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Nkunda Arrest: Analyst Says Blame Game Over

The leader of the strongest rebel group in eastern Democratic Repuiblic of Congo, General Laurent Nkunda was arrested on Thursday on Rwandan territory after crossing the border to Rwanda to resist arrest by a joint Rwandan-Congolese operation.

Earlier in the week some 4,000 Rwandan troops had entered the DR Congo to help fight rebel forces in the area.

Reacting to Nkunda’s arrest Mduduzi Khumalo, a research specialist of the Peace and Security Unit at the Africa Institute of South Africa told VOA reporter Akwei Thompson it was important that the renegade general was captured by the joint force.

“Firstly, I’m happy that he was arrested, and I’m also happy about an important fact that he was not arrested by the DRC armed forces alone, but by the combined force between the Rwandan government and the DRC, said the South Africa-based analyst.”

Khumalo said theaccusation that Rwanda was sponsoring the violence has been proved wrong. He attributed the blame game to one problem in Africa.

“That problem is ethnic composition and distribution - geographically among the countries: Laurent Nkunda is as Rwandandese as he is Congolese, he explained.”

“So I think the blame game that was going on that one was sponsoring the violence and one was not sponsoring the violence has now been proved to be wrong because both of these forces have been looking for him and have arrested him.”

Khumalo does not think that Nkunda will be extradicted to the DRC to face atrocities committed by his forces.

Playing down the implications of Nkunda’s arrest in the broader context of peace and stability in the region, Khumalo, referred to a new problem: the fact that the new leader of the rebel group, who took over from Nkunda earlier in the month, was still out there.