO OWNS RESOURCES (January 3, 2009 interview)
KABILA KILLS, RAPES & BLAMES NKUNDA (January 3, 2009 interview)
NKUNDA LAST CONGO INTERVIEW (January 3, 2009)
NKUNDA A TRUE BELIEVER
NKUNDA GEURRILLA GORILLA TOURS
NKUNDA CASE FOR REBELLION
NKUNDA FIGHTING FOR PEACE (April 22, 2008 interview)
NKUNDA SHOULD BE HERO
ENIGMATIC LAURENT NKUNDA
NKUNDA & INTORE HEROES
LUMUMBA-LIKE LAURENT NKUNDA
KNOW NKUNDA CONGO
JFK CRIED FOR CONGO
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~