Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo are unanimously
withdrawing from the cessation of hostilities agreement with President Joseph
Kabila's government today (Friday). Some military experts say the move could
further worsen the country's instability, especially in the restive North Kivu
province. The rebels are also accusing the United Nations mission in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) of bias and siding with President Joseph
Kabila's government. This comes after renegade army General Laurent Nkunda
reportedly said his rebel group is ready to expand and liberate the whole of
Congo. But the government dismissed Nkunda's remarks as irresponsible.
Kahora is the VOA correspondent in the Democratic Republic of Congo. From the
capital of North Kivu province, Goma he tells reporter Peter Clottey Congolese
are in panic mode after the rebels decided to pull out of the peace agreement
you know all the groups, which signed the ceasefire in January are withdrawing
from the peace process. In fact the disengagement is today Friday, it means
they would withdraw from the place where they are and thus abandoning the camps
where they should be to be trained and be reintegrated into the national army.
But they said they would not join the process because the coordinator of the
ARMANI program is elaborating the program himself without consulting with the
rebels and alienating them. The rebel also said that they have not been paid
since they began working in the process about four months ago," Kahora said.
said the rebels are claiming insecurity as the cause for their action.
rebels say they are afraid that their soldiers would die of hunger if they
remain the camps because there has been no help from the ARMANI organizer to
take care of them as stipulated in the agreement and as such they cannot accept
the situation anymore," he noted.
said Congolese are expressing displeasure after renegade General Laurent Nkunda
declared to take his rebel insurgency nationwide.
really a crucial question and up till now people are in Goma, especially where
I'm based now for the moment are wondering what the situation would become
because the crisis is really very big. If you have to see the number of IDP's
(Internally Displaced People) today, and if you see the situation, which is
prevailing in the whole region, it is really a disorder. And nobody knows what
is going on or how the situation is going to get worse or how it is going to be
resolved," Kahora pointed out.
said the United Nations mission in the country is not in the best position to
resolve the imminent military crisis after the rebels pull out of the peace
know that MONUC itself cannot solve such a problem, which is really very huge.
There is humanitarian problem, but also there is war and insecurity and this
makes the problem really huge. And there is another issues which is the
economic issue which is a problem too," he said.
said reactions over Nkunda's remark of taking over the country has been mixed.
fact in the whole country there have been so many reactions. Most people
condemn what Nkunda has said because they feel Nkunda want s fight the
government because the government does not fight the FDLR (Democratic Forces
for the Liberation of Rwanda). People also think Nkunda will fight the FDLR and
also fight the government or just join the government to fight the FDLR. But there
are some other people who think that this is really something that is positive
in the sense that the government seems not to be strong to neutralize the
eastern part of the DRC, especially, elected President Kabila and the
government because people were sure that he was going to bring peace to the
eastern part of the country, but yet after too long years nothing has been
done, there is no change," Kahora pointed out.