Same story, different faces
The remnants of Bosco Ntaganda’s crumbling CNDP rebel group are very much alive and well. Some have opted for the protection of joining the Congolese government forces while other lingering factions continue to pursue their cause, under the new moniker of M23. These Tutsi fighters echo the grievances of Rwanda and former rebel leaders, accusing DR Congo president, Joseph Kabila, of arming various Hutu power militias throughout the region. With renewed intensity, the M23 is accumulating allies in a bold attempt to rid their nation of its incumbent regime. No longer under the alienating auspices of the ruthless Bosco, the troops that abandoned him are creating partnerships that will only broaden their path of destruction and terror.
There has been a battle of allegations and slander between government and rebels, each accusing the other of conspiring with the FDLR – a notorious Hutu power group that constitutes the legacy of the Rwanda’s genocidaires. War crimes had become the modus operandi of indicted generals Nkunda and Ntaganda, and despite allegiances to them now severed, successor groups are maintaining tradition.
As it is hard to separate Kabila’s propaganda from accurate accounts, not much is really known about the nascent M23. However, its spokesperson, Col. Vianney Kazarama, has been quite vocal in recent weeks regarding the faction’s goals. It should come as no surprise, for his men are gaining allies and developing into a significant threat. They may no longer be the cronies of Bosco “The Terminator,” but M23 could escalate their offensive, waging war as their criminal predecessors had, if a truce is not struck with Kinshasa soon. This requires Kabila to extend concessions and compromises.