To FDLR and Machar: This isn’t the time to be a rebel in East Africa

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Three seemingly unconnected events came to pass in eastern Africa over the past four weeks.

The United Nations abandoned its ambiguous attitude toward the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Rwandan “Hutu” militia that includes perpetrators of the 1994 genocide based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and seeks to overthrow the government in Kigali.

In early August the UN chief of mission in DRC warned that the FDLR must disarm or face military action. It is a hard line that the UN, perhaps because of its peacekeeping mission in DRC, had largely avoided.

The US special envoy to the Great Lakes region, Russ Feingold, was even firmer, calling for the FDLR to be flushed out, and arguing that it had no justification to demand negotiation with the Rwanda government — a position that had been championed by Tanzania. He demanded the group demobilise by “no later than end of the year.”

Even Angola, that was thought to be the real firepower behind the “Tanzanian option” on FDLR, shifted position dramatically.

Angolan Defence Minister Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco, said he was “concerned by the slow progress of the voluntary surrender” of the FDLR.

The second event was the reversal of fortunes for South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar. When South Sudan went up in flames in December a in power fight between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar, whom he had sacked a few months earlier, the world and the regional grouping IGAD blamed the two sides almost equally for the ensuring atrocities. They also held them similarly culpable for the failure to enforce ceasefire agreements.

Shifting frontline

Indeed the view was that Ethiopia, and the US, were leaning toward Machar. In mid-August everyone turned against Machar, and everywhere he looked even formerly sympathetic leaders, were wagging fingers at him and casting him as the villain.

The third event was the US airstrike on a convoy in Somalia the other week that killed feared Al-Shabaab militant and terror leader Ahmed Abdi Godane.

So what has changed? In all probability, it is the success of the extremist groups. Until about three years ago, the “terror divide” was the Sahel and the tip of the Horn of Africa.

But extremist groups are prevailing in Libya, have taken root in Egypt, have spread further south into West Africa – Mali, Nigeria, the Nigeria-Cameroon border area, and even into Central African Republic (CAR).

The view had always been that extremists were pushing eastwards and Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda were the “frontline” states preventing them from linking up with the terrorists in Somalia through Sudan.

The westward sweep and successes means that the frontline has shifted, and now the most critical defence line is in central Africa.

The new push against Al-Shabaab and the killing of Godane, presumably, is hoped to free up resources from the eastern flank and focus them in central Africa and toward West Africa.

In this new reality, Machar and FDLR are flies in the soup. Generally, it’s not a good time to be a rebel or rebel-backer in East Africa. They are all being served as starters now. A year is, indeed, a very long time in politics.

By: Charles Onyango-Obbo, the editor of Mail & Guardian Africa

One thought on “To FDLR and Machar: This isn’t the time to be a rebel in East Africa

  1. Innocent Twagiramungu wambaraga ingofero ya CDR i Mburabuturo

    Ese Innocent Twagiramungu wambaraga ingofero ya CDR kuri Université ya Droit i Mburabuturo mbere ya 1994 niwe urimo kwidegembya sha gutyo aburanira aba CDR bene wabo ? Eh eh ehe !!!!!! Ako ni agasuzuguro mba ndoga Rwasamitana. Niba ari n’ikitso cya Kagame usigaye akorana n’aba CDR n’interahamwe kumugaragaro ngo birate kubarokotse mumubwire we ntazibeshye. Ndizera ko we adashobora guhingutsa ijambo ngo baramubeshyera kuko yambaraga ingofero ya CDR kumugaragaro. Nahinguka hano i Kigali, n’iyo yaba arinzwe n’ikigo cy’abasirikare ba kagame kumwe asigaye atumira interahamwe zikaza gutembera, amenye ko atazahivana. Murakoze kuri bana b’u Rwanda kuri ayo makuru. Jye sinari naramenye ko uwo. Hano i Kigali abana benshi baramubuze kabisa

    . ————————————————-

    http://www.fdu-rwanda.com/RW/kinyarwanda-rwanda-kongere-isanzwe-yabarwanashyaka-b-ishyaka-fdu-inkingi-yo-kuwa-13-na-14-nzeri-2014/#more-3807 Uyu muntu umaze kwandika hano hasi avuze ukuri. Muba CDR nta demokarasi ihaba. Principe y’aba CDR ni ukukubwira bati ubutegetsi ni ubwacu, hanyuma ngwino utere ivi tuguhe. Buriya ubwo bashyikiriye ubutegetsi muri FDU bagiye guhamagara Nkiko na ba Musangamfura bababwire bati nimuze tubahe. Innoncent Twagiramungu we ubu CDR ntibujya bumushiramo. N’ubu yashinze amano abiri arimo araburanira aba CDR. CDR yinjiyemo kera n’ubu niyo agitsimbarayeho. Ikibabaje n’uko aba CDR benshi baguzwe na FPR. Nta mu CDR utagira udakorera FPR. Abahutu batari muri CDR mujye mumenya ko arico mwabayeho muzira. Bamara gushyira imbere ubu CDR bwabo bagera hirya bagakoreshwa na FPR kuko umu CDR w’umuhutu atinya umu CDR w’umututsi.

    ————————————————————–

    IKIBAZO NTAWE UGOMBA KUGICA IRUHANDE KIRIGARAGAZA, FDU Inkingi IGIPANDE CYA BUKEYE NI ABAKIGA (MRND-CDR) BISHUBIJE IBYABO KUGIRANGO BAVANGURE N’ABAKIGA

    Nk’uko muri iyi foto mubonamo umusaza Rwabukumba Seraphin witabiriye iyo congre, ntihagire ubaririza. Iki gipande cya Nkiko kigiye ukwacyo naho icya Bucyeye nacyo kigiye ukwacyo kuko icya Bukeye ari icy’abakiga bishubije ibyabo. Abaterekeza ko congre izasubirwamo baribeshya. Nkiko nawe kuvuga ko azasubira inyuma nabyo ni ukwibeshya kuko yamaze kugera kure asanga Ndahayo. Muri ibyo byose uhungukiye ni Ndahayo kuko Nkiko amusanze. Musangamfura na Bicamumpaka Madeleine bo baraherera he? Baraguma ari igice kigenga cyangwa barasanga kimwe muri ibyo bibiri ? Uko byamera kose, Musangamfura naramuka asanze igice cya Bukeye araba abaye umuswa utareba kure kuko yabayeho aregwa ubugambanyi kuko atari umukiga. Ibya FDU biragaragara ko ari abakiga (MRND-CDR) barimo kuvangura n’abanyanduga. Kuba Innocent Twagiramungu yashinze amano abiri akaba arimo kuburanira igipande cya MRND na CDR kiyobowe na Bukeye ni ukubera ko Innocent Twagiramungu nawe yahoze kera (mbere ya 1994 ) ari membre wa CDR, ayo ni amakuru azwi atari nayo gushidikanyaho na gato nawe kandi ntashobora kubihakana. Ibi byose rero birerekana ko amateka yaranze u Rwanda kera akomeje gucamo ibice ibyitwa ingirwamashyaka. Buri wese akurura yishyira, undi nawe agakurura ajyana mwa bene wabo basangiye akarere cyangwa basangiye amashyaka bahozemo. Mwibuke ko ari nabyo byashenye CNCD muminsi ishize. Ikibazo cy’uturere n’amoko n’amashyaka yahozeho gikomeje kuba umutwaro wa opposition. Abanyarwanda bamazwe na Kagame rero baratabarwa na nde ko abanyamashyaka bibereye mukuryana ?
    HABIMANA JMV

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