Monday, 18 January 2016

DRC and MONUSCO - What Next?

Fairly detailed and in-depth analysis of the MONUSCO situation and future in eastern DRC, with particular reference to anti-FDLR activities here at IRIN.

One interesting point is the new MONUSCO appointments:
"The UN has taken some measures to try to encourage the Congolese government to reopen dialogue. Maman Sidikou, of Niger, has replaced Kobler, and a South African general, Derrick Mgwebi, has relieved Brazil’s Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz as MONUSCO’s commanding officer. Kinshasa is understood to be happy about the choice of the two Africans, reckoning that there will be fewer “misunderstandings” now."

I have reservations about the idea that appointing Africans will necessarily mean having teams of people who inherently have more understanding of and ability to deal with other Africans. It's a little like suggesting that a German would naturally, inherently, be better able to understand and relate to a French authority than, say, someone from an African francophone former colony. Just because they're from the same continent doesn't mean they're going to understand each other.

In this case, however, the two people appointed seem to be interesting as individuals. Great interview with Mgwebi via African Defence Review here. It'll be worth watching MONUSCO over the next few months to see how this plays out - particularly as elections loom in the DRC.

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