To Orwell Today,

Dear Jackie,

It's nice for us to count on your support. Anything that shows we are all united to stop this genocide underway is important.

I don't know which DVD you have, but I am guessing you might be talking about the one of Nkunda's in Rubaya. This is a village at about 25 km going westward from Mushaki. I went for primary school at a nearby Catholic Mission in Matanda (just before Rubaya). The whole area is beautiful and naturally peaceful. It breaks my heart to think the UN warmongers are destroying my people and my place: awfully painful. But you know, our survival instinct and our determination to defend our people's right and freedom to live will never be destroyed. Kabila, FDLR and Moncu know it. Even Ms Frazer and her funny diplomats who threaten Nkunda with their exile slogan know it. He is not going anywhere. Kakolele, Ntagnda and all the others are not going anywhere. Evil cannot win in the end. Thank you again for your support.

Best regards,

Greetings Antoinette,

Yes, the DVD I have does show Nkunda in Rubaya (near where you went to primary school).

Yesterday I went and rewatched it to listen to the music and see the dancing and the ceremonies and learn the names of the villages Nkunda and his modern-day Intore heroes - the soldiers of the CNDP (National Congress for People's Defense) - visited during their PILGRIMAGE OF RECONCILIATION (that same summer I visited Goma!).

Firstly, on August 6, 2006 they were at Nyamitabo; then on August 10 they were at Kitchanga and Nyanzole; then on September 8 at Ngungu and on September 10 at RUBAYA.

Now more than ever my thoughts and prayers are concentrated there and my empathy is with you and other Congolese diaspora to whom that is your beautiful place and people.

Amahoro masa,
Jackie Jura

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

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 army advances on Nkunda. BBC, Dec 8, 2007
Fighting has intensified as the army in the Democratic Republic of Congo pushes into territory held by rebels loyal to the dissident General Laurent Nkunda. It follows the army's capture of rebel headquarters in the town of Mushake in North Kivu, east DR Congo on Wednesday. A BBC correspondent with the army says troops are firing heavy artillery at rebel positions in the mountains. General Nkunda says he is defending Tutsis against Hutu extremists and has rejected demands that he disarm. The BBC's Arnaud Zajtman in the village of Kingi says government forces also have a position in the mountains and are hoping a further advance will enable them to attack the rebels on two fronts. He said a new phase in the war began on Friday as the troops moved into territory held by the renegade general. Rebel spokesman Rene Abandi said on Saturday that the insurgents had resisted an army advance and fought to protect civilian refugee populations in two rebel bastions, Kirolirwe and Kitchanga....

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...

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