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By Robert Mugabe&Agencies
Following intensified pressure by the International community for the arrest of Congolese General Bosco Ntaganda, a backroom deal is reported to be in the making by the powers in Kinshasa and Kigali to deliver the man.
This pressure has already prompted an impromptu divorce by Ntaganda allies from Congolese National Army with tensions rising in Kivu.
The former rebel commander is accused by International Criminal Court (ICC) for the war crimes perpetrated in Ituri when he was serving under UPC forces royal to Thomas Lubanga, recently convicted by the ICC.
The pressure to arrest Ntaganda is raising in Kinshasa and Kigali at the same time specifically from the United States.
What Gen. Ntaganda doesn’t know!
Information reaching Great Lakes Voice, indicate that the Rwanda government has been in contact with the ICC through American government over Ntaganda’s arrest whom UN mission in Congo (MONUSCO) and FARDC are not competent to effect.
As some Colonels side with Gen. Ntaganda while others continue to desert national army but remain independent, sources believe that General Laurent Nkunda who is in Rwanda’s custody is to be set free to bring order in former CNDP officers who are deserting the Congolese army.
With Nkunda’s imminent release, security experts believe that Ntaganda will be arrested by Rwanda forces then handed over to ICC after some negotiations.
As Gen. Ntaganda continues the campaign for rebellion against national army, he has rallied support from Rwanda, but little does he know that his [Ntaganda’s] price is also negotiable in Kigali due to the fact the Kinyarwanda speaking Congolese have failed to recognize him as a leader. Kigali is on the verge of trading off Gen. Ntaganda’s role with restoration of detained General Laurent Nkunda.
Gen. Laurent Nkunda to head Congolese national army
What Kinshasa government doesn’t admit publically but known in the Congolese security circles, is that both two heads of state of Rwanda and DRC are discussing the future of Gen. Nkunda possibly as the head of the Congolese army. This will restore discipline and order to the army which is a product of integrating of all armed forces who were previously fighting Kabila’s government.
Sources in Kigali say that unlike Ntaganda, Gen Nkunda enjoys popular support among Kinyarwanda speaking Congolese and would be effective as a military leader serving under Joseph Kabila. Kabila is said to have accepted the deal.
Gen. Ntaganda joined the ranks of Gen Nkunda’s CNDP rebels who were fighting in Rutchuru, Masisi territory from UPC of Lubanga. He joined the Congolese National army following the arrest of renegade Gen. Laurent Nkunda. Ntaganda is now reported disserting the Congolese National army (FARDC) for fear of arrest following international pressure to DRC to hand him over to ICC to be prosecuted.
General Ntaganda who was issued open arrest warrant, is accused by International Criminal Court prosecution allegedly of war crimes, precisely recruiting child soldiers in Ituri.
When information leaked to Gen. Ntaganda labeled “Terminator” that ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of Gambian decent was coming to Kinshasa to negotiate his arrest, Ntaganda reacted by mobilizing most of his men who are in DRC army to dessert the national army citing different reasons unpaid salaries being one of them.
Commanders such as Col. Byamungu, Col. Innocent Kayina who commands the 805th battalion who have deserted national army, now controls Bunagana town at the border with Uganda. In a phone interview with our correspondent in DRC, Col. Kayina said that “My forces are ready to fight FARDC (National army) in case we’re attacked. We have been asking government to give us our salaries and ammunition to fight FDRL but in vain. You see, now they will get ammunitions to come and fight us.”
We are not bound to carry Ntaganda’s cross
When asked by BBC whether the dissertation from national army has any connection with Ntaganda, Col. Byamungu said that “the reason is not Ntaganda but lack of clear order in the army.”
For Col. Kayina, he claims to be not concerned of Ntaganda’s burden. “You see, Ntaganda’s issue is personal not affecting the whole force.”
However, sources in Col. Byamungu’s camp report that his revolt from national army was a reaction following President’s Kabila plan when he implemented decentralization and failed to recognize the home of Banyamulenge Minembwe in South Kivu as a district.
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