Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Peace Deal Signed: Where Now?

Reuters reported that "The peace pact in the eastern town of Goma was subscribed to by Tutsi rebels loyal to renegade General Laurent Nkunda, President Joseph Kabila's government, and several militia and armed groups from Congo's North and South Kivu provinces."

There is little doubt that the peace conference will make a difference, the question is how much of a difference and for how long.

The agreement establishes an immediate ceasefire and the creation in five days of a buffer zone to be patrolled by U.N. peacekeepers in North Kivu province.

Both the Mai Mai rebels and Laurent Nkunda's CNDP are supposed to disarm and integrate in the Congolese National Army. Amnesty was offered to rebel groups involved in atrocities. However, the case of Nkunda, who is wanted for war crimes is still outstanding and in all likelihood will remain that way.

The status of the Interahamwe is still an unresolved issue although the Congolese government signed a pact earlier in the year with Rwanda which promised the expulsion of the Interahamwe.
As one can surmise, the devil is in the implementation.


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