UN alarmed by the array of militias in DRC: ADF to Rwanda

UN alarmed by the array of militias in DRCADF to Rwanda

Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The United Nations (UN) is alarmed by the array of militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that continue to hinder any hope of a unified nation. Indeed, internal ethnic divisions, Islamist terrorists emanating from Uganda, forces concerned by events in Rwanda – and other internal militia forces – are all wreaking havoc to various degrees. 

Stéphane Dujarric de la Rivière, the Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, said the UN was “concerned over the deteriorating security situation…and the increase of attacks against civilians by the Cooperative for Development of the Congo (CODECO) and the M23 as well as the on-going presence of other foreign armed groups, including the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Red Tabara and the Forces Démocratique pour la libération de Rwanda (FDLR), which continue to pose a threat to regional stability.”

The ADF continues to commit massacres against Christians in the DRC. This Islamist terrorist group emanates from Uganda. However, the ADF mainly kills people in the DRC. Hence, several recent massacres against Christians have occurred. For example, the killing of 15 Christians in the village of Bulongo, in the province of North Kivu, was another brutal attack by the ADF. 

Reuters reports, “The ADF is a Ugandan militia that has been active in eastern Congo since the 1990s and killed scores of civilians, many in middle-of-the-night attacks carried out with machetes and hatchets. It pledged alliance to Islamic State in 2019.”

Tensions are also increasing between the DRC and Rwanda. Thus the African Union (AU) nominated President João Lourenço of Angola to dampen tensions between both nations. However, distrust remains. 

UN News reports, “The FDLR is a largely Rwandan Hutu armed group operating inside DRC, some of whose members took part in the 1994 genocide, and Rwanda has reportedly alleged that the Congolese army has been collaborating with it, in the border area.”

MONUSCO (The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) is especially active in Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu – but other negative dynamics also alarm this UN force. 

The DRC is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. For example, aluminum, cobalt, copper, diamonds, gold, tin, and so much more. However, the weak infrastructure and the array of ethnic and religious issues in parts of the country continue to be stoked by internal and external factors. 

African News reports, “Tensions between the two central African countries have been on the rise as Kinshasa accuses its neighbour of backing M23 rebels sending this week, 500 soldiers in Eastern DRC, something Rwanda denies.”

The recent upturn in attacks by M23 looks suspicious from the viewpoint of the DRC. This issue is nothing new. However, the recent upsurge in violence is leading to heightened tensions between the DRC and Rwanda. 

Voice of America reports, “Over 120 rebel groups and militias still operate in the DRC’s eastern provinces nearly two decades after the official end of the country’s civil wars. The effort to restore peace has, since 2010, involved the United Nations’ largest peacekeeping force, with billions of dollars invested in the operation.”

Until regional nations come together and the DRC tackles internal grievances and concerns – the spiral of violence looks set to continue. This notably applies to Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu.

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