Monday, November 17, 2008

Kinshasa to Allow Kigali to Chase down Rebels

Le Potentiel is reporting that Congolese Foreign Minister Alexis Tambwe Mwamba is open to the proposal that Rwandan intelligence officers help hunt down Rwandan Hutu rebels of the FDLR based in the eastern Congo. The journal quotes Mwamba from an interview he gave with Radio Rwanda on Saturday morning, in which he says that "We are very open to [the idea that] your intelligence officers can be part of the troops that will hunt down the FDLR, so that the accusation that we support the FDLR can be put to rest once and for all."
Kigali has argued for over a decade that the continuing presence of the FDLR in eastern Congo constitutes a major security threat. Yet previous peace agreements called on Congolese troops to round up the remaining Hutu rebels in eastern DRC--a task they were neither capable of nor committed to. In principle, allowing Rwandan officers to be "part of the troops" hunting down the FDLR makes sense. In practice, the proposal is rife with potential complications: who would they accompany? Who would be their commanding officers? What would be the rules of engagement? We'll wait to see whether this idea gets any traction.

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