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


at last

Kimia II ends at last. The civilian death toll stands at about 1400.
Alan Doss told the UN Security Council that the campaign in the east of the country had "largely achieved" its goal of weakening the Rwandan Hutu rebels.

The operation was criticised by rights groups, who accuse Congolese government troops of killing and raping civilians.

UN experts had said the campaign failed to dismantle militia infrastructure.

But Mr Doss declared that had not been the objective, as the rebel group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), is deeply entrenched in eastern Congo.

He did acknowledge there was a dilemma at the heart of the peacekeeping mandate to both protect civilians and work with an undisciplined Congolese army.

It's hard to tell if Kimia II will be worth it in the short or long runs. We know that the mission weakened the FDLR to some extent, but the leadership does not appear to be much closer to agreeing to disarm, return to Rwanda, or even simply to stop its campaign of terror against civilians than it was a year ago. I remain skeptical as to whether Kimia II was worth the cost in civilian casualties, displacements, and the contribution it made to general insecurity.

However, one bright note coming out of Kimia II is that the abuses perpetrated by the FARDC are now so clearly documented and obvious that the UN and its member states can no longer ignore the fact that the peacekeeping mission has in some ways - albeit mostly inadvertently - enabled the FARDC's war criminals and human rights abusers. This is forcing a rethinking of the relationship between MONUC and the FARDC. It's long overdue.


Blogger StandTall-The Activist said...

Thanks for the update. I may have to look up FARDC and MONUC...

Thursday, December 17, 2009 1:57:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Sorry. FARDC = Armed Forces of the DRC (French acronym), aka the national army. MONUC is the peacekeeping force.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 2:25:00 PM


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