Congo Siasa

Spotted in Ivory Coast: Bizima Karaha

Some eyebrows have been lifted recently by the AU’s choice of envoy to the Ivory Coast: Raila Odinga, the Kenyan Prime Minister who sort of played the Alassane Ouattara in Kenya’s own election fiasco of 2007. Some have wondered how the Kenyan’s experience would help persuade Gbagbo to step down.

Well, here’s another strange character to be in the delegation: Bizima Karaha, the former head of security for the RCD rebellion after being Laurent Kabila’s foreign minister. Bizima has been trying to reinvent himself for quite some time – he was close to getting a high-ranking position in government several times in relation to his role in the CNDP peace talks, but never quite made it. Of late, he has popped up as a key political figure behind Gen. Bosco Ntanganda in Goma. It looks like he finally got a top AU job – although his role in the Odinga delegation is not clear (to me at least). What can the former rebel, who had a nasty reputation during his tenure at the head of the RCD security, teach Gbagbo? And who got him the job – Kabila?

Bizima is the one between Gbagbo and Raila.