Why Does Nkunda Repeatedly Call for the Renegotiation of the Chinese Contract?
In his meeting with Special United Nations Envoy to the Congo, Olusegun Obasanjo, rebel leader Laurent Nkunda repeated as one of his demands the renegotiation of the $9 billion Chinese contract. A deal that swaps Congolese minerals (mainly copper and cobalt) for infrastructure development (road, rail, schools, hospitals, etc).
There are two possible explanations for Nkunda's repeated call regarding the Chinese contract. One is that he is trying to endear himself to the West as western nations and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund consider the Chinese deal to be a threat to their economic interests in the Congo. A second possibly reason is that the West is actually in support of Nkunda's destabilization efforts in order to send a sign to Congo's president Joseph Kabila that he had strayed too far off the plantation by signing such a bold deal with the Chinese without prior consultation or approval from the West. It is not clear which of the two options is correct but time will certainly tell.
It is rather interesting however that in spite of the myriad egregious western contracts (Katanga Mining, Anvil, Banro, Freeport McMoran and many more) that work against the interests of the Congolese people, Nkunda is silent.