Col Makenga joins rebellion

According to various reports, Col Sultani Makenga joined the CNDP mutiny during the night. This is a significant development, since Makenga was the second highest ranking CNDP officer behind Bosco in the Amani Leo structure as the deputy commander of South Kivu. If confirmed, it will bring a new élan to the mutiny, which had been rocked over the last week by the massive deployment of army troops and attacks on various fronts.

The question then arises: Why would a commander join a rebellion that seems on its last legs? Either it is not on its last legs, there is support that will be forthcoming soon, or Makenga was afraid of being arrested himself. A little bit of all three may be the case; certainly Makenga had already been fingered by the Congolese intelligence service as having been involved in the planning of the mutiny in the first place.

Will other CNDP commanders, such as Col Faustin Muhindo (in Goma) and Col Claude Micho (in Bukavu) now follow? Micho, for example, was recently ordered to reduce his rather large bodyguard; he refused.

The defection comes just hours after a meeting in Gisenyi, Rwanda between the army chiefs of the two countries, Gen. Didier Etumba and Gen. Charles Kayonga. The Rwandan press reported the meeting to be a success. I am sure other interpretations will follow.