AFRICA/DR CONGO - The Congolese crisis threatens to set fire to the whole area of the Great Lakes

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – Besides the political instability experienced in the Democratic Republic of Congo there is also instability in peripheral areas, such as in Central Kasai (see Fides 26/09/2016) and especially North and the South Kivu. Large areas of North Kivu have been in the hands of various armed groups for decades, some of whom of Rwandan and Ugandan origin (see Fides 07/12/2015). The government in Kampala informed the government of Kinshasa of the presence, near the Semliki bridge, of "terrorists" who are ready to attack Uganda.
A complaint that arouses the perplexity of CEPADHO, a local organization for the defense of human rights, which in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides recalls that "on October 2 the population of the city and the Territory of Beni celebrated the sad anniversary of the beginning of the massacres of civilians that claimed the lives of 1,200 people" by the ADF-NALU Ugandan group.
"Uganda has always been conspicuous for its silence in this tragedy", said CEPADHO. "Especially since next to Somalis, Kenyans, Tanzanians, Rwandans, Sudanese, Congolese, most terrorists are of Ugandan nationality or infiltrators from Uganda".
CEPADHO launches the alarm "on a new probable rebellion in Beni, and fears that Uganda's complaint hides its involvement in this plot".
In Goma, capital of North Kivu, there is a growing concern of the local population for the establishment of fighters loyal to ousted Vice President of South Sudan Riek Machar, expelled from South Sudan after clashes in Juba (see Fides 13/07/2016). The men of Machar are under the supervision of the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), but it is feared that these armed men (many of them of Congolese nationality who had traveled to South Sudan on the basis of cross-border tribal ties with Machar) can become a new element of instability.
In South Kivu instead there is concern caused by the presence of Burundian guerrillas (see Fides 05/09/2016). If the crisis were to explode the DRC threatens to plunge the entire Great Lakes region into chaos. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 04/10/2016)