Friday, June 18, 2004

DRC: Nkunda backs off threat of war

Last Sunday, General Nkunda had threatened to go to war unless the government set up a commission to investigate the alleged slaughter of the Banyamulenge in Bukavu. And today, there was word that Nkunda has backed off his threat, saying that his demands had been met ... but it's not as straight forward as that.
"We are satisfied because our demands were taken into account and the (former rebel) Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) took our side," he added.

However, there was no official word from Kinshasa [government] responding to Nkunda's demands, which also included replacing General Felix Buja Mabe, the military commander for the 10th military region, an area including the eastern Sud-Kivu province.

On Thursday, a meeting of leaders of the RCD, which is now a political party in a government of national unity and claims to no longer have a military wing, issued a statement condemning the recent clashes in and around the Sud-Kivu capital, Bukavu, between the dissidents and regular forces.

Pushed by journalists at a news conference, the delegates conceded that such a position implied condemnation of Nkunda and a fellow dissident officer, Colonel Jules Mutebusi, both former RCD military commanders.

[...] on Sunday [Nkunda had threatened] to declare war on Kinshasa as of the following day if the government did not investigate the "massacres".

The deadline came and went, with no declaration of war. Nkunda later said he was waiting for RCD to take a stance on his demands.