"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

10.29.2008

will goma fall?

“The Congolese army has abandoned most of their positions,” said United Nations spokesman Madnodje Mounoubai. “The road to Goma is now open to the rebels.”

CNDP has called a truce, but their word is about as good as that of most politicians. I've never been willing to say this before, but unless MONUC comes up with something overnight, Goma may fall. Friends in Goma said that yesterday MONUC withdrew its troops to barracks, although that was before the British colonel started pushing back against the CNDP. They are in control of Goma for the moment, but MONUC is stretched too thin in Nord-Kivu; they're fighting in multiple sectors, and they are apparently simultaneously fighting and trying to protect the population without the help of the FARDC. I'm just not sure they have enough manpower to hold onto the city.

Goma's population is flooding out, headed for Rwanda by car or on foot or down the lake by boat to Bukavu. 45,000 people cleared out of Kibati camp in a few hours today.

It will take at least a week to get well-equipped EU troops in there. They should've deployed yesterday. Belgium doesn't have a government and therefore can't do much.

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