Democratic Republic of Congo opposition Patriotic Front
party is blaming President Joseph Kabila's government over the escalating
violence in the country following recent clashes between the national army and
rebels loyal to renegade army General Laurent Nkunda. The opposition party is
also calling on the international community to put pressure on the government to
negotiate with the rebels and other opposition parties to resolve the violence.
The criticism comes after Nkunda threatened Tuesday to take his
eastern guerrilla war to the capital, Kinshasa unless the government agrees to
direct negotiations on the country's future. But the government dismissed
Nkunda's threat as nonsensical.
Mbwebwe Kabamba is a leading member of the opposition Patriotic front party. He
tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Kinshasa that President Kabila
is making the same mistake former President Mobutu Seseseko committed by
refusing to hold negotiations with the rebels.
party's position is to say first of all we are not surprised because we didn't
participate in the last election, and we are cannot rely on all the
institutions that are in this country. And they have been saying this for a
very long time ago. So now if there is trouble in the east of the country and
Nkunda is trying to dismiss all the people in power, we are not surprised by
that," Kabamba noted.
He said President Kabila's
government has so far failed to address the social problems in the country.
"I would like to tell people
that we have so many social problems, which are very serious here in Kinshasa.
We have doctors and nurses as well as teachers on general strike and the
government is doing nothing about it," he said.
Kabamba said the escalated
violence is a result of the government's failure to resolve the political
problems, which he claimed have degenerated into violence.
"I think that we should have
a talk because this is a political problem. I remember during Mobutu's time, we
had exactly the same scenario. In other words when Mobutu was in power, Laurent
Kabila was coming with his rebels and at that time they asked President Mobutu
to talk to Kabila, but he didn't t like that. But when he realized it, it was
too late and it was the end of his system, "Kabamba pointed out.
He said the national army is
not in a position to defend the nation.
"I'm sorry to see that
today, we have problems with our army and the government is aware of this
problem and it is trying to keep a hard position or being in a hard-line
position and knowing pretty well that we don't have an army that can face
Nkunda's soldiers for the time been," he said.
Kabamba said the world
community should impress upon President Kabila's government to resolve the
political and escalated violence in the country.
"The international community
should pressure the government right now to talk not only with the rebels and
Nkunda, but also to all other political parties because we have a very serious
social problems here in this country… so the problem is although there is
Nkunda's problems there are also serious internal problems that the government
does not care about. All other political parties are insisting that we should
have a talk," Kabamba said.
He said President Kabila's
government needs to do better than it is currently doing.
"I'm saying that President
Kabila is involved and the parliament as also involved with the problems
because socially speaking after the election people were expecting something
different what we are seeing right now. So, now there is no mobilization of the
people here to fight Nkunda and this is a fact that people are fed up with the
government," he said.
renegade army general Nkunda has reportedly said he backs the idea of a
peace summit between Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame, but said this
could not be expected to solve east Congo's conflict.