Root cause of insecurity in eastern DRC from the standpoint of Tito Rutaremara

By Musangwa Arthur
On 14 June 2022 at 10:45

Insecurity in eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is an issue of serious concern in the Great Lakes Region and the world at large with people behind it; majority of whom being politicians from the country and their allies.

Despite the deployment of forces under the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), citizens in eastern DRC have been experiencing unrest for several years due to incessant wars between rebel groups operating there and Congolese Army (FARDC).

Recently, M23 resumed fighting with FARDC which teamed up with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and other groups.

As of today, M23 has captured Bunagana town while DRC soldiers have massively fled to Uganda.

FDLR is comprised of remnant masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi which plotted hit and run attacks on Rwanda and repelled back.

The recent collaboration between FARDC and FDLR triggered mixed reactions among people questioning how the Congolese Army decided to work with the group whose members perpetrated Genocide against Tutsi.

Tito Rutaremara, a political expert and the Chairperson of Rwanda Elders’ Advisory Forum has via Twitter handle pointed out DRC politicians as the root cause of security threats in eastern part of the country.

During colonial rule in DRC, there were people who used to seek shelters in forests as they fled torture by colonizers.

After the death of Patrice Lumumba, many people staged protests and took arms against the regime of Mobutu Sese Seko installed by white people.

The fighting took place in different places including Kitwit Murele and Kisangani where a rebel group known as Mai Mai was created. Members of this rebel group used what they called blessed water with a belief that it protects them against bullets.

The fighting erupted from Kisangani and spread out to the entire eastern DRC.

Many rebels were defeated where few groups including the one led by Laurent -Désire Kabila stayed in the forests of northern Katanga, excavating minerals that were sold in Tanzania.

Mobutu seemed to have ignored the rebel group because it stayed in forests without directly threatening his security.

When Laurent -Désire Kabila took power after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, he trained and recruited Interahamwe militia, and former soldiers of the Armed Forces of Rwanda (FAR) among others into Congolese Army.

He promised them that they would liberate eastern DRC, capture Rwanda and install them on power but failed to do so.

After replacing his father; Joseph Kabila, the son of Laurent Désiré Kabila decided to cease fire and agreed to take part in peace accords held in Sun City of South Africa.

They established a government sharing the power with all rebel groups. At the time, Kabila became president while Azarias Ruberwa and Jean Pierre Bemba who headed hostile groups became vice presidents.

However, Kabila took all the soldiers from FAR, Interahamwe militia and others who had joined FARDC, provided them with arms and money and dispatched them to North and South Kivu.

He encouraged them to fight for their country of origin and promised support.

At the time, they lived independently in DRC, committed rape, murders, and looted properties among others.

How rebel groups are controlled by politicians

After the creation of Mai Mai groups, Tito Rutaremara has said, many DRC politicians worked with them to secure mining sites so they can obtain enough money to participate in electoral campaigns whether at provincial or national level.

The money helps them in their ‘lobbying’ activities among ministers and parliamentarians from the United States of America (USA) and European countries to get international recognition.

That is why, DRC politicians rush to blame Rwanda for crisis erupting in the country which white people digest without verifying authenticity of provided information.

As he started the process of solving security issues in northern and eastern parts of his country; the incumbent DRC President, Felix Tshisekedi mulled the support from Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to bring it to an end.

However, politicians rejected his plans claiming that Tshisekedi wanted to leave DRC under the control of Rwanda.

These claims discouraged Tshisekedi given that next presidential elections draw near in DRC.

As DRC joined the East African Community (EAC), member countries sought how to solve the issue in collaboration with Tshisekedi and designated Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya to follow up.

Politicians from eastern DRC politicians tampered with the process, falsely claiming that Rwanda is disturbing them and excluded M23 from peace talks with rebel groups in eastern DRC.

Excluding M23 from peace talks irked members of the rebel group that had fled to Uganda and returned to its former bases.

It is said that politicians asked FARDC to team up with FDLR to attack M23 which responded, seized weapons from opponents and captured different parts.

The politicians took advantage of the clashes and accused Rwanda of having attacked their country ‘because M23 was defeated without means to obtain light weapons’ yet the group seized them from FARDC soldiers in Rumangabo.

In order to find evidences, they propelled rockets into Rwanda three times, which injured people and destroyed properties but Rwanda did not respond.

“They took children gazing goats to be paraded but people mocked at them insisting that they are not soldiers. They also kidnapped soldiers on patrol but Rwanda request to return them home. Fortunately, they did it accordingly.”

The insecurity in eastern DRC is in the hands of politicians in eastern DRC and Mai Mai protecting mining sites helping them to secure money to continue their lobbying among citizens and politicians from America and Europe.

Tito Rutaremara has blamed DRC politicians for being behind persistent insecurity in eastern part of the country.