Amid Congolese Chaos, NGOs Are Split on Nkunda,
FDLR and Camouflage for UN Mission
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
November 27 -- As the UN Security
Council is rethinking its peacekeeping mandate in the Congo, four
non-governmental organizations came to brief the Council and the press
true facts from the field. There was however a problem: they still did
about what should be done.
Press asked the four groups to state
their position on three central issues. Should Congo's president Joseph
be pressured to speak
with rebel Tutsi general Laurent Nkunda? Should the UN
peacekeepers, as their North Kivu commander has suggested, shift from
white vehicles to camouflage,
to engage Nkunda's troops? And what should be
done with the Hutu militias of the FDLR --
should they be attacked, repatriated
to Rwanda, or relocated within the Congo and if so, where? Video here,
from Minute 25:18
of World Vision spoke first and by far clearest. She said that "all
parties" should be part of negotiations. By this she meant, it emerged
continued questioning, not only Nkunda but the FDLR. Few others agree
position, but it is courage in its way. As some NGOs will say, but only
record, the FDLR fighters of today were mostly not involved in the 1994
genocide in Rwanda. They are, if anything, the children of
sins of the fathers, is the phrase that comes to mind.
Vision Mbaya opposed the UN shifting to offensive action, saying it
further confuse the local population. Human Rights Watch, at least
Africa director Georgette Gagnon, offered ringing rhetoric but no
answers to the three questions above.
HRW's Gagnon, with US in the back, responses like other NGOs not shown
Charles Manpasu, on the other hand, said that what is needed is a force
belligerents stop abusing the civilians.
Inner City Press asked, by any means necessary? He
did not disagree. He
said that while MONUC's current Chapter Seven mandate technically
peacekeepers to attack Congolese national army (FARDC) soldiers who
the population, the peacekeepers often do not to this.
In fact, UN peacekeepers recently handed over
23 individuals demanded by FARDC fighters, as later admitted by the
Doss. Video here.
disagreeing with World Vision was the representative of Global Witness,
the reminder that many of the parties are guilty of war crimes and
be legitimized. She spoke about nature resources, an issue Inner City
later took up with the Belgian Foreign Minister, Karel de Gucht. Video here.
We will have more on this.
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
Reporter's mobile (and
earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request
reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]