Kadhalika

  • After Minister of Info Lambert Mende’s diatribe against MONUC last week, where he fulminated that they had stood by while insurgents killed a civilian, now a local NGO is claiming they have proof that the Congolese army killed between 11 and 42 civilians during the same violence in Mbandaka.
  • News from Rwanda: the government has arrested Victoire Ingabire, president of the opposition party FDU, on charges of promoting genocide ideology, ethnic division and collaborating with FDLR rebels. I feel a bit concerned by this, as the UN Group of Experts (the successor panel to the one I was on) documented her participation at a meeting with other opposition figures in Spain last year at which members of the FDLR apparently also participated. That participation, of course, does not amount to collaboration, but perhaps the Rwandan government has other proof.
  • Also, don’t miss it – Kagame has a new book out! “Paul Kagame and the Resilience of a People,” written (or co-written?) by Francois Soudan, an editor at Jeune Afrique magazine, who has also written very favorable pieces on President Kabila and other African heads of state. There are now several books on Kagame that are deeply favorable to his record – two years ago, New York Times’ Stephen Kinzer brought out a book that didn’t question many of the most controversial aspects of Kagame’s tenure. Philip Gourevitch also is working on a new book on Rwanda.
  • Finally, the next in a series of victories of provincial parliaments in the Congo: the governors of both Maniema and South Kivu resigned under allegations of poor governance and financial malfeasance. One of them, Leonce Mudherwa of South Kivu, was very close to the presidency. In related news, Prime Minister Muzito had to answer questions in front of the national assembly today about “the destabilization of the provinces by Kinshasa,” which above all is related to Equateur, where the MLC has lost its control over the governor’s mansion.