AFRICA/CONGO DR - Doubts about the unilateral ceasefire announced by the M23

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - On January 8, the M23 (the armed movement protagonist of a war in North Kivu, east of the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC) announced a unilateral ceasefire in the course of negotiations with the government of Kinshasa, which are held in Uganda.
"Why this sudden change on behalf of the M23?" Asks a note sent to Fides Agency by the Network for Peace in Congo. According to the Network "Two hypotheses seem likely. Either the M23 has partially succumbed to the pressure exerted on it by the international community (see the latest UN Security Council sanctions against some of its directors) or Kinshasa has surrended certain requests of the M23. Some sources suggest that the major concession that the government has done to the M23 is promise to manage, within a short period, the Central Bank of Congo (BCC). "
"If this information were to be confirmed, the Allies of the M23, that is to say Rwanda and Uganda, could have full access to one of the main symbols of the sovereignty of the DRC: the bank. Having control over the BCC, can affect the functioning of the State and push the government to continually surrender in the face of their requests. In this case, the transfer of cash from BCC to any bank in Kigali and Kampala could be carried out easily. So what they lose with the decline of the plundering of natural resources, they will resume out of Congolese public treasury. According to the opinion of some specialists of the Great Lakes, it seems this is one of the last steps to complete the project of fragmentation of the DRC," the statement concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 17/01/2013)