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On DRC, Failure of 8+1 Leads to Grander Dream of 11+1, Of Kabila Caving

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 5 -- After the failure in Addis Ababa of the UN's political framework for Eastern Congo, one expected some public explanation and even question and answer from the UN Tuesday in connection with the Security Council meeting on the topic.

  But despite the presence of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's personal envoy Susana Malcorra and head of Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous, neither did a UNTV stakeout. Here was Ladsous' last stakeout, on video.

  It was left to Security Council members to explain what went wrong in Addis, and what the next steps are.

  Inner City Press is informed by a country in the region that even after Ban's Eight Plus One format fell apart, there was a move to have a smaller group sign.

  Rwanda's President Paul Kagame said he would sign. But Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, this read out goes, said it would have to be a larger group.

  Now the group has gotten "absurdly large," in the analysis of another Security Council member, to "Eleven Plus One." Of what benefit can such a large group be?

   And why would those who rejected Eight Plus One agree on Eleven? "Look into what they got in the interim," it was suggested.

  What is the relation between this Eleven Plus One dream, which many said will be signed by the end of the month, and the Kampala talks with the M23? Little, apparently.

  Might the M23 end up regretting being talked into leaving Goma when they did? Another Security Council member said, "Kabila caved too quickly, and now he's breaking his word."

  This leaves the issue of the intervention battalion, to engage in "peace enforcement," on which UN officials have given selective anonymous briefings -- which as reported caused anger in Addis, at the UN and its embedded and compliant correspondents.

  This is now separated from the Eleven Plus One political framework, tied to the wider mandate of the MONUSCO mission and to the drone that Herve Ladsous has pursued since last year, before he had any approval at all. Watch this site.

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