To Orwell Today,

Dear Jackie,

Congratulations for this UN HATE WEEK ON NKUNDA answer to an obviously ignorant or corrupt fellow. I speak out for Nkunda also.

Like Nkunda I was born in DRC, actually in Mushaki, the small village fallen into the FARDC hands yesterday [Dec 4, 2007]. Like many of my compatriots, I had to stay out of the country. I work in a private university in Nairobi but currently I am in Europe trying to finish a PhD thesis in Political philosophy. I started speaking up for Nkunda at the beginning of this year publishing articles in French on VIRUNGA NEWS and KIVU PEACE. I am looking for online publications in English so that I can reach also an English speaking audience, still searching.

I am very proud of your stand and thank you heartily again.

Best regards,
Antoinette Kankindi

Greetings Antoinette,

It is godcidental to be hearing from someone from Mushaki because my heart was crying for Nkunda and his soldiers and all the villagers there when the international news was reporting yesterday that Kabila's FARDC soldiers, with backup from the UN, had taken the town. Mushaki was described as having a large Tutsi population with a vibrant market and an important place from which Nkunda could look out toward Goma. I was wondering if Mushaki was one of the villages shown in the DVD I have of Nkunda visiting villages during his PILGRIMAGE OF RECONCILIATION thanking villagers for their support, and which I describe in NKUNDA & INTORE HEROES. I'm going to watch it again today and write down the names of the villages and will be sending positive vibes their way.

All the best in your endeavour getting the word out to the English speaking world about Nkunda and his cause, and for sending links to other sources for truth about Nkunda.

Jackie Jura

...conversation continues

Reader Antoinette says God willing the Republic of Congo will be saved

Congolese refugees adapt to life in Rwanda refugee camp, New Times, Aug 4, 2012
Sitting inside her makeshift house, Kobwa Mukeshimana represents hope and disappointment for all that is going on in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Mukeshimana is one of the thousands of Congolese refugees who fled their country after fighting between government forces and rebels broke out in April 2012. Currently they are hosted at Kigeme Refugee camp, in Nyamagabe District. Sitting on a jerrycan in her empty room, Mukeshimana, a mother of four, smiles when questioned about her life in DRC and how she is coping with the life as a refugee. She says she comes from Mushaki in Masisi, in the North Kivu province of the DRC. “We are getting used to this life” she says. “We have food, water and other basics. We have learnt to accept this situation. We cannot change it and have to cope with it,” she said. “We are waiting for the day when the conflict will end”. The woman, who fled the fighting with her husband, hopes one day she will return to her country. “We want to return home and God willing, peace will be found,” she noted hopefully. A few metres away, children are playing while women and young girls are busy preparing lunch. Others are washing clothes. In front of one white-UNHCR-marked tent, a visibly exhausted woman lying on a small mat. Her name is Muhoza. She says living in a camp is not an easy thing. “But, as time goes by, we will get used to this life,” she says. Statistics indicate that 11,434 refugees live in Kigeme Refugee camp. Like in other camps, the number of children outnumbers that of adults. About 7,000 children live in Kigeme camp. “We will keep supporting them to make sure their lives are better,” the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Antoine Ruvebana, said. “We hope armed conflicts will end in their country so they can return. That’s the most important thing we wish for them. But, as long as they are here, it is our obligation to make sure they are protected and safe, and that their welfare is guaranteed.” The fierce fighting which erupted late in April 2012 in the DRC’s volatile eastern DRC has forced thousands to seek refuge in Rwanda. “We tried to expand this camp so that refugees who came in the same period and in the same conditions live in the same place where they benefit from the same urgent humanitarian assistance,” Ruvebana told The New Times. He said the ministry has acquired 6 hectares of land that will be used to expand the camp to 28 hectares.

Nkunda rebels ready for peace. BBC, Dec 14, 2007
General Laurent Nkunda was speaking to the BBC in his first interview since his troops recaptured territory lost in a government offensive last week. He said the Congolese government must first disarm the Rwandan Hutu rebels he claims are attacking ethnic Tutsis. Government forces had taken the town of Mushake, claiming a "major victory". With Mushake and the surrounding hills back in his possession, Gen Nkunda said it was time for "Congolese to live in peace". "We said for a long time that the war cannot finish a political problem," he told the BBC's Arnaud Zajtman. "Political problems asked for political solutions."...


Nkunda rebels 'fighting for family'. BBC, Dec 14, 2007
The town of Mushake in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is once more in the hands of rebel forces, only a week after they were driven out by the army. The rebels sang and danced to celebrate, but unlike the government soldiers when they took the town, they drank fresh milk, not alcohol. And they remained watchful. The town is usually inhabited mostly by ethnic Tutsis, well known as cattle herders. But now, the town, famous in more peaceful times for its cheese, is almost deserted. Only a few civilians have made their way back to this hilltop town. Others are waiting with hundreds of their cows on the surrounding mountainsides. The bad, sweet smell of dead bodies is in the air in parts of the town. On the only road that goes through Mushake, a pothole has been filled with a body covered by a bit of mat. Part of a foot is sticking out. Wooden stalls have been looted by the government forces who controlled this place for a few days. Some houses that contained ammunition supplies were destroyed. But there is no shortage of ammunition. The rebels crossed town on foot loaded with supplies. On a brand-new-looking box of ammunition for AK-47s that was abandoned by the government forces, is written "Harare, Zimbabwe Defence Industries". Zimbabwe has always been a close ally of DR Congo's President, Joseph Kabila and before him, his father Laurent, against rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda. The rebels have set up a camp on the hill that overlooks Mushake and all the mountains of Massissi , all the way down to the Lake Kivu. "Now we can see everything, who is coming," says Col Munyakazi, a rebel officer. It is in the south of the 1,500 km2 territory of North Kivu, where Gen Nkunda operates and lies on the road from the regional capital, Goma, to the tin mines of Walikale. The rebels say that they are the only ones who can protect members of their own Tutsi community against the Hutus who have been marauding across eastern DR Congo since 1994, when they were defeated after being involved in the genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda. "Our families are in Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi," says Col Munyakazi. "They are not coming back because there is no security here. They fear they would be killed if they came back." The government says it is the army's duty to protect all the population and has ordered Gen Nkunda's Tutsi rebels to disarm. But the Congolese army does not always protect the population. In one incident, government troops near Katale, some 40 km further west, abandoned their positions and stole hundreds of goats from the local population, according to witnesses in the town. There is tension within the ranks of the Congolese army. Many soldiers blame the recent set-backs on one of their own top commanders whom they accuse of corruption and of secretly siding with the rebels. It is hard to understand how Mushake was captured. A few hundred rebels took control of the town and forced the well-equipped government soldiers to pull out, after army commanders had boasted of a "major victory". But apart from the allegations of corruption within the army, there might be a more simple reason - the rebels are more used to the area and are more determined.

Nkunda reclaims stronghold from Kabila. VOA, Dec 10, 2007
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the National Congress for the People’s Defense rebels led by renegade general Laurent Nkunda have reportedly taken over their stronghold of Mushake, days after government forces forced them to flee the town amid heavy artillery. The rebels claimed they are only defending themselves after government forces attacked their stronghold. They maintained that although President Joseph Kabila is refusing to hold peace talks with them, they are ready for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Meanwhile, fighting and heavy shelling was reportedly continuing Monday around Goma where most journalists covering the story are based. Rene Abande is the spokesman for the rebels. He tells reporter Peter Clottey that they seek a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict. “We are not attacking government forces, we are just trying to defend and to stop the offensive of government troops because they decided to end with us, and we can’t end without fighting. We are just fighting to defend ourselves and to try to see if the government can hear the way of reason and try to resolve the political problem,” Abande pointed out. He said the rebels went on the offensive after government forces used heavy artillery against them. “(We started fighting) because the government came and took Mushake. Mushake was our area; they tried to use heavy material, putting bombs on Mushake. So, since we decided to defend the population there because there is risk of killing our population, there is risk because of those Intarhamwe. The problem is that the government chooses to make an alliance with Intarhamwe, those Rwandese who did genocide in their country so, they want to continue that ideology of killing people,” he said. Abande said the rebels asked President Kabila’s government to help solve the crisis, but he said their request has so far fallen on deaf ears. “So we asked the government to solve this problem of Intarhamwe. And we asked the government to allow refugees who are in neighboring countries to come back to Congo, but the government refused, and we can’t allow the Intarhamwe to kill people in this area,” Abande noted. He accused President Kabila of refusing to have peace talks with the rebels. “President Kabila says he can’t go on the table with us, that’s the problem because he is ready to talk to our enemies and to make alliances with those Intarhamwe, but with his citizens he doesn’t want it. So, for us until Kabila continues to decide to end with us with fighting, we will defend ourselves,” he maintained. He said the rebels are now in control of their stronghold of Mushake, but he added that they are continuing to defend themselves. “Yes… our soldiers are able to fight. Even as we are asking for peace, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have forces. They are strong enough they are well disciplined. They are an army, which can be the beginning of building serious army, and army, which can defend country. So, instead of trying to train this part of the army they are trying to destroy it. But they would not accept to be destroyed, and they would defend themselves and they will continue to defend the people. And we will continue to explain to the nation that we can solve the problem and that we can make a nation, which is united,” he said.

Kabila takes Nkunda stronghold. MediaWithConscience. Dec 7, 2007 (...A spokesman for Nkunda's National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) played down the army's retaking of Mushake. Rene Abandi said: "Mushake was not a strategic area, nor a CNDP headquarters." He said that Nkunda's troops withdrew to "save the civilian population". Nkunda, a former army officer, says he is fighting to protect his native Tutsis from Hutu militia that fled into the DRC after the Rwanda genocide in 1994. Fighting in the Masisi province has displaced hundreds of thousands of people since December last year. The United States recently urged Nkunda to surrender and go into exile to avoid a bloody showdown, while Kinshasa has called on the general to end his rebellion and reintegrate his men into the army.

Kabila army attacked a stronghold (of renegade Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda). SouthAfricaNews, Dec 4, 2007 (...Army attack helicopters bombarded targets around Sake and Mushake, and UN helicopters took to the air, said Major Vivek Goyal, acting military spokesperson in North Kivu for Democratic Republic of Congo's UN peacekeeping force (Monuc)...Mushake has been an important base for Nkunda's 4 000-strong rebel force since fighting broke out in late August. The rebels abandoned a Rwandan-brokered peace deal and quit special mixed army brigades formed in early 2007 to stem violence in North Kivu following Congo's 1998-2003 war...

Kabila army in offensive against rebel Nkunda. BBC, Dec 3, 2007
The Democratic Republic of Congo's army has launched an offensive against rebel leader Laurent Nkunda, using helicopter gunships and heavy artillery. Fighting is taking place in Mushake, a rebel town 40km north-west of Goma, a day after the army lost one battle. There are reports that the army has retaken some villages in the east that were captured by Gen Nkunda's men. A BBC correspondent in the region says there were jubilant soldiers on the road between Sake and Goma. Government forces have repeatedly threatened Gen Nkunda with force unless he relinquishes his control over areas close to the Rwandan border. Gen Nkunda claims he is defending his own Tutsi community against Rwandan Hutu rebels responsible for the Rwandan genocide in 1994, who have been roaming the east of DR Congo ever since.

The BBC's Arnaud Zajtman in the east of DR Congo says the attack is the start of a long-anticipated offensive. Mushake looks over a key road that links the regional capital, Goma, with valuable tin mines and rich farming land further west, he says. The small hillside town is a stronghold of the rebels and its buzzing market centre is inhabited mainly by Tutsi cattle farmers. It is being attacked by ground troops using heavy artillery supported by two attack helicopters. A military spokesman for the UN mission in DR Congo said UN peacekeepers are bringing logistic support to the government forces, but are not engaged in any fighting.

The attack comes a day after the rebels captured the town of Nyanzale, about 100km further north. The rebels forced the government soldiers to pull out and took control of their military base there. Witnesses said over 40,000 civilians fled as a result. There were no reports of civilian casualties but medical sources told the AFP news agency that several wounded government soldiers were in nearby hospitals. The elected Congolese government has made a commitment to flush out the Rwandan Hutu rebels, and says Mr Nkunda and his 6,000-8,000 men should also lay down their arms. Some 15,000 UN peacekeepers are in DR Congo to secure peace after a five-year conflict officially ended in 2002.

UN joining attack against Tutsis (siding with genocidal Hutu forces) & Nkunda still desires peace talks ('trouble is gov't & UN impose war') & 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). VOA/BBC/AFP/NewTimes, Dec 3-5, 2007

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

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