Since January 2, it has become a jamboree of megaphone diplomacy; all the prominent voices in the important places have through the media, professed their moral support for the annihilation of the FDLR militia that’s cocooned in the jungles of Eastern Congo.
Now if they all believe in that cause, what’s holding back the action? I think it’s because, that moral support is plastic, suspect and most likely counterfeit.
I believe there was never a plan in place for an offensive; in fact the whole thing could have been a hoax, possibly a dog-whistle signal carrying a coded message for the militia commanders.
There’s this mammalian anecdote that I like, it’s actually a fable by the great Greek story teller Aesop, about the fox and the monkey; I’ll share with you.
It happened that, the monkey, having danced so well in the assembly of the animals, earned their approval and was elected to be King; the fox, eyeing the same position, was left green with envy.
So seeing a piece of meat one day in the snare, he led the monkey to it; on the way, fox explained that rather than take the treasure for himself, he had kept guard over it because its possession was surely a prerogative of the royals.
They reached the snare and fox urged monkey to take the meat out of it. The monkey reached out and taking no care at all tried to retrieve the meat but got entrapped in the process.
Monkey, with the noose around his body accused fox of luring him into the trap but the sly fox replied; look monkey, you want to reign over all animals, but see what a fool you’re!
You may interpret this tale anyway you like but the main moral here is that, those who throw themselves into an enterprise without sufficient thought not only fail but also risk becoming a butt-of-all-the-jokes.
Now, the United Nations was by all accounts a great initiative and seventy years today since the end of the Second World War, has helped to maintain relative global peace, in spite of a few pockets of chaos here and there.
Unfortunately, in this region of ours, the mighty UN, which, I one day dream to work with, just like my two cousins, fits into the character of the monkey.
When the deadline for the voluntarily surrender of FDLR goons was announced, the UN inadvertently placed itself under scrutiny, for those in the know, a voluntary lay-down of arms was impossible.
So what would happen after the deadline? We widely wrote about the promised offensive that would bring all hell tumbling down the heads of the militia in their hideouts.
The deadline came, and now, almost March, apart from the endless talk and speculation, nothing happened yester-month, nothing is happening this month and nothing is likely to happen next month.
So what will become of the reputation of whoever announced the deadline and set ultimatums?
The owner of the ultimatum risks being dubbed a ‘dog that barks without biting’ and future ultimatums by the same body will probably be laughed off by those targeted, as mere threats.
That’s a dangerous trend being set not only for global peace, but regional stability, in particular.
Let’s talk military strategy now; if you intend to strike an enemy base, you don’t tell them the date when you’ll do so.
Even if there had been an offensive against the FDLR positions shortly after January 2 deadline, no militia member is likely to have been hit.
That’s because for months, they had been warned of an offensive to come unless they surrendered.
They didn’t surrender which means they worked out a counter plan against the threat of an attack…they could have moved their bases, secured their assets and probably procured arms to fight back in case of an offensive.
I know an old lady who lost her husband and three kids in the genocide. At times when she can’t find sleep, with her eyes closed in the silent darkness of her bedroom, she says she can recite 500 names of children, friends and relatives she knew personally, that perished.
She hopes that one day she’ll wake up and spend a day without hearing the initials-F-D-L-R mentioned on radio, TV and in the papers.
Given that FDLR represents genocide ideology, continued dilly-dallying to eliminate it and the excessive media mentions its earning daily could bring it to the attention of like-minded groups such as ISIS and Boko-Haram and create a larger problem for the region.
We need to work towards a grand security pact between Kigali and Kinshasa to allow for bilateral collaboration towards the pacification of Eastern Congo.