Congo Siasa

CNDP tighten control over Masisi

As mentioned in the last post, the CNDP will probably not be very happy that they didn’t get a ministerial position during the cabinet re-shuffle on Saturday. Up until the last minute, they had been hoping to get one of their men into the government. What will the consequences be?

Well, just last week the CNDP leadership told MONUC that they would not dismantle their parallel taxation system in Masisi unless they “obtained administrative positions for their cadres.” I guess that was what they were talking about, not just the 6 territorial administrators they have been promised. They are thus going back on their promise to dismantle the roadblocks and taxes in Masisi once the government pays for health care for their war wounded. (I think the government has disbursed some/much of the money for their health care).

Then, later in the week, we found out that the CNDP had tightened its control over a large part of highland Masisi. The CNDP administrator, Jerome Mashagiro, who is based in Mushaki, has demanded that all house owners in Kitchanga pay $25 within a week, warning that if they didn’t they would be evicted from their houses. Then, the ex-CNDP and ex-PARECO police forces in Mushaki, Matanda and Kadirisha stopped taking orders from the Goma police command and have rallied behind the CNDP administration. The former PARECO commander Colonel Zabuloni (a Hutu from Masisi) is apparently their leader, an interesting development given the former enmity between PARECO and the CNDP, but such is the see-saw dynamics between Hutu and Tutsi in Masisi.

Lastly, a CNDP Hutu stalwart called Erasto (he claims to be a traditional chief) has told the population in Masisi not to heed calls for civilians disarmament. A group called PAREC has offered cash in return for weapons in the area. Erasto allegedly told people not to hand over weapons, “You will still need them.”

According to MONUC, during the past few weeks, a wave of killings of civilians has hit the CNDP-controlled area; these killings were reportedly all committed by non-integrated CNDP soldiers or deserters.