Monday, June 21, 2004

DRC: this can't be good

In the past week, some 10,000 fresh government troops have been deployed to eastern Congo. The government says it is just trying to assert control of the area following the actions of rebel leader General Nkunda ...but Rwanda is feeling very threatened.

On Saturday, Rwanda's Foreign Minister Charles Muligande said the DRC is preparing to attack his country. He accused the Congolese government of rearming Rwandan insurgents, including members of the former army and Interahamwe militias.
"This heavy deployment of Congolese soldiers and Rwandan rebels is a big threat to the security of our country," Muligande warned. "Certainly we shall not sit back and watch these developments, we have a country and people to defend."
The DRC had accused Rwanda of massing troops at the border ... a charge Rwanda denied last week.

As for General Nkunda ...
"I regret that the army seems to be preparing for a military operation. It seems that the government doesn't want dialogue," he [rebel leader Laurent Nkunda] told Reuters by telephone.

[...] United Nations military sources called the [DRC's] military deployment "unprecedented". (link)
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And more fallout from that failed coup attempt ...
"The chief of staff of the armed forces has been removed for reasons of efficiency and to accelerate the integration process," Information Minister Vital Kamerhe told Reuters.

He said the head of the presidential guard and the head of the 'maison militaire', Kabila's team of military advisers, had also been suspended as part of investigations into the events of June 11, when security forces put down the apparent coup bid. (link)
UPDATE: Here is some more info ...
[... army chief of staff Admiral Liwanga] Mata had been mentioned by the alleged ringleader of the coup, Major Eric Lenge, a former trusted top presidential guard.

[...] Lenge, in his communique on state radio during the attempt, had mentioned Mata by rank but not name, saying the army chief of staff had been aware of his plans. (source)