Friday, February 20, 2009

Official: Rwanda to Leave by Next Week

From Reuters:
Rwandan troops will start withdrawing from eastern Congo on Saturday and the entire force will have left by the middle of next week, a Rwandan military spokesman said on Friday.
OK, this is a very surprising development given that 1) the joint operation hasn't even begun to seriously reduce the presence of the FDLR in the Kivus, its stated objective, and 2) Rwandan government propaganda has been agitating for an extension of the mission.

I don't know what it means. If they do leave next week, I don't know what Rwanda will have accomplished. Certainly they won't have eliminated the FDLR. If next week they claim they've left, but actually leave forces in place under the guise of being "advisors" to the Congolese troops, that will become apparent quickly enough, especially if those advisors happen to control the mining areas. So holding a parade and claiming they're gone won't fool anybody. And the third possibility is that they won't in fact leave, in which case this promise of theirs will only aggravate matters between Rwanda and the Congo.

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