The final communique of the Luanda “mini-summit” on peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the wider Great Lakes region, may also be written in secret code, for all that matters. , without privileged access to high-level meetings.
With the World Cup 2022, now underway, Luanda Pinnacle Releases is inspired by, or influenced by, the now established fantasy football league of football fans. Although in fairness to fantasy football leagues, they structure their teams with the aim of winning the World Cup.
If you’re tired of the “roadmap” cliché, you could call the Luanda Communique, an imaginary peace roadmap, or an imaginary peace framework. Unlike fantasy football teams, given the way they were arrived at, it is difficult to conclude that Summit’s decisions were expected, or even intended to be successful.
Held on Wednesday 23third November, the summit was convened by the Head of State of Angola, João Lourenço, in his capacity as the African Union champion for peace and reconciliation in Africa. The Angolan head of state, who also acts as a mediator to maintain dialogue between Rwanda and the DRC, was given the responsibility earlier this year by the Assembly of Heads of State of the African Union and the government in Equatorial Guinea’s capital. Of Malabo.
The summit featured the President of Burundi, Evariste Ndishimiye, as chair of the rotating East African Community (EAC), the President of the DRC, Felix Tshisekedi, the Foreign Minister of Rwanda, Dr. Vincent Biruta, representing President Paul Kagame, and the Nairobi Peace Process Former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, appointed by the EAC to facilitate the implementation of the The African Union (AU), and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) were also represented.
According to item 4 of the communiqué, “The main objective of the mini-summit is to achieve cessation of hostilities and immediate return of M23 (March 23)third movement, rebel groups), from the occupied territories of the Congo, and to coordinate the Luanda and Nairobi processes.
We’re only on objectives, and already, to anyone familiar with the crisis in the DRC, it appears overly ambitious. But to borrow from Alice in Wonderland, it gets all the more curious and curious.
The summit “decided” that D-day would be the 25th for the cessation of hostilities.th, at 6 pm. That was three days ago, if we have any doubt. Specifically, they ceased M23 attacks against the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and MONUSCO with immediate effect. and full compliance with the requirements of various summits, including the earlier Nairobi and Luanda processes.
The East African Regional Force, which the release acknowledges has not yet been fully deployed, would nevertheless take action against M23 if the rebel group failed to comply with these demands.
By D-day+2, M23 is instructed to withdraw from the areas it now holds, failing which East African forces will move against it.
The DRC has over 120 armed groups, but it appears that releases until item 8 were for the M23 only; Yes, when the communique demands, “ceasing of all political-military support to the M23, FDLR, and the eastern DRC and all other local and foreign armed groups operating in the region.
Rwanda’s stance seems to be to cooperate fully with regional mechanisms, and not to do or say anything that could be construed as unsupportive, so, we’ll never really know, Reaction of the Foreign Minister, Dr. Biruta, when his country was accused, by implication, of supporting the M23.
However, a betting man would place all his chips on the near certainty that he reiterated Rwanda’s position, that the DRC’s problems are of their own making, and that the solution has to come from there, and that Rwanda, There is a distraction from which nothing will be achieved.
The communique does not indicate support for M23 and FDLR, as an allegation, it explicitly calls for the end of such support. Nor do we ever find out where the support for these groups is coming from, as said at the meeting.
Till D-day+5, we still have a day or two, all armed groups. Perhaps it is worth repeating, all of the armed groups roaming a notoriously inhospitable country the size of Western Europe put together will disarm, or will be disarmed, we are not told. What we are told is that this will be done with the help of MONUSCO and the East African Regional Force.
And by D-Day+7, all internally displaced people will be returned to their homes. Then on D-Day+10, presumably, now disarmed local groups, now ex-combatants, “re-start” discussions with the government of the DRC.
and on the 15thth The day, “will consider and resolve the issue of the return of all refugees referred to in the Luanda Map to their countries of origin.” normalization of relations between the DRC and Rwanda to be abandoned at 60th day, apparently there’s no need to rush that one.
Stop expanding on the conflict in the DRC, that’s what the mini-summit sets out.
In many countries in the Western Hemisphere, children write letters to Santa Claus, wish lists of what they would like to receive for Christmas. As well as being in the midst of the World Cup, we are also gearing up for the Christmas period, and judging by the Luanda Mini Summit release, the tradition of writing wish lists to Santa Claus has arrived in the Great Lakes region. Rather serious way.
Barring the waving of some magic wand, the mini-summit’s decisions, or demands, are almost certainly going to evaporate on first contact with reality.
It doesn’t require particularly focused reading between the lines to understand that the summit was really about the M23, and avoided studying what might upset the government of the DRC. And that’s precisely why it was always doomed to fail, before it even started.
Any summit about the DRC crisis, whether mini or maxi, that does not begin with addressing the presence of the FDLR on DRC soil, and only trains its condemnation on the M23, the exact origins of the conflict ignores. Such an approach has already condemned the people of the DRC, eastern DRC in particular, to an existence, one cannot call it a life, where conflict has become the norm.
The meeting would have recognized that the cessation of hostilities, for which they wish, apparently, on a star, could be faster than dreamed, in their fantasy communiqué, if only the DRC government, the just grievances of the Kinyarwanda speakers Will acknowledge the Congolese people, who are at the core of the M23 armed insurgency.
In their statement, reacting to the Luanda summit communique, the M23 rebel group welcomed the call for a ceasefire, which they undertook to observe, as long as the government side did not attack their positions.
He reminded anyone who would listen that they had actually declared a ceasefire as early as April, and have only moved their positions in response to government attacks on their communities. He reiterated that he is ready for direct talks with the government so that the dispute can be resolved through dialogue.
The group maintained a judicious silence on the demand that they withdraw from the area under their occupation. It is a silence that speaks a lot. Either regional mechanisms must find a way to bring down the DRC government, ending the symbiotic relationship with the FDLR, a relationship that is at the root of the conflict with the M23, or the region faces a bitterer, more deadly war Maybe, compared to the current conflict, this time definitely involving the East African Regional Force.
At the time the summit was deciding that the M23 would disarm, and withdraw from areas under their control, Congolese-speaking Kinyarwanda outside those areas were being mobilized, with massacres reported in Masi and other areas. All of which were instigated by hate speeches. Politician.
Rebel groups that took up arms to defend their communities are expected to disarm and return those communities to the hands of those who are now responsible for their oppression and killings. Among the many big orders in the release, that may be the top one.
Not that other demands are for the cowardly. The communiqué informs the world, that in fifteen days, give or take, hostilities will cease, in a country that has known nothing else for twenty years; More than 130 armed groups that have terrorized the DRC for more than two decades will be disarmed, or somehow persuaded to disarm; Internally Displaced People will be returned to their homes, and the National Seminar will engage armed groups, who have hitherto been preying on defenseless civilians, and turn them into useful members of society, and no doubt Not that the lion would lie down with them. Lamb.
Except that even if he signed his communiqué, those presiding over the summit would know that none of his decisions would materialize on the ground, certainly not on an absurd timetable.
All of which begs the question of what the performance was designed to achieve. Was it all, as it seems, an exercise in futility, or a clever political maneuver to release the pressure valve on a shaky situation?
However, carefully hidden within the wishful thinking is a small achievement that one suspects, whispers quietly, lest they upset the DRC government and Rwandan accusers. M23’s acceptance, as a Congolese rebel group, lies in the demand that it be camped in its original positions. All in all, this could be the start of something. Only time will tell.