Monday, February 23, 2009

That Guy who Resigned Speaks

Remember General Vicente Díaz de Villegas, that Spanish guy who was force commander for MONUC for about 24 hours last year? He just gave a lengthy interview to a Spanish newspaper about why he resigned. Unhelpfully, the interview is in Spanish. From what I can understand, he resigned because he was being micromanaged from New York and put in charge of a force totally inadequate to the mission(s) he was being told to undertake. What triggered his resignation was the command to conduct a "cordon and search" operation against Nkunda, a command he felt unable to accomplish on either a strategic or tactical basis. Nkunda's forces were quite capable, unlike the Congolese military; he had little effective intelligence capacity; and his Benneton forces, comprised of leftover soldiers from dozens of nations, was perpetually reinventing the wheel, as staff came and went.

I guess we knew most of this, but what's interesting is the heat he was getting in late October to take out Nkunda. Why him? Why, of all the nasty little militia in the Kivus, was the UN suddenly so interested in neutralizing Nkunda's forces? Could it be that they were getting a sense that Nkunda was about to cause Rwanda all kinds of diplomatic problems, once the Experts Report came out? Or am I just being bunco?

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