Nkunda's fighters have battled with
the United Nations-backed Congolese army in North Kivu province.
While U.N. aircraft ferry government forces and supplies to the front line,
Congolese are using a Russian-built helicopter gunship
to pound Nkunda's position.
Analysts believe Congo's President Joseph Kabila may be
trying to annihilate Nkunda militarily.
Western diplomats say Kabila's government will soon turn to China
for a no-strings arms deal and military training
in return for easier access to mining, oil and logging.
Last week [Aug 2007] I read an article in the Ugandan newspaper "New Vision" which said that China is suspected of supplying weapons and military training to the Congo's government (DRC) - under President Kabila - in exchange for access to its rich resources.
Congo trying to stay in one peace. New Vision, Aug 20, 2007 (...The rump of the [Congo] army is rotten. By one account, soldiers get just 15 meals a month. Most of their wages are stolen, so they turn to theft in their turn. The 100,000 or so who had demobilised have had little success in finding jobs. Many may rejoin armed groups out of frustration. Western diplomats say the government will soon turn to China for a no-strings arms deal and military training in return for easier access to mining, oil and logging....)
Now today, when I read that the Congo-DRC army is using fancy helicopters to airstrike the army of Nkunda - the Tutsi general who is the only one fighting the FAR/FDLR, the Rwandan Hutu army that is killing his people in Eastern Congo (and who are the same ones who did the genocide in Rwanda) - I wonder if Kabili got the helicopters from China, and if that is why he isn't afraid to fight Nkunda, the "rebel".
Air raid 'kills 50 Congo rebels'. BBC, Sep 4, 2007 (The Democratic Republic of Congo has used a helicopter gunship for the first time in the fighting against rebels in the east of the country. A Congolese general told the BBC that the bodies of 50 rebel fighters had been found but this has not been independently confirmed...The air strike by the Mi-24 gunship took place some 80km west of the regional capital, Goma, Colonel Delphin Kahimbi told the BBC. "There was heavy fighting near Karuba. We deployed an attack helicopter to back our ground troops," he told the AFP news agency. A Congolese general also said there was fighting near Sake, about 40km west of Goma, where fighting broke out last week. The army says that 180 rebel fighters have now been killed in recent days...)
The possibility that Kabila is being armed by the Chinese could be contributing to his not living up to the Great-Lakes-Nations peace treaty wherein he agreed to destroy the Rwandan Hutus in the Congo - the FAR/FDLR/Interahamwe soldiers - the very same ones who perpetrated the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and then ran for protection to the Congo - where they remain to this day.
It's common knowledge that China supplied all the machetes that were used in the Rwandan genocide. It's less well-known that the Secretary General of the United Nations at the time - Boutros Boutros-Ghali - actively participated in selling weapons to Hutu Habyarimana's genocidal government. See RWANDA ARMED FOR GENOCIDE.
Notice also, in the BBC article, that in one breath Nkunda's Tutsi army is blamed for the recent gorilla killings in their Congo habitat and then in the next breath it says Nkunda went there to break up the camps of the Hutu genocidaire army - the FAR/FDLR - which have bases there:
Outrage. BBC, Sep 4, 2007 (...Conservationists are increasingly concerned for the remaining 700 mountain gorillas in the Virunga National Park. Nine gorillas have been killed this year, allegedly by Gen Nkunda's men, sparking outrage among conservationists. Gen Nkunda's forces are believed to have moved into the park in pursuit of Rwandan Hutu rebels, who have bases there. Officials from local conservation group, Wildlife Direct, say the forces looted weapons and communication equipment from Jomba and Bikenge ranger patrol posts within the park. A third post, Bukima, was evacuated for fear of imminent attack, the group said...)
Silverback gorillas killed in Congo (7 murders in 7 months). Telegraph, Aug 9, 2007
The only good that can come of gorillas being killed in the crossfire (or deliberately by the Hutus as was reported last week) is that the international community (who LOVE the gorillas more than they seem to love the Congolese or Rwandan human beings) will stop siding with Kabila and instead help Nkunda's side capture the genocidal soldiers hiding in the gorilla's midst.
Rwandan Hutus kill gorilla ranger. Reuters, Aug 31, 2007 (Suspected Rwandan Hutu rebels killed a park ranger in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in the latest attack on guards who protect rare mountain gorillas in a national park, officials said on Friday. The attack late on Thursday on the ranger station at Kabaraza, 95 km (60 miles) north of the North Kivu provincial capital Goma, followed the killings of five of the endangered gorillas in recent weeks in the Virunga National Park.... The ranger died from his wounds, and a worker at the camp was injured by a bullet in the neck. Houses were looted. Other rangers who drove the attackers off said they spoke Rwandan and were believed to be members of the largely Hutu Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel group which operates in eastern Congo....
I'm not saying it's trivial to care about saving the gorillas from being killed. I love the gorillas too - and respect and admire immensely Dian Fossey who - more than any other human being - loved and protected the mountain gorillas. Reading her book GORILLAS IN THE MIST was the clincher that made me decide to go to Rwanda. See GORILLAS CALLING TO RWANDA.
That's why I was absolutely shocked when I read - not that long ago - that the same Hutus who masterminded the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda were the ones who killed Dian Fossey and that the brother of Habyarimana's wife - Mr Zed - was behind it:
Protais Zigiranyirazo. Wikipedia ("Protais Zigiranyirazo (born 1938) commonly known as Monsieur Zed ("Mr. Z"), is a Rwandan businessman and politician. He is the former governor of Ruhengeri prefecture in northwestern Rwanda. He has also been accused of collaborating in the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the 1985 murder of Dian Fossey. "Between 1974 and 1989 Zigiranyirazo served as governor of Ruhengeri. An ethnic Hutu, he was well-connected to the Hutu establishment of politicians, businessmen and military officers which then controlled Rwanda: he is the brother of Agathe Kanziga, wife of the late Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana, whose assassination on April 6, 1994 precipitated the events leading to the genocide. "In 1989 he resigned his position as prefect to study at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He was expelled from UQÁM and from Canada in 1993 after being convicted of uttering death threats against two Tutsi refugees in Montreal, who "accused him of participating in the planning of ethnic massacres."
So, in murdering gorillas in the Congo now, the Rwandan Hutu genocidaires in exile - the FAR/FDLR - are up to their usual modus-operandi and must be stopped.
I hope my worries about China backing Kabila's DRC attacks against Nkunda are unfounded, and that the talks that are presently going on between Congo's and Rwanda's ministers of foreign affairs are being carried out with honest intentions and will result in the Congo-DRC army fighting the Rwandan Hutu FAR/FDLR army and NOT the Congolese Tutsi army of Laurent Nkunda. And I hope, as well, that the United Nations aren't up to their old tricks of aiding and abetting Hutus committing genocide against Tutsis in the Congo and Rwanda. See GOMA CAMP MAFIA HOTEL.
Let's hope the outrage at the killing of human beings receives as much international outrage as the killing of gorillas. It would be travesty upon travesty if those who are killing Tutsis and gorillas in the Congo succeed and move again against Tutsis and gorillas in Rwanda. ~ Jackie Jura
Congo Warlord Nkunda's Arrest Puts Gorillas' Future in Turmoil, National Geographic News, Jan 23, 2009
The political future of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Virunga National Park — home to about 200 of the world's roughly 680 mountain gorillas — was thrown into turmoil Thursday night with the arrest of Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda. Nkunda's rebel movement had held sway over much of the region in which Virunga is located since August 2007. When the rebels — called the National Congress for the People's Defense (CNDP) — took over the park, the government rangers working to protect the gorillas were forced to evacuate the area. After a 15-month-long absence, the rangers were able to return in November 2008 after the park's director, Emmanuel de Merode, struck a deal directly with Nkunda to allow his rangers to resume their work. It's unclear how that arrangement — and the protection of the gorillas — will be affected by Nkunda's arrest....In an interview last month with National Geographic News in Bunagana, Nkunda talked extensively about his plans to safeguard the gorillas and develop Virunga National Park as a tourist destination. Likening Virunga and its crowd-pleasing apes to natural resources, Nkunda said, "In other places they have petrol. We have the gorillas. The park is like our petrol; the gorillas are our fuel. These gorillas will remain and the national park will remain forever. We have to protect them."...
"There's been a very dramatic shift over the last 48 hours … the Congolese government forces have established authority over [the area]," said de Merode, the Virunga park director. Congolese government forces have been accused in the past of taking part in the illegal charcoal trade, which represents a major threat to the mountain gorillas and their habitat. Much of the charcoal is made from old-growth forest harvested inside Virunga National Park. It is unclear exactly who is now in charge militarily in the Virunga region. De Merode plans to travel Saturday to Rutshuru, a former rebel [Nkunda CNDP] stronghold near the park, where he will meet with the traditional chief of the area. "The chief asked me to accompany him to reassure the populations in the central part of the park," de Merode said. It's been only two months since the rangers returned to the park, and de Merode says it's critically important for them to be able to continue their work. "The thing about any national park is that it takes many years of hard work to build them up, to recover them, to reestablish them as healthy national parks, but it only takes a few days to destroy them," he said. "So we have to be there all the time to avoid that happening. At the moment our work is completely uninterrupted by these political events. But, he added, "the difficulties that we're facing are the same as the ones we'll be facing next week, next month, next year. We just have to keep going."
NKUNDA GUERRILLA GORILLA TOURS
Gorilla warfare. (the gorillas are safer under Nkunda than they were under Kabila). Sydney Morning Herald, January 4, 2009
Rangers return to protect Virunga gorillas (species transcends political differences). AP, Nov 21, 2008
CONGO 500-POUND GORILLA CHINA
No refuge for Congo's gorillas ("The animals we followed every day are now roaming without protection"). Guardian, Nov 14, 2008. Go to RWANDA'S RARE GORILLAS
(No one loved gorillas more)
Kabila's Congo army rampaging & raping (helping Rwandan Hutus slaughter Congolese; 17,000 UN troops doing nothing to stop it). Scotsman, Nov 13, 2008. Go to UN PEACEKEEPING NOT KEEPINGPEACE
GENERAL NKUNDA TALKS TO BBC (government using Hutu genocidaires against all Congolese people) & Nkunda ceasefire allows humanitarian aid (Kabila/Hutu soldiers raping/looting/killing) & Thousands refugees fleeing Congo chaos (UN aid agencies cutting off aid). BBC/Age, Oct 31, 2008
UN Security Council president from China (heads 17,000 UN troops in Congo responsible humanitarian disaster in Kivu). IPS, Oct 31, 2008
Nkunda opposes Congo deal with China (to extract 9.6 million tonnes copper; more than 500,000 tonnes of cobalt). CBC, Oct 31, 2008
Nkunda rebels seized Congo gorilla park (not harming rangers or gorillas). National Geographic, Oct 27, 2008
China creating new slave empire in Africa (Chinese are not investors, they are invaders; Zambia's "King Cobra" Sata fighting back). DailyMail, Sep 28, 2008. Go to ZAMBIA NOT FOR CHINA & CHINA'S AFRICAN EMPIRE
ZIMBABWE SPADE RED CHINA (reader Mitali says the people of Zimbabwe are calling for help but no one is ready to incur the wrath of Mugabe)
Congo groups re-arming against Nkunda (6 planeloads weapons to Goma for Kabila helping Rwandan Hutus kill Tutsis). BBC/NatGeographic, Aug 1, 2008
Congo opposition blasts China deal (giving mineral & oil concessions). Telegraph, May 10, 2008
...African nations are increasingly alarmed by China's activities. Yesterday, opposition parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) blasted a US$9-billion loan and investment package with China as "incoherent and unbalanced" and called for its renegotiation and an international tender. Beijing signed the deal in January as part of a continent-wide investment push that has sparked tensions with former colonial masters and international donors.
CONGO CHINA REGIME CRONIES
CONGO RICHES CHINA NOW
The Chinese and Congo take a giant leap of faith. IHT, Sep 21, 2007
China lending Congo $5-billion. Business Day, Sep 19, 2007 (...Congolese Infrastructure and Public Works Minister Pierre Lumbi said yesterday the repayment terms proposed included mining concessions and toll revenue deals to be given to Chinese companies....If fully disbursed, the loan will be one of the biggest Chinese financial commitments in Africa...) Congo/UN/Hutu armies attacking Nkunda (heavy artillery & backup helicopters) & Nkunda must leave Congo says USA (surrender & go into exile or face bloody violence from UN) & Force against Nkunda catastrophic (dwarf every crisis on continent). BBC/AFP/NewTimes, Dec 3, 2007 Chinese & Congo take giant leap of faith. Intn'l Herald Tribune, Sep 21, 2007 China lending Congo $5-billion. Business Day, Sep 19, 2007 (...Congolese Infrastructure and Public Works Minister Pierre Lumbi said yesterday the repayment terms proposed included mining concessions and toll revenue deals to be given to Chinese companies....If fully disbursed, the loan will be one of the biggest Chinese financial commitments in Africa... Congo fighting lights tinderbox flame. ReutersAfrica, Sep 5, 2007 Nkunda calls for Congo peace. BBC, Sep 5, 2007 Congo Gorilla Park Fighting. Guardian, Sep 4, 2007 Congo & Rwanda foreign affairs ministers talk peace. UNIRIN, Sep 4, 2007 Kabila troops move toward Nkunda (may ally with Rwandan Hutus) & 'State of war' in eastern Congo (Kabila & UN forces support Hutus who kill Nkunda-supported Tutsis). VOA/BBC, Sep 1, 2007 Silverback gorillas killed in Congo (7 murders in 7 months). Telegraph, Aug 9, 2007 WEIGHING IN ON SILVERBACK CONGO WRONG ON NKUNDA and LUMUMBA-LIKE LAURENT NKUNDA GOMA'S LUMUMBA VOLCANO and CONGO IS LUMUMBA LAND and JFK CRIED FOR CONGO Jackie Jura email: email@example.com
Canada sells helicopter engines to China (Z-10 attackers each carry 14 missiles; to be used in Sudan, Burma, Taiwan...). CBC, Oct 25, 2007
SHANGHAI: The entire world may not have sat up and taken notice in the last week, and that is probably just fine with China, which has just made a major move into central Africa. With its agreement to lend $5 billion to Congo, what might have often looked like a grab-bag approach to the African continent by a country with only sporadic involvement there has finally taken on a distinct outline....China has its eyes on the prize: the world's richest assortment of minerals, from copper to cobalt to uranium to diamonds and gold and on and on, but its game plan reflects a truly Chinese perspective on the world. The new roads and rails are meant not merely to revive Congo's prospects. Nor are they simply intended to facilitate extraction, as much as that remains part of the plan. China is redrawing the economic map in central and southern Africa, linking the copper zone of the south with the port at Matadi, and redirecting other portions of the country's huge mineral potential to Chinese-built networks in Zambia and Angola...
MASISI, Congo: Their faces expressionless, Tutsi rebels carrying machine guns brace against a cold wind-whipped drizzle on a muddy track in the green pastureland of Congo's eastern highlands. Just a few hundred metres (yards) back down the hillside, Congolese government soldiers occupy positions. Beyond the rebel checkpoint lies the personal fiefdom of renegade Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda, whose feud with the government in Kinshasa is once again turning the east of Democratic Republic of Congo into a war zone. In two weeks of fighting that worsened sharply in recent days, Nkunda's fighters have battled with the United Nations-backed Congolese army in North Kivu province, forcing thousands of civilian refugees over the border into Uganda. While U.N. aircraft ferry government forces and supplies to the front line, Congolese commanders say they are using a Russian-built helicopter gunship to pound Nkunda's position. They say they have killed more than 100 rebel fighters, but there has been no independent verification of casualties. Analysts believe Congo's President Joseph Kabila may be trying to annihilate Nkunda militarily, anxious to pacify the vast, mineral-rich former Belgian colony after his victory in landmark elections late last year....Nkunda, who says he commands 8,000 fighters, says the reasons which drove him to lead a 2004 revolt in defence of his Congolese Tutsi people have not gone away. "When there is rebellion in a country, it's because there are problems. And if those problems are not resolved, the rebellion will continue," he told Reuters in a recent interview. Nkunda accuses Kabila's government and army of supporting rival rebels of the largely Hutu Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) who control parts of North Kivu. This is made up of former Rwandan soldiers and members of the Hutu militias, or Interahamwe, which took part in Rwanda's 1994 genocide in which more than 800,000 people were killed...Nkunda remains defiant. "We will continue to fight for our freedom. We cannot allow North Kivu and South Kivu to be controlled by the FDLR."...)
The United Nations says it is backing Congolese government troops in their intensifying fight against rebels led by General Laurent Nkunda. The Congolese army has deployed a helicopter gunship against the rebels. Clashes are continuing in two parts of North Kivu province, including in a park inhabited by mountain gorillas. Some 170,000 people have fled the area this year, says the UN refugee agency. Mr Nkunda told the BBC's Network Africa programme that he was looking for security and a return to the peace process. "It's the government side who have broken the peace process," he said. "We are asking the government to get back on the peace process, because it is the real way to resolve the Congolese problem." The UN's military spokesman in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Major Gabriel de Brosses, told the BBC it was airlifting government troops and ammunition to North Kivu. Mr Nkunda denied that his forces have been behind the violence that has caused thousands of civilians to flee their villages. "Those are lies, are not real, they are allegations," he told the BBC. "We were attacked...."
Rangers and 300 villagers abandoned a gorilla reserve in eastern Congo as government soldiers battled troops loyal to a renegade general in sections of the park, officials said Tuesday. Sporadic clashes have erupted around the densely forested region bordering Uganda and Rwanda since Thursday, when fighting resumed between Congo's army and former Gen. Laurent Nkunda's troops. Nkunda's men seized three gorilla monitoring posts in the Virunga National Park on Monday and park officials said rangers vacated another post Tuesday, abandoning the part of the park where the gorillas live. Congo army officials claimed at least 150 rebel fighters had been killed. That figure included 67 bodies found Monday after helicopter strikes, along with nearly 100 insurgents killed last week, Col. Delphin Kahindi said....Fleeing rangers said government troops were fighting Nkunda's men Tuesday in the heart of the sector inhabited by the endangered mountain gorillas....Little information was available from the area because radio and cellular antennas were damaged or out of service, along with a hydroelectric dam that provided electricity in the area, officials said. Nkunda told The Associated Press in a phone interview Monday that his forces were only fighting defensively, and argued he had not abandoned a peace process started earlier this year. "Today, like all the other days, we did not attack. But we were attacked,"' Nkunda said.
Kinshasa - The recent meeting between senior Rwandan and Congolese officials saw some agreement on strategies to minimise tension between the two countries, but did not achieve a breakthrough to firmly deal with the rebellion in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), an analyst said....Rwanda's foreign minister Charles Murigande met his DRC counterpart Mbusa Nyamwisi in Kinshasa on 3 September during a three-day visit. They discussed the consolidation of relations, the presence of ex-FAR (Armed Forces of Rwanda, involved in the 1994 genocide) fighters in the DRC and Nkunda. "The ex FAR-Interahamwe constitute a problem, firstly for the Congolese, as they kill, rape and steal every day, but they are also a permanent menace for Rwanda," Nyamwisi told reporters. "These meetings will allow us to find a response for the people and the government. We must prevent an escalation, because an escalation is possible." Murigande noted: "The ex FAR-Interahamwe, alias FDLR, are the root cause of much of the insecurity and instability in the region [and] remain militarily and politically very active in DRC and continue to constitute a serious threat to all of us. Their campaign has created fertile ground for the emergence of complicating factors like the General Nkunda phenomenon." The two ministers effectively announced their willingness to revitalise programmes to pacify and normalise relations between the two countries. In particular, "the two parties said they would put everything to work to disarm and return the ex-FAR and Interahamwe to Rwanda", according to the joint communiqué released at the close of the session. They also reiterated their commitments to the principles of the Great Lakes Peace, Stability and Development pact. They referred to Article Five of the treaty, which states that "the parties will refrain from sending or supporting armed opposition or rebel groups engaged in armed conflicts or implicated in acts of violence or subversion against the government of another state". "We are convinced that the Nkunda problem is above all a Congolese problem which has to be resolved by Congo, but has consequences for Rwanda," said Nyamwisi. "Most of our discussions were around this issue and ... reducing the spectre of destabilisation there [in eastern DRC]." Murigande led a mission of four senior officials, the first such delegation since 1998. DRC accuses Rwanda of supporting rebels in DRC, while Rwanda says Congo harbours Interahamwe forces guilty of acts of genocide in Rwanda in 1994.
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~
China lending Congo $5-billion. Business Day, Sep 19, 2007 (...Congolese Infrastructure and Public Works Minister Pierre Lumbi said yesterday the repayment terms proposed included mining concessions and toll revenue deals to be given to Chinese companies....If fully disbursed, the loan will be one of the biggest Chinese financial commitments in Africa...)
Congo/UN/Hutu armies attacking Nkunda (heavy artillery & backup helicopters) & Nkunda must leave Congo says USA (surrender & go into exile or face bloody violence from UN) & Force against Nkunda catastrophic (dwarf every crisis on continent). BBC/AFP/NewTimes, Dec 3, 2007
Chinese & Congo take giant leap of faith. Intn'l Herald Tribune, Sep 21, 2007
China lending Congo $5-billion. Business Day, Sep 19, 2007 (...Congolese Infrastructure and Public Works Minister Pierre Lumbi said yesterday the repayment terms proposed included mining concessions and toll revenue deals to be given to Chinese companies....If fully disbursed, the loan will be one of the biggest Chinese financial commitments in Africa...
Congo fighting lights tinderbox flame. ReutersAfrica, Sep 5, 2007
Nkunda calls for Congo peace. BBC, Sep 5, 2007
Congo Gorilla Park Fighting. Guardian, Sep 4, 2007
Congo & Rwanda foreign affairs ministers talk peace. UNIRIN, Sep 4, 2007
Kabila troops move toward Nkunda (may ally with Rwandan Hutus) & 'State of war' in eastern Congo (Kabila & UN forces support Hutus who kill Nkunda-supported Tutsis). VOA/BBC, Sep 1, 2007
Silverback gorillas killed in Congo (7 murders in 7 months). Telegraph, Aug 9, 2007
WEIGHING IN ON SILVERBACK
CONGO WRONG ON NKUNDA and LUMUMBA-LIKE LAURENT NKUNDA
GOMA'S LUMUMBA VOLCANO and CONGO IS LUMUMBA LAND and JFK CRIED FOR CONGO