What Nkunda Wants

Alice Eve

Alice Eve

Laurent Nkunda considers himself a man of diplomacy and politics. Unfortunately, whether we agree or not has become academic. This war criminal has a following that is growing and will continue to: aside from his Tutsi advocates there is suspicion that he is allied with ethnic Tutsi Paul Kagame (Rwanda’s President), and furthermore it has been speculated that he has the support of the Christian American right. This is a powerful foundation from which to wage a war of unthinkable proportions. Surely the question to ask at this stage is:
What does Nkunda want?

We know the UN Security Council has approved 3,100 additional peace keepers. Hopefully  this will be enough. As Ugandan Eddie Kwizera notes, “there is no peace to keep”. The DRC is the size of Western Europe, yet MONUC (Mission des Nations Unies en République Démocratique du Congo) the biggest peace keeping mission in the world, still only has 17,000 troops there. Neighbouring state Angola acknowledges that: “the direct and indirect interference by third parties will only worsen the conflict”.

The World Health Organization as of last Tuesday has named cholera a ‘serious risk’ in the region. This is perhaps the most concerning of all the developments in the region since August.  Cholera stands to be as powerful a killer as the men with guns. It can be passed on with just a handshake.

It is a handshake that needs to be considered. We have seen genocide just one generation ago in Rwanda. In the 1960′s we saw another failed peace-keeping mission in the area (UNOC). Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General UN, has said the UN forces suffer from a “lack of adequate equipment or a clear chain of command”. Fighting fire with fire is not the answer.

It may seem insufferable to the Gordon Browns and Bernard Kouchners to think of Nkunda as a leader, but a leader he is. Nkunda’s CNDP (National Congress for the Defence of the People) is a growing army with a following. It is hypocritical and embarrassing to be preaching peace only to discover that MONUC finds itself lending its sympathies to the Congolese army. It publicly admonishes the CNDP for abuses that the Congolese army are equally guilty of. How can we expect the CNDP to behave rationally if MONUC itself is taking sides?

As it is the Western idea of partition that was imposed on this region (the Belgian colonizers deciding the Tutsis were a superior race and so creating divisions), the Western idea of peace talks must be followed through with. Finding out what Nkunda wants, and genuinely engaging with and understanding the desires and divisions is the only way forward. If Kabila continues to ignore requests for direct negotiations, Nkunda could be well on his way to fulfilling his promise of toppling his government.

Of course there is an inherent problem, the Congo is mineral rich. Perhaps now would be a good time to stop exploiting Africa’s abundant natural resources. With the current state of the world maybe we should be more concerned with growing our own carrots.

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7 thoughts on “What Nkunda Wants

  1. I am wondering if the Author believes that the Talks ongoing in Nairobi will have any success. Secondly General Nkunda Feels that He has to Maintain His Militia to Protect the Fellow Tutsi in the Eastern DRC. Should this Problem be a Part of any negotiated settelement.

  2. NKUNDA FIGHT FOR THE MINIORITY.
    HE IS NOT AFTER MONEY OR POWE HIS MAIN GOAL IS TO HELP THE TUTSI IN THE REFUGE KAMP IN RWANDA.

    IF THER IS WAR CEVILIANS ARE GOING TO SUFFER.

    RWANDA IS THE ONE TO BLAME, BECAUSE THEY ARE AFTER ONE THING.

    MINERALS

  3. NKUNDA FIGHT FOR THE MINIORITY.
    HE IS NOT AFTER MONEY OR POWE HIS MAIN GOAL IS TO HELP THE TUTSI IN THE REFUGE KAMP IN RWANDA.

    IF THER IS WAR CEVILIANS ARE GOING TO SUFFER.

    RWANDA IS THE ONE TO BLAME, BECAUSE THEY ARE AFTER ONE THING.

    MINERALS

  4. Nkunda is a man who recognizes that it is wrong to slaughter women and children. For those who manufacture weapons of mass destruction and lesser
    threats like napalm and smart bombs and collateral damage and acceptable levels of civilian casualties it is hard to understand such an idealist. You can always find someone to sell out his own country. Remember when the U.S. of A.
    had a Constitution? If you work in a bomb factory can you still be a good Christian? When Busch senior pulled the plug on Zero Population Growth was
    genocide what he had in mind as an alternative? So, Nkunda asked is it the
    correct thing to have former genocide murders fighting side by side with the
    regular army.

  5. Nkunda is a man who recognizes that it is wrong to slaughter women and children. For those who manufacture weapons of mass destruction and lesser
    threats like napalm and smart bombs and collateral damage and acceptable levels of civilian casualties it is hard to understand such an idealist. You can always find someone to sell out his own country. Remember when the U.S. of A.
    had a Constitution? If you work in a bomb factory can you still be a good Christian? When Busch senior pulled the plug on Zero Population Growth was
    genocide what he had in mind as an alternative? So, Nkunda asked is it the
    correct thing to have former genocide murders fighting side by side with the
    regular army.

  6. On what basis is it speculated that he has the support of "the Christian American Right?" That is so vague and broad-brush; not what I am accustomed to from Amnesty International. What orgaizations and for what motive?

  7. On what basis is it speculated that he has the support of “the Christian American Right?” That is so vague and broad-brush; not what I am accustomed to from Amnesty International. What orgaizations and for what motive?