Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Burundi/DRC/Rwanda tensions on the rise

It looks like some of the peace processes in the Great Lakes region aren't doing too well. This is really disappointing, after months and even years of talks and signed agreements, somehow peace remains elusive. Irin news reports that Azarias Ruberwa, leader of the rebel group, the Congolese Rally for Democracy, and one of the DRC's 4 vice-presidents, has now pulled out of the transitional powersharing government. Ruberwa has accused the transitional government, which has been in place for a year already, of failing to establish proper guidelines for integrating former rebels into the new national army. He also blames the transitional government for
failing to bring security to civilians living in the two Kivu provinces and in the district of Ituri in Orientale Province.

Added to this the Burundi peace process isn't going too well either and renewed tensions may plunge the whole region back into instability. Last week, the National Liberation Force, the last Burundi rebel group which has refused to be part of the peace process, attacked Congolese Tutsi refugees, and this week they have been attacking a Burundian army camp near Bujumbura. These incidents have renewed tensions between Rwanda, the DRC and Burundi. I think that the bottom line is that the leaders who can make a difference aren't interested in giving up power and all the money from selling natural resourses that comes with it.


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