The Congo, Uganda’s M23 Militia Force and Warren Buffett

Despite the defeat of Uganda and Rwanda’s M23 militia by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s army and the UN Force Intervention Brigade, Article 10 of the “Declaration” that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been asked to sign with M23, in Kampala, Uganda, reads: “The government [meaning the DRC] reaffirms its determination to finalize the implementation of the commitments that have been made under the agreement of March 23, 2009, signed with the CNDP, [which became M23.}


KPFA Evening News Anchor Anthony Fest: At the end of November, headlines around the world announced the Congolese Army’s defeat of the M23 militia, with the help of the UN Force Intervention Brigade, in its eastern Kivu Provinces, on its Rwandan and Ugandan orders.  Since that time, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been under pressure from Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and his so-called mediators, and from US Envoy Russ Feingold and UN Envoy Mary Robinson, to sign an agreement with M23. KPFA’s Ann Garrison obtained a copy of that agreement in both French and English and filed this report.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: The agreement proposed between the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as the DRC, and the “M23 militia backed by Rwanda and Uganda appears to have been relabeled a “Declaration” to satisfy critics who have said that the DRC should not sign any contractual agreement with a militia that it has defeated. However, the text makes it clear that this is still a contractual agreement to be signed between two parties, M23 and the government of the DRC, and that it is a contract to ensure the ongoing occupation of the eastern Congo, of its Kivu Provinces, by M23’s backers, Uganda and Rwanda. Article 10 of the proposed agreement between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the M23 militia that has waged war in Congo’s eastern Kivu Provinces for most of 2012 and 2013 reads:

“The government [meaning the DRC] reaffirms its determination to finalize the implementation of the commitments that have been made under the agreement of March 23, 2009, signed with the CNDP.”

This is a shocking stipulation to ask the DRC government to agree to, because, the March 23, 2009 agreement was a de facto surrender of territory to Rwanda and Uganda’s CNDP militia, and,its disastrous consequences were detailed in the 2009 UN Group of Experts Report on the DRC.

The M23 militia arose and took its name from that very March 23, 2009 agreement, after saying that the agreement’s contractual elements had not been met.   So, the agreement calls on nthe DRC to agree to everything M23 demanded, despite M23’s defeat.

Earlier this year, Paul Rusesabagina, author of the book whose simplest heroic elements became the movie Hotel Rwanda, told KPFA that the Kampala talks were no more than a facade because they were being hosted and, quote unquote, “mediated,” by one of the principle aggressors, the Ugandan government and its President Yoweri Museveni.

Paul Rusesabagina: Uganda has been accused many times by the international community, including the United Nations and the Congolese government, as one of the perpetrators, with Rwanda, supporting M23.

Today, Uganda positions itself as now, a mediator. How can one, in history, be a perpatrator and a mediator at the same time. Can one be a perpetrator and a judge? It can’t be. So, we see this is why, all that is taking place in Uganda, in Kampala, today is just a kind of facade.

KPFA: The Congolese Parliament has passed a resolution calling on President Kabila to “reject any agreement with M23, which are consider

The cost of the Kampala negotiations has been underwritten by Howard Buffett, the son of Omaha billionaire investment manager Warren Buffett, who has also announced that he now plans to fund the building of a dam in eastern Congo.

Though Buffett did not announce that this was his intent, the business press has been reporting on the need to address the shortage of electricity to power resource extraction in eastern Congo.

In Berkeley, for Pacifica, KPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I’m Ann Garrison.

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Articles by: Ann Garrison

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