African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".


  • African Press International Daily Online News Channel

  • * * API on Facebook

  • Total Visitors

    • 5,360,210 HITS
  • Flag tracker

    web counter
  • RSS BBC News – Africa

    • Algeria militants kill 14 soldiers April 20, 2014
      Islamist militants kill 14 Algerian soldiers in an ambush on a military convoy in mountains east of the capital Algiers.
    • Nigeria teacher in seized girls plea April 19, 2014
      The headmistress of a school in Nigeria calls on the government to do more to save teenage girls abducted by suspected Islamist militants.
    • 'Dozens die' in S Sudan cattle raid April 19, 2014
      Dozens of people are killed in a cattle raid in a remote herders' camp in South Sudan's northern Warrap state, local officials say.
    • Egypt left-winger to challenge Sisi April 19, 2014
      Egyptian left-winger Hamdeen Sabahi submits his official bid to run for president, the only challenger so far to ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
    • Algeria's president gets fourth term April 18, 2014
      Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke last year, wins a fourth term in office taking more than 81% of the vote.
    • UN outrage at South Sudan attack April 19, 2014
      The UN expresses outrage at a deadly attack on one of its bases in South Sudan, saying it could "constitute a war crime".
    • ICC calls Kenya Ruto trial witnesses April 18, 2014
      The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague summons reluctant witnesses to testify at the trial of Kenya's Vice-President William Ruto.
    • French troops free Mali aid workers April 17, 2014
      French troops in Mali free five aid workers who were kidnapped in the north of the country by suspected Islamist militants in February.
    • Pistorius forensic tests challenged April 17, 2014
      The tests carried out by a forensic expert for Oscar Pistorius' murder trial are rigorously challenged by the state prosecutor in South Africa.
    • Senegal's Karim Wade 'to face trial' April 17, 2014
      A Senegalese court rules that Karim Wade, the ex-president's son, should stand trial on corruption charges over his wealth, an official says.
    • Guinea-Bissau run-off to pick leader April 17, 2014
      Officials in Guinea-Bissau say a run-off vote will be held next month after no candidate won an outright victory in Sunday's presidential election.
    • Remittance fees 'hurt Africans' April 16, 2014
      Communities in sub-Saharan Africa are being "hurt" by high fees charged by money transfer operators, charity Comic Relief says.
    • VIDEO: Nigeria 'should do more' on abductions April 19, 2014
      Nigeria's military has admitted that most of the teenage girls abducted by suspected Islamist militants have not been freed as it earlier stated.
    • VIDEO: High security at S Sudan UN camp April 18, 2014
      South Sudan's government has sent troops to provide security at a United Nations base where at least 48 people were killed in an attack.
    • VIDEO: Abducted schoolgirls 'still missing' April 18, 2014
      The Nigerian military has admitted that most of the 129 girls abducted by Boko Haram Islamists from their school in the north-eastern state of Borno are still missing.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 24 - in 60 secs April 17, 2014
      Forensic tests carried out by an expert for Oscar Pistorius' murder trial have been rigorously challenged by the state prosecutor in South Africa.
    • AUDIO: 'Killing books' in Libya April 15, 2014
      Libyan author Mansour Bushnaf says Libya does not have much of reading culture because under Col Muammar Gaddafi, people were afraid of books.
    • VIDEO: At site of Nigeria bus station blast April 14, 2014
      A powerful bomb blast has ripped through a crowded bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, killing at least 71 people.
    • VIDEO: Cleaning up Cairo's waste system April 14, 2014
      The Egyptian government is turning to its traditional rubbish collectors - the Zabaleen - to revolutionise Cario's waste disposal industry.
    • VIDEO: Pistorius trial shown prosthetic leg April 17, 2014
      The prosthetic leg belonging to Oscar Pistorius has been shown to the court during his murder trial. He denies murder, claiming he mistook Reeva Steenkamp for a burglar.
  • RSS BBC News – Home

    • Ferry transcript reveals crew panic April 21, 2014
      The last communications between the South Korean ferry that sank on Wednesday and traffic services reveal panic and indecision by the crew.
    • PM's Christianity remarks 'divisive' April 20, 2014
      Leading public figures claim David Cameron risks causing division in society with his recent comments that the UK is a Christian country.
    • Skin cancer rates 'surge since 70s' April 21, 2014
      The incidence of the most serious skin cancer is now five times higher than it was in the 1970s, figures show.
    • Russian outrage at Ukraine killing April 20, 2014
      The Russian foreign ministry expresses outrage at a fatal shooting incident in eastern Ukraine which it blames on Ukrainian nationalists.
    • Finland air crash kills skydivers April 20, 2014
      Eight skydivers on an Easter Sunday jump are killed as their plane crashes near the town of Jamijarvi in Finland.
    • Flood defences mended for thousands April 21, 2014
      Flood defences and other protections are restored for more than 100,000 properties left at risk after this winter's severe weather.
    • Iran's Rouhani urges women's rights April 20, 2014
      Iran's President Hassan Rouhani urges equal opportunities and rights for women and condemns discrimination in a speech marking Women's Day.
    • Hidden company owners to be revealed April 20, 2014
      Companies will be forced to declare their true owners on a public register in a move to tackle corruption, Business Secretary Vince Cable says.
    • Teachers angry at online insults April 21, 2014
      Online social media is being misused to insult, intimidate and smear staff in schools, says a teachers' union.
    • Egypt's Sisi to face sole poll rival April 20, 2014
      Left-winger Hamdeen Sabahi will be the only challenger to ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt's presidential election, as registration ends.
    • Gibraltar fire hits online gambling April 21, 2014
      An explosion and fire on Gibraltar cuts power to much of the British territory and disrupts a number of online betting operations around the world.
    • Boycott call for early years tests April 21, 2014
      The NUT conference will hear calls for a boycott of assessment checks for four year olds.
    • Smiling Queen and two takes on skin cancer - papers April 20, 2014
      Two newspapers' differing analysis on new skin cancer figures, and a new black-and-white birthday portrait of a smiling Queen, feature on Easter Monday's front pages.
    • Queen portrait released for birthday April 20, 2014
      A portrait of the Queen by celebrated British photographer David Bailey is released to mark the monarch's 88th birthday.
    • Bottle kicking 'attracts thousands' April 21, 2014
      A traditional "bottle kicking" event that involves a "ferocious" rugby scrum is expected to attract thousands to Leicestershire on Easter Monday.
    • Norwich City 2-3 Liverpool April 20, 2014
      Liverpool open up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League after a hard-fought win over relegation-battling Norwich.
    • Everton 2-0 Manchester United April 20, 2014
      Goals from Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas keep Everton's hopes of a top-four finish alive as they beat Manchester United.
    • Carter sees off debutant Xiao April 20, 2014
      Ali Carter beats Xiao Guodong to reach the second round of the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
    • Third race win a dream - Hamilton April 20, 2014
      Lewis Hamilton said it was a "dream" to have won three consecutive races with Mercedes this season.
    • When being world champion doesn't pay April 20, 2014
      How Olympic cyclist Emma Pooley's hobby turned out to be better paid than her day job
  • RSS Reuters: Politics

  • RSS CNN.com – Africa

    • Luxury shoes made in Ghana April 15, 2014
      Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.
    • Meet Nigeria's 'Mark Zuckerberg' April 3, 2014
      At 23, many people around the world are still at university -- at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
    • Why we need more geek girls April 3, 2014
      "It was like taking a big leap of faith."
    • 'Uncle Ebo' revives Ghanaian theater April 15, 2014
      African Voices meets James Ebo Whyte a passionate storyteller with a series of successful plays to his credit.
    • How medics saved lives at Westgate April 9, 2014
      When gunmen stormed into Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Abbas Gullet was one of the first emergency responders on the scene. As head of Kenya's Red Cross, he was in charge of coordinating services for people in need.
    • Embracing Ghana's natural beauty April 1, 2014
      She started her business with just £100, lugging her beauty bag from door to door, but some 25 years later Grace Amey-Obeng has built a multi-million dollar cosmetics empire that's helping change the perception of beauty for many.
    • Africa's most endangered April 16, 2014
      Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened. Find out more about its most endangered animals.
    • Secrets of 'gorilla whisperer' March 25, 2014
      Zain Verjee visits Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park -- the home of half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla population.
    • Savannah from the sky March 13, 2014
      It's almost impossible for a photographer to find fresh visual perspectives these days. Brooklyn-based Zack Seckler had to travel to a different continent and strap into an ultra-light aircraft to find one. His Botswana series presents the country from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique and captivating view of the savannah.
    • Why you should fear Boko Haram April 17, 2014
      Boko Haram's lethality is indisputable.
    • You gotta try South African BBQ April 17, 2014
      Grilled zebra anyone? Peri-peri warthog? This is how to barbecue, South Africa style.
    • Inside an Ebola isolation ward April 16, 2014
      Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes into an ebola clinic to find out what life is like for the patients inside.
    • Rating Pistorius's defense April 16, 2014
      After five days of intense cross-examination, has Olympian Oscar Pistorius helped or harmed his defense that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkam?
    • Pop art condoms saving lives April 15, 2014
      The Center for African Family Studies in Nairobi has teamed up with Kenyan artist Michael Soi to create eye-catching condom wrappers to promote safe sex and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people.
    • Ebola: A swift and bloody killer April 16, 2014
      It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here.
    • 'I lost my fingers, made new ones' April 14, 2014
      A South African carpenter lost his fingers in an accident -- now he's making mechanical fingers and hands for others.
    • Kenya double in London Marathon April 13, 2014
      World record-holder Wilson Kipsang completed a Kenyan double at the London Marathon Sunday as home hope Mo Farah disappointed on his debut over the 42km distance.
    • Pistorius at mercy of 'bull dog?' April 11, 2014
      He's known as the "bull dog" in South Africa's legal circles, and just two days in to Gerrie Nel's merciless cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius, it's easy to see why.
    • 'Now is the time for Afro-realism' April 11, 2014
      Over the last 20 years, the narrative on the African continent has shifted from Afro-pessimism to Afro-optimism. The truth lies somewhere in between. Now is the time for Afro-realism: for sound policies based on honest data, aimed at delivering results.
    • Africa's tastiest street food April 11, 2014
      Here are your photos of the tastiest -- and most unusual -- African street food.
  • Country Stats

    free counters

M23, one year on – Now International Criminal Court has Ntaganda in the dock

Posted by African Press International on April 15, 2013

Photo: ICC-CPI
Ntaganda in the dock (file photo)

NAIROBI,  - The M23 rebellion, the latest of a string of armed insurgencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu Province, has been active for one year now, during which hundreds of thousands have fled their homes and many have lost their lives.

The Mouvement du 23-Mars, or March 23 Movement, came into existence in April 2012, when hundreds of mainly ethnic Tutsi soldiers of FARDC, the national army, mutinied over poor living conditions and poor pay. Most of the mutineers had been members of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), another armed group that in 2009 signed a deal with the government, which the dissidents felt Kinshasa had not fully implemented. M23 is named after the date the agreement was signed.

In November 2012, M23 captured Goma, the provincial capital, but withdrew and subsequently entered into peace talks with the government. Neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda were accused of backing M23 by a UN Security Council Group of Experts report, charges both countries strongly deny.

In this briefing, IRIN outlines the group’s impact on the province over the past year, its current position and avenues for peace in eastern DRC.

What is the humanitarian situation in North Kivu?

Although clashes between M23 and FARDC have subsided, “North Kivu remains highly insecure due to the proliferation of weapons, sporadic fighting between armed groups and the army, and inter-community tensions,” according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA).

OCHA notes that since the beginning of the M23 rebellion, more than half a million people have been driven from their homes in North Kivu. The figure accounts for more than half of the 914,000 displaced people in the province. Tens of thousands more fled to refugee camps in Rwanda and Uganda.

According to Amnesty International, M23 has been responsible for human rights abuses “including violations of the duty to care for the civilian population when launching attacks, forced recruitment of children who were either trained to take part in hostilities or forced to work to build military positions, unlawful killings, and acts of sexual violence”. The organization also blamed FARDC for widespread abuses against civilians.

Where are M23’s leaders?

The movement’s leadership now looks significantly different than it did in April 2012.

In February 2013, a rift was reported in M23’s leadership, with one of the founders, Bosco Ntaganda, and M23’s political leader, Jean-Marie Runiga, on one side and M23’s military chief, Sultani Makenga, on the other. The two factions clashed in North Kivu, and Makenga sacked Runiga, who was the group’s representative at the peace talks taking place with the DRC government in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. Following more fighting in March, Ntaganda’s faction surrendered. Both he and Runiga, along with several senior commanders and close to 700 fighters, fled to Rwanda.

On 18 March, Ntaganda surrendered himself to the US Embassy in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and asked to be transferred to the International Criminal Court for trial over alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. He made his first appearance in court on 26 March. According to a paper by the Rift Valley Institute, Ntaganda had fallen out with fellow commanders early in the rebellion and had been effectively relegated to the sidelines.

Experts have lauded Ntaganda’s arrest as a positive step in the fight against impunity in DRC, but warn that it does not mean an end to violence in the region.

Runiga has been placed under house arrest in Rwanda; the Rwandan government has disarmed the M23 troops who surrendered and moved them to a refugee camp more than 50km from the DRC-Rwanda border.

Various reports indicate that Makenga is now consolidating his fighters, thought to number about 1,500, and M23-held territory in North Kivu, but he may also be preparing for further negotiations with President Joseph Kabila’s government. According to Congo expert Jason Stearns, “The internal M23 split may have provided the break they [DRC representatives] needed to make the deal acceptable for the rebels.”

Hundreds of thousands have fled violence in North Kivu over the past year (file photo)

Any deal is likely to involve the integration of Makenga’s fighters into FARDC, with lower cadre fighters automatically integrated and higher ranking officers considered for integration on a case-by-case basis. However, analysts say the re-integration method has not worked in the past and must be rethought.

“M23 integration in FARDC is feasible but is not suitable. The policy of repeated integration of armed groups in FARDC is [contributing] to the fragmentation and militarization of FARDC,” Marc-Andre Lagrange, DRC senior analyst for the International Crisis Group, told IRIN via email. “Since that approach has proven, with M23, to be a failure, the DRC government with MONUSCO and UNSC should look for another option.”

According to a recent article in the newsletter Africa Confidential: “Experts broadly agree that some kind of agreement between Kinshasa and M23 is in the offing and will be signed soon, but reliable sources in North Kivu diverge on what the outcome will be. Some feel that Makenga will reintegrate his troops into the FARDC, while others suggest that Makenga and [new] M23 political leader Bertrand Bisimwa can stay independent of the army while not being seen as a ‘negative force’.”

What is the fate of the peace talks?

The Kampala peace talks between M23 and the DRC government began in December 2012, under the auspices of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). The talks have made little progress and have been put on hold due to the rebel group’s internal problems. Bisimwa has urged Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to revive the talks.

On 24 February, a UN-brokered peace agreement aimed at ending conflict in eastern DRC was signed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, by 11 African countries – Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, DRC, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Dubbed the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC, the deal’s goals include the reformation of the DRC’s army and an end to regional interference in the country. Among the decisions reached was the formation of a neutral intervention force aimed at fighting “negative forces” in eastern DRC – referring not only to M23 but other armed groups as well.

While the deal was lauded as a breakthrough by African countries, analysts are more sceptical, criticizing the agreement as being long on rhetoric and short on detail and solid action plans. A Foreign Policy Association blog post noted that since the 1990s, a number of similar regional agreements had failed to bring peace to DRC. It pointed out that the some key players were not mentioned or involved – including armed groups like Raia Mutomboki (Swahili for “angry citizens”), Mai Mai Cheka and the Hutu-dominated FDLR, whose presence in eastern DRC is perceived as a threat by Rwanda.

“The primary aggressors present in the country for the last 10 years, the militia groups that patrol the eastern provinces, were not even included in the discussion,” said the author, Daniel Donovan. “By excluding these groups, they hold no commitment to such an agreement, which begs the question: How does this move signify a guarantee for peace?”

What is next for the region?

On 28 March, the UN Security Council authorized an offensive “intervention brigade” to “address imminent threats to peace and security” as part of the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).

The risk of violence remains

“The objectives of the new force – which will be based in North Kivu Province in eastern DRC and total 3,069 peacekeepers – are to neutralize armed groups, reduce the threat they posed to State authority and civilian security, and make space for stabilization activities,” according to the UN News Centre. It also aims to support the Addis accord.

Following the announcement, the DRC government said it supported the intervention brigade and warned M23 rebels to disband. M23’s Bisimwa has rejected the UN’s decision to send the force, but said the group would neither fight nor flee the UN forces.

The International Federation of Human Rights has warned of a potential “escalation in military confrontations and increased risk of retaliatory attacks by armed groups against civilians” as a result of the force’s entry into the fray, and urged MONUSCO to “mitigate against the increased risks that communities will face”.

Experts say reforms in eastern DRC must go beyond military solutions. “The intervention brigade… should not be seen as the only solution but one element of a comprehensive solution,” said ICG’s Lagrange.

“After last year’s fall of Goma and rise of the Mai Mai [rebel] threat, there is a serious need for a new approach against the armed groups. Such an approach should include the use of military force; a targeted policy of arrest on armed groups’ leaders; a DDR [disarmament, demobilization and reintegration] offer focusing on civilian reintegration; the investigation and neutralization of the logistical networks of the armed groups; and development work in the communities that generate armed groups,” he told IRIN.

“Groups like M23 are not a cause but a symptom of what’s going wrong in the DRC,” he added. “The Congolese government must commit to implement the security sector reforms, especially the reforms concerning the FARDC. It must also abandon its policy of peace prevailing over justice.”

kr/rz http://www.irinnews.org

 

 

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,230 other followers

%d bloggers like this: