Sunday, 18 November 2012

The situation in eastern Congo skids.

While all eyes are focused on Syria and Mali, this is the situation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) slipping badly. Taking Kibulba 30 km from Goma rebels M23 sounded the alarm. Developed an emergency meeting of the Security Council of the United Nations was convened on Saturday afternoon at 15h (AM New York, 21h Brussels), at the request of France. Reinforcements have arrived in Rwanda according to the spokesman of the Civil Society of North Kivu, Omar Kavotha, cited by Radio Okapi: "We have learned that more than three trucks Mercedes Benz, full of Rwandan elements, crossed Again the border last Friday between 14 and 15 hours, through Ndjerima in Rubavu district therefore Rwanda. And these elements have strengthened again the positions of M23. But the night from Friday to Saturday, other Rwandan elements were added, "said Omar Kavhota.

France requested the convening of the Security Council

The Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, confirmed a few minutes ago calling it "has the immediate cessation of fighting, the protection of civilians and all humanitarian actors." "France is extremely concerned about the resumption and intensification of fighting between the Congolese regular army troops to the M23, which could result in a new humanitarian crisis," he added. "It calls upon all countries of the region to refrain from any interference in the internal affairs of the DRC," said the statement issued by the Quai d'Orsay without designating Rwanda.

Belgium asked to act in Rwanda

The Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, was more direct, saying that "the territorial integrity of the DRC must be respected and that the Congolese authorities must restore order throughout their territory. For this, no support can be given to rebels fighting the Congolese armed forces and every effort should be made to put an end to this rebellion, as peacefully as possible, to preserve the local people who have only suffered too much. "And ask the Minister" in Rwanda, which is affected by this situation, especially because of the potential impact of this instability on its territory (...) to use its influence to contribute positively to the end as fast as possible for this situation of conflict. " Belgium requests MONUSCO to act more firmly and "make every effort to ensure the best possible protection of civilians and the return to calm, support and cooperation with the Congolese Armed Forces."

EU ministers should be alerted

Point "Congo" was far to the agenda of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the EU, especially at the request of Belgium and elsewhere. This topic should be "up" a notch or two in the European priorities. It's time!While the European Union has two stabilization missions deployed in the country, one to help reform the Congolese police, the other to assist the Congolese army in its restructuring, most European countries are generally uninterested the situation in the Great Lakes region. While European cooperation - all budget lines combined - nearly 1, 2 billion euros for 2008-2013, approximately € 200 million per year, including $ 50 million for humanitarian aid - which is everything still a significant financial effort and a major zones (with Afghanistan and Somalia) commitment of EU funds - you do not feel any real desire of the leaders of the European Union (*) to get involved so important in resolving the situation on the ground. The UN force in Congo has 16,000 military's counter. But it has not yet demonstrated efficacy decisive. In time, it will examine whether the Europeans should not engage in more robust, for example by engaging in a "battlegroup". Nb: there are currently two battlegroups on call, one led by the Germans, another by the Italians who give way to January 1 battlegroup "Weimar".

(*) With the notable exception of Herman Van Rompuy, but his temperament Belgian who speaks as well as the office of President of the European Council.

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