Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Did Rwanda really invade the DRC last year?

I heard a disturbing story on the BBC World Service's Newshour program last week.

Late last year, it was widely reported that the Rwandan Army had (again) invaded the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Both the United Nations and the Congolese government made the accusation. Curiously, Rwandan officials went out of their way on several occasions to avoid explicitly denying the allegations. The Rwandan authorities also repeatedly insisted that they had the right to intervene in the eastern DRC under the pretext of their own national security and territorial integrity... all while not commenting one way or the other on if such an intervention was actually underway.

Last week, an intelligence analyst, who was with the UN investigative commission at the time, claims that false information was published in the UN report on the alleged invasion.

[A] dissenting member of the UN panel, William Church, has now told the BBC that the Rwandan invasion was a false claim added by other panel members who had come under pressure from un-named sources. The chair of the UN investigation, the Algerian diplomat Abdulahi Baali, has told the BBC that he is now looking into what he called "serious allegations".

In the late 90s, a huge war broke out in the eastern DRC. It was frequently referred to as Africa's First World War, since at its height, the conflict involved almost a dozen countries. Later, Rwandan and Ugandan troops even fought each other on Congolese soil. Rwanda even occupied land as deep as 1000 km (about 650 miles) into the mineral rich eastern part of the DRC. This was under the pretext of creating a security zone; by contrast, the Israeli 'security zone' only extended 9 miles into south Lebanon.

Yet, the UN is charged with the unenviable task of helping sort out the mess in Central Africa. After numerous allegations of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers in eastern Congo, more questions on its credibility is the last thing the beleaguered international institution mission needs.


At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you would like to contact william church about the UN scandal directly you may
the second story here is how the western media refused to run this story (except for Mark Doyle at BBC) because when they called the UN they slandered me with lies about me. I have provided completed documented proof. I have reviewed this with UK US and Neterlands government and they agree my evidence is credible but the UN continues to slander me.
We need the UN but we do not need this UN. It is corrupt from top (especially) to bottom.
William Church

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Black River Eagle said...

WOW! This could be a real scoop on an interesting news story Brian. O.K. so the BBC's Mark Doyle broke the story, but where is his follow up?

Ali over at the Salon of News and Thought blog and Carine of the Exiled Afrikan blog are two young bloggers working their butts off to research and disseminate factual information about their home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If the mainstream international media refuses to pick up this story as Mr. Church says then perhaps (credible) blog authors are willing to do some real investigative journalism here.

"Hat Tip" to Mr. Church for being smart enough to check the Blogosphere for the real news.


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