As of today, the Congolese Army and the Rebel Army of the National Congress for People’s Defense (CNDP) are fighting on several fronts, among them the towns of Minova, Kirotshe, Bweremana, Kibirizi, Kikuku, and more. Once again, the Congolese government and the Congolese people have been stabbed in the back by the pro-Rwanda rebel group CNDP of Laurent Nkunda. The rebel forces are reported to have taken many of the positions previously held by the Congolese army. On the diplomatic front, the Congolese government, a full member of the United Nations, feels that it has been treated by the international community the same way as the CNDP, a rebel group. Denouncing such treatment, the Congolese government is asking the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), to impose peace militarily by fighting against the rebel forces of CNDP. Also, reported that Jendayi E. Frazer, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, said that her country supports the Congolese government and will continue to do so matter who is elected president in November.

A Misunderstood Conflict

Within the community of Great Lakes analysts, there is agreement that the issue of peace in the Congo is regional; however, many analysts continue to fail to narrow down the real question surrounding this war: the conflict between Rwanda and the DRC. CNDP will not make a deal with the Congolese government until its supporter, the Rwandan government, agrees to live at peace with the Congo. The war in the DRC is a distraction to keep everyone from asking the Rwandan government to create equal opportunity for every Rwandan: Hutu, Tutsi and Twa.

Also, this war is meant to keep Rwandans afraid, particularly the Hutu who would otherwise ask President Paul Kagame for a more inclusive government. This is a claim that few people take the courage to make because they still feel guilty for their inaction in 1994 to prevent the mass killing of innocent Rwandans of the Tutsi tribe. This is the case of the United States of America. In an effort to make up for their inaction in Rwanda, the U.S. has clearly opted for supporting the tribe in power instead of justice in Rwanda. The same inaction has cost the Congo more than 6 million lives since the Rwandan government launched the war against the Congo in 1998. Whether it is in Rwanda or in the Congo, no one can or will make up for their losses. The only option is to find and follow the path to peace.

Africa Faith and Justice Network believes that until the international community agrees to take on the Rwandan government for the continuous presence of Rwandan armed forces among Nkunda’s rebel group, there will be no peace in the Congo. The Rwandan government has to let the Congolese government settle its issue with CNDP, and as one national army, find ways to deal with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). It is not logical for CNDP to receive a mandate from the Rwandan government to fight the FDLR. Along the same line, the Congolese government has to show to the world that there is not, in any shape or form, any cooperation with the FDLR.

A Conflict Far From Over

There has been a lack of genuine support to end the Rwanda and Congo conflicts with their respective enemies, the CNDP and FDLR. This is why this conflict is far from over. BBC reported today that “Last month, U.S. and European Union diplomats warned that the situation in eastern DR Congo was becoming increasingly tense and that all sides were re-arming.” While this is true (AFJN reported it as well), the people living in the war zone in eastern Congo would probably respond by saying that the situation has always been tense since the war began in 1998. They have been living in fear of imminent violence since then. They have been displaced many times and the number of victims (rape, killing, looting) continues to grow. Asked on what they know about the war, many say that they know very well that their worst day is any day, their worst time is any time, the end of the war is overdue and the time to act is now.