(while United Nations knows and watches)

Watching the January 3, 2009 interview with Congo's fighter-for-freedom, General Laurent Nkunda, is more riveting than any made-for-tv or big-screen movie Hollywood could script. See NKUNDA LAST CONGO INTERVIEW

In the following partial transcript of Parts II, III and IV, Nkunda describes how the Congo government, in alliance with Rwandan Hutu troops and Congolese Mai-Mai, commit massacres of Hutu civilians and blame it on Nkunda's CNDP soldiers. ~ Jackie Jura

Nkunda: Part II

...Women in Congo are raped and mass-raped. Can you tell the world how you feel about how women are treated in Congo and how this is happening to women of Congo?

"...It is difficult to explain but you are now in Congo and you are in the area under CNDP control. Ask in the hospitals where we are, and ask the women raped in our areas. I cannot think that they are raped in Jomba, then going to be treated in Goma, or Bukavu. But if you go in Goma, and if you go in Bukavu, you are going to see hospitals full of women raped.

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?

It's misunderstandable, it's not true.

But you are now here, go and ask. You can go in Kiwanja, you can in Kitchanga, you can go in Rutshuru, you go to Bunagana, ask them. You are going to see women, ask them.

Kiwanja was liberated by CNDP at 28 October. We did in Kiwanja one week without any killing, any rape, any loot. One week after the government with Mai-Mais, FDLR, re-attacked Kiwanja and they occupied Kiwanja for 24 hours.

My forces were back from Kiwanja and in only 24 hours 74 people were killed. And before we came back to Kiwanja, the Governor of Goma, in the morning, announced that in Kiwanja there is massacres.

And I was asking myself "Who is doing" because when I heard on the radio that there is massacres in Kiwanja I called my guys on the ground, "Where are you" and they said "We are in Rutshuru".

"Ah, we are in Rutshuru, there is no our foces in Kiwanja?"

He said, "No".

"Now the Governor is telling there is massacres, who is doing now?"

And he said, "No, we are not in Kiwanja".

And we were back to Kiwanja in the afternoon of 29th...we were back 24 hours after. And some people were killed in the crossfire. That we can testify because Mai Mai they don't know how to shoot. They shoot wherever they want. And they were killing. When they were going, they were shooting. When they were retreating, they were shooting.

And we saw that even the Hutu community in Rutshuru wrote a letter about that, and they give it to Chief [Bushanzo?] saying "We were not killed by CNDP".

Do you have a copy of that letter?

Yeah, I have the copy.

Can I have a copy of it?

....Yeah, we have a copy. We have a copy of the president of the Hutu community in Rutshuru saying, "We were not killed by CNDP and if it were not for CNDP we would not be in Rutshuru today".

And this letter is there, and the number of phone is there, and if you want we can bring you to Rutshuru and ask the leaders, the local leader.

Nkunda: Part III

That's the truth, and if you want you can go Kiwanja, to Rutshuru, and we are going to meet the president of the Hutu community. They said we killed them but he will state about what I am telling you and that's the truth.

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, madame.

...Even in Goma, the same scenario was prepared in Goma.

When we were around Goma my intelligence services told me that there is a plan to kill people in Goma that night so they can appear on air saying that CNDP had killed.

That is why I told my guys to "Don't enter Goma".

That is why you pulled back from Goma? That's the question everybody wants to know.

Yes, I was informed, I was informed that there is a plan.

And in the same night, they put their guys on the terrain to kill in the night. They were uncontrolled forces. They who were in charge of killing never knew that we withdrew.

But I told MONUC, but I told Monouc, because I was at the airport. I told MONUC, "Now I am going 12 kilometers behind, back. Now you have to control Goma because I know that there is a plan of killing".

In the same night 64 people were killed, in Goma.

That was the effort of the FARDC?

Yes, yes, the plan. They did it without knowing that CNDP had withdrawn.

In the morning, now they were saying it is CNDP in Goma.

Now, in the meeting where they were doing it, one of ours was there. Because they did it like Hutu community, with their leaders. One of them is a CNDP member, but he remain a Hutu, he remains a Hutu. And he can go; he is trusted in their community. He was there. Then he called me and he say "We were in a meeting; now there is a plan of killing Hutu this night".

That's why I said, "OK, pull back".

But they did it, without knowing that we are not going to come. They did.

That's what they did in Rutshuru, because when they came they said "We are going to kill and we know that we are not going to stay there. CNDP will pursue us. But let us kill. Then there are going to be these massacres and we will tell Hutu that CNDP 'is coming to kill you'."

But the president of the community, a Hutu in Rutshuru, was there. And he knows very well who killed them. That's why he wrote a letter. He said "If CNDP would not have came it will have been a disaster".

And this letter is there. We are going to give you a copy and the phone of this president. And if you want to meet him, I can call him and he will come to meet you in Bunagana.

Nkunda: Part IV

...We have a military code of conduct and if you want I will give you a copy.

Because for us, when we were beginning this fightings, I said to my guys, "Either we are fighting for right, or I will not go".

Rape will be punished by firing squad, definitley. And it's known. And two weeks ago two officers were killed for that.

Two of your soldiers were killed?

Yes, officers, not soldiers, officers.

You executed them?

Yes, they went somewhere and they drank this local beer and they didn't control their selves when they went in a house where there were no married women. They slept there, in their village. And they are drunk, and they did a rape.

I'm sorry?

They did a rape when they are drunk.

Then we called the military court, the martial court, yes. We said "Now in our code of conduct if you rape.... And we killed them there, before soldiers.

Who has to execute them then, the captain?

Other soldiers, yes.

Other soldiers?

Yes, of the same rank soldiers.

The same rank?

Yes. They were second lieutenants and they were killed by second lieutenants.

Yeah, that's the way. It was a punishment. And it is accepted. And it is stated in our Code of Conduct. Looting by arms, it's a crime. We will use also a weapon against you. Looting without arms, now you can be in reprisal for such time. But if you used weapon to rob or to loot, now we will use weapon against you.

They are strong measures, I know. But also they help me in the four years of fightings.

All these guys knows very well that it exists. But they can't tell because they want to see a rebellion where there is no cause, where all women are raped, where we are looting. That is what they expect to see. And when they come they don't see such kind of behaviour. I think for them it is not good.

But what I know is that we are doing a war for liberation. Not for minerals, resources, no. There is a cause.

NKUNDA SAVED CONGO GORILLAS (transcript of interview)

NKUNDA SAY UN CRIMINALS IN CONGO (transcript of interview)

NKUNDA SAY CONGO OWN RESOURCES (transcript of interview)


How did rebels rape 200 women just miles from UN base in Congo?
by David Usborne, Independent, Aug 27, 2010
The UN Security Council yesterday condemned the mass rape of almost 200 women by rebels in eastern Congo as the organisation's top officials struggled to account for the failure of peacekeepers to prevent the attacks. The UN has a large and costly peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which appeared powerless to prevent the rebel rampage through a string of rural villages. UN officials in Congo said they only learned of the rape from an international medical charity 10 days after they occurred. But there is some dispute when the information was passed on. What seems clear now is that between 30 July and 3 August, Rwandan and Congolese rebels besieged the village of Luvungi in North Kivu, separated men from wives and sometimes babies from mothers before engaging in the mass rape of between 150 and 200 women. It happened even though the UN peacekeeping mission has a forward encampment just 19 miles away from Luvungi.... Compounding the political embarrassment for the UN is evidence now surfacing that on 30 July, the day the rapes began, an email was sent out by the UN's safety and security divisions to humanitarian groups in Congo warning them to keep away from the Luvungi area because it had been overrun by rebels. The email made no mention of rape, however. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said he was "outraged" by the attacks. He dispatched his top peacekeeping official, Atul Khare, to Congo to talk with the victims and UN commanders. He will deliver his findings to the Security Council next week. "This is another grave example of both the level of sexual violence and the insecurity that continue to plague the DRC," said Mr Ban. The UN is insisting it could not have responded to an incident that it had no information about. Officials said that even when patrols did go through the towns several days later, rebels still lingering disappeared into the surrounding countryside and none of the residents spoke to anyone about what had happened, either out of shame or because of fears of rebel reprisals against them. The attacks were blamed on a group involved in Rwanda's genocide and fled across the border to Congo in 1994 and who have been terrorising civilians ever since.

The charity that first sounded the alarm was the International Medical Corps (IMC). "Two hundred to four hundred armed men systematically pillaged and raped women in the villages," Giorgio Trombatore, country director for the IMC in the Congo confirmed. The UN has said that it learned of the mass abuse from the IMC on 12 August, but officials with the group have said details of what happened were passed on to the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs on 6 August. A UN spokesman in the Congo confirmed that while patrols through the town resumed within days there was no way for peacekeepers to know what crimes had occurred there. "Unfortunately, the villagers and the local authorities never brought this issue to our knowledge," said Madnoje Mounoubai. "If we are not informed, it will be difficult for us to know." Known under the acronym Monusco, the peacekeeping operation in the DRC is one of the largest ever launched by the UN with roughly 20,000 troops on the ground, many in the east of the country close to the border with Rwanda. That rapes on so large a scale occurred and escaped the notice of the mission for so long will inevitably cast new doubts on its effectiveness. However, it may also jeopardise plans to end the mission next year. Humanitarian groups will point to this latest abuse to question whether the government in Kinshasa will have the means to protect civilians from rebel attack without any UN presence....

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

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