Published On: Sat, Nov 24th, 2012

Tanzania to join DR Congo war against M23 rebels

Tanzania is ready to send troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo to fight M23 rebels who are making advances to the capital Kinshasa, a minister has said.

Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Bernard Membe said Thursday that the country would, however, only send its troops if the UN headquarters in New York immediately mandated the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to deploy troops in DRC.

Presidents from the Great Lakes Region are meeting in Kampala Friday for a crisis summit during which they will discuss the deteriorating situation in eastern DRC where the rebels have captured Goma and Sake, 20km away, and vowed to press on with their offensive to take the South Kivu provincial capital of Bukavu, 300km south of Goma.

Mr Membe said leaders within the region under their chairman, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, had called a crisis summit to discuss the matter and see how they could arrest the situation.

The minister said the UN was currently using Chapter 6 of its resolutions, which basically allowed peacekeeping and not peace enforcement. In peace enforcement, the UN troops would, if need be, use force to execute their mandate.

Presently, there were over 17,000 troops under the UN who were not doing much to protect the Congolese people and instead, they were only “observing things”.

“We condemn what the rebels are doing in eastern Congo…it is unacceptable to Tanzania. But there is an International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in Kampala tomorrow (today), which was called expressly to discuss the matter,” Mr Membe said.

He said the situation in eastern Congo had huge impact on all East African states and, if left unchecked, would result in huge numbers of refugees and internally displaced people.

Chapter Seven

He said it was time regional stakeholders took it upon themselves to stabilise the DRC. The minister said in the last two weeks, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete talked to his counterparts Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Museveni and Joseph Kabila of the DRC on the current crisis facing eastern Congo.

“Tanzania wants the rebels to leave Goma and other important areas they are occupying to allow for talks, or UN should give the go ahead for SADC troops to immediately be part of the mission assisting the DRC government troops,” Mr Membe said.

He maintained that, after the August ICGLR summit in Kampala, Tanzania pledged to send one battalion under the SADC umbrella to fight back the rebels. A battalion comprises between 700 and 800 soldiers.

SADC was set to send about 4,000 soldiers to Congo after the UN confirmation of issuing a Chapter 7 mandate, which specifically provides for action to be taken with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression.

The fighting in Congo escalated when the M23 rebels overran Kibati town close to DRC-Rwanda border and later moved on to Goma, which is the North Kivu provincial capital.

In July, the M23 rebels captured Rutshuru and Kiwanja towns along the 1,000km highway linking the DRC-Uganda border town of Bunagana and Kisangani in the north eastern Congo.
The DRC accuses Rwanda of fighting a proxy war against it, which Kigali vehemently denies, calling it an internal problem that Kinshasa should solve.

President Museveni holds the chair of the ICGLR summit, which he assumed in December last year.

The 11 members of ICGLR are Uganda, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, the DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.

Meanwhile, M23 leader Bishop Jean Marie Runiga has rejected calls by Presidents Museveni and Kagame that the rebels withdraw from Goma and other towns they hold in eastern Congo.

By Mkinga Mkinga

- Africa Review

  • Buuxiye

    Interesting so Uganda and Rwanda Arm and sponsor the M23 and develop it's capability to a level where it begins to take control of the Congo and present a major threat in the STATE. Then suddenly Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania will provide Troops to bring back stability to the Congo???

    But in order for these countries to intervene the UN must pay their expenses!

    Is this the NEW Money making scheme in Africa?

    I recall Eritrea, Sudan and Egypt providing funding and arms to Shabab+XI while Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda playing Nurse maids to illegitimate governments in moqadishu.

    $ is King!

  • Kayse

    Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda are funding the rebels and are busy trying to take control of the resources. Tanzania wants to control the rich minerals in its own fashion and is supporting Joseph Kabila.

    The West at this stage is confused and doesn't know who to support. They already using UN forces to smuggle out minerals from Congo and the more chaos the easier it is for them to steal.

    Tanzania doesn't want to commit suicide yet so it wants the Southern Africa Development Community to join her which are 13 states including Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Namibia and even South Africa.

    If SADC joins the game it will be a game changer. Angola alone can defeat both Rwanda and Uganda at ease forget South Africa's advanced military unit.

    Angola has bigger GDP than Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda combined together.

    • Kayse

      This is the right call by Tanzania, SADC members should stand with their Bantu allies otherwise the SADC is just an empty promise.

      This war is really about Bantu vs Tutsis once again and is masterminded by Rwanda and Uganda. It is important that people understand that both Museveni (Uganda President) and Paul Kagame of Rwanda are Tutsi and has close ties with the Tutsi royal family of King Mutara III.

      Today they reigniting the Hutu-Tutsi conflict and trying to take control of the Great Southern Lakes.

      M23 is abbreviation of March 23 Movement and is all Tutsi movement. The Tutsi want to take control of Rwanda, Uganda, DR Congo and Burundi where President Pierre Nkurunziza heads the movement who is half Hutu-half Tutsi (mother but he grew up with the Tutsis).

      • isse

        One thing i couldn't understand regarding Rwandan history. How come the tutsis overcome the 1994 genocide and took control of the country at the same year? and they are only 15% of the population. Angola, Tanzania and other kinsasha-alied african countries couldn't defeat Rwanda and their rebels in 1990s up until now, what's the secret?

      • Sabin

        This is how emptiness of some African brothers come in. The issues in DRC is merely a governance issue. there is no way you can have a second class citzen and think you will have peace. guys do not be misled by this and call for ethnicity vs another. who are Tutsis anyway? are they not Bantus? do you want to tell me that the entire SADC is inhabbited by Bantus? are you trying to sove the problem or u're aggravating it? come back to your senses folks otherwise you are going to think like Interahamwe! what they did was not good to the victims and i bet they are not ok with themselves either.

      • carlos

        I can see your BURUNDIAN HUTU,ahahaha let me lough,Nkurunziza is a tusi just because he is half hutu and tusi,and because he stays with tutsi is a tustsi,i feel sorry for you,this issue of tutsi and hutus will not get you anywhere,this day we are thinking about development,you need food,i need food also,i need securty,education,health just like you,being hutu or tutsi that would not solve that problem i listed down,so please dont use that dirty ideology of hutu and tutsi to support your bad intention against tutsi.

    • carlos

      This is another miscalculation,there is proverb in kiswahili which says that UKUBWA WA PUA SIOWINGI WA KAMASI.

  • mohamed cheers

    Interestingly, these East African new developments might divert the Horn crisis of Somalia?
    Is this another Mother naturekind diasaters in the making? Who knows?
    Cheers.

  • Justice4Congo

    Fantastic idea Mr Hitler of Africa Xgame and Mussolini must ne very happy to see this… but one must be assured that what goes around comes around. Zanzibar will going soon. an let me see how good it looks for tanzania. kagame and Museveni are extremist tutsti who expansionist ideologies must be stopped. the precedent they have created will last for generations, the congolese people have vowed to fight till the end, and will shall see in coming years who will prevail. have fun guy. Mobutu did it, Idi amin. Arap Moi etc…. History will catch up wit ya Suc…

    • son of God

      Thank u looser ! Stop having fun and join the bush ,otherwise let the people be the people ….cause they can plan a heard for their people's future. And in the other who cases if u guys don't see and think . Let me give u same hints, Dude I reckon u do understand what ' dignity' means. Therefore body go for it, if not gee get ready for other Africans killings disasters can think about that? Don't worry be happy Jesus is the answer.Thank

  • frank

    I would preffer that UN is lifted to enforcement than keeping instead of allowing any armies of the neighbouring states to take in their armies bse UN may try to be more neutral than any other country

  • safari

    I'm not sure if Tanzanians will be able to defeat these tutsi,no one in that region can defeat them..really I'm not sure…

  • Rutebezambuga kanyenzi

    Brother let tell u same u endemind no congolise figthing all war in congo is 4 rwandais and ouganda sported by finance all game is rwanda and solution is to attack rwanda becouse rwanda is lia

    • son of God

      That cool but, who does it …..Let us having fun …music stars .Have u ever heard any song about peace in congo …..if yes who cares…… people need to heard from those big stars . Guess what ! who can ? so let who the cup feest wear it ……

  • Rutebezambuga kanyenzi

    Im rwandis but i do not like crime (violance)like that but rwanda gvment want tutsi land from rwanda,ouganda,tanzania,burundi,congo drc,congo brazz that is rwanda plan

    • Sabin

      Kanyenzi, do not think like an animal which ur names suggests, how sure are you that rwanda is supporting? au not basing on hearsay? do not be fed from lies. the onus should be on DRC to ensure that war does not escalate. it should talk peace instead of crying foul after their mistakes.

    • carlos

      So what? do you think rwanda can manage to do that? please dont treat people like kid,even a kid can not think what you have said. i wonder why some countries have been blaming rwanda and trying to cause problems just because of such nonsense stories.

    • sonofGod

      So what is ur suggestion u rwandis….God bless u

  • carlos

    I can see Tanzania has its own problem with zanzibar,wants to break up with mainland,so their trying to silance other people not to ask their rights like what they did to zanzibar,and i had about someone saying Angola is able to destroy rwanda,i dont think so,it will not be first time to meet in fight,i think you should ask them bout rwandan fight,they have tasted it,but i am not encouraging war in congo,what i want let kabila sitdown with M23 and sort out their problems,other resons are rumours,no one want to control congo from rwanda or uganda.

  • son of God

    That is cool body…………

  • carlos

    ahahaahahaa,@alatusile,i have found that you dont even have knowledge about rwanda and eastern congo conflict,rwanda has no intention to fight TZ,it is you who bring that issue up,did you ever heard rwanda talk such issue? it seems you fear about rwanda,please go eastern congo and fight with M23 not rwanda,but if you try to fight rwanda that will be big problem to tz,people o f rwanda want peace with neighbours.

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