They Are Ready

KINSHASA/KIGALI/BERLIN | | kongo-kinshasaruanda

KINSHASA/KIGALI/BERLIN (Own report) - On the eve of the deployment of German troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, suspected war criminals threaten to prevent elections by unleashing a new conflict. On several occasions over the past few years, these militias found sanctuary on the premises of a German controlled company in East Congo. Although the German government could have exerted influence on this company, it chose to not intervene against the militia. These same militias have been taking part in the civil war in East Congo since the mid-1990's and were seeking to have the Kivu provinces annexed to neighboring Rwanda. Rwanda is a former German Colony. In spite of harsh UN criticism, a German network of enterprises contributed in financing this war of secession, without official German intervention. Dr Helmut Strizek, an expert on Africa and a former member of the staff of the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, confirms, in a talk with german-foreign-policy.com, that "The German SPD-Green coalition government approved the secession of the Kivu provinces from Congo". He describes as "strange," the activities of the parliamentarian Uschi Eid, in the Congo. The main beneficiary of Germany's East Congo policy is the military government of Germany's former colony, Rwanda. The president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, is a member of the old colonial aristocracy and, since taking office in 1994, has been Berlin's close partner. During the forthcoming military expedition, Germany has several foreign policy options for imposing its dominance.

Preparations for War

According to the Congolese Press, leaders of several militias of irregulars are preparing to resume the war in East Congo, in view of the coming elections. In the Congolese wars of the 1990s, secessionist forces came to power in North Kivu and other areas bordering Rwanda. They seek to detach Congolese territory to annex it to Rwanda, but lack sufficient support from the population to do so. The secessionists could therefore be seen as the losers of the elections.[1] They are attempting to offset their imminent loss of influence through various means. The Governor of North Kivu is said to be keeping all options open, while attempting to keep his position by cooperating with Kinshasa. At the same time, there are numerous reports warning of immanent preparations for war by militias loyal to Rwanda, with whom the Governor still maintains contact.[2] The militia leaders Laurent Nkunda [3] and Jules Mutebutsi,[4] who are being held responsible for the June 2004 mutiny and the ensuing war crimes.[5] are the Focus of these reports.

Refuge

Nkunda and Mutebusi, who, because of strong international pressure, were forced to flee after the mutiny, found refuge in the summer of 2004 on the premises of a mining company called Somikivu in North Kivu.[6] Somikivu is majority owned by Germans and, due to a trust deed, the German government can influence the activities of this enterprise. German-foreign-policy.com reported.[7] Berlin did not prevent the presence of the suspected war criminals. It was in December of 2005 that regular troops of the Congolese Army expelled the rebel militias from the Somikivu premises. Since April 2004, Somikivu has been managed by a businessman, loyal to Rwanda. He is suspected of maintaining criminal relations with an organization of arms smugglers, which is under UN sanctions.[8]

Familiar

The United Nations had already accused the previous German managing director of this mining company, Karl Heinz Albers, of financing pro-Rwandan militias.[9] Albers is said to have used his extended network of companies to financially contribute to the war in East Congo. As member of the board of directors of one of Albers enterprises, a retired diplomat of the German foreign ministry had insight into the business operations. She was very familiar with the political situation along the border between Congo and Rwanda. She is Johanna König, the former German ambassador to Rwanda.[10]

Reward

With the cooperation of Johanna König, Albers transacted the sale of East Congolese resources via Rwanda, thereby contributing to the strengthening of the military regime in Kigali. The former German colony, Rwanda, acted in accordance with western aspirations: Through aggressive cross-border attacks against Congo, the former colonial states could assert their interests in the mining industry and keep the central Congolese government in Kinshasa under pressure.[11] Dr Helmut Strizek, an expert on Africa and former member of the staff in the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, told german-foreign-policy.com, Rwanda was rewarded with the "annexation of both East Congolese Kivu provinces," the area of activity of the former ambassador. "Rwanda foreign exchange status would be enhanced with the East Congolese minerals - Gold, Coltan and others." Dr. Strizek believes that this was done with the approval of the German government.

Consequent

The German government is closely cooperating with the military regime in Rwanda, which came to power after the 1994 genocide.[12] Soldiers of the German military, as contingents of the UN-Deployment in Rwanda, assisted in this transfer of power. According to the German foreign ministry, Kigali "appreciated that Germany (...) was promptly engaged with humanitarian aid and development cooperation".[13] In concert with western powers, Rwandan troops subsequently occupied East Congo. The extraction of East Congolese minerals, to the benefit of Rwanda, reached new proportions. Consequently, Rwanda became a focal partner for "German development aid" in 2001.

Cooperation of the Elite

The close cooperation between Germany and the incumbent military regime in Rwanda reminds of German East African colonial rule. The German Reich had been accorded Rwanda in 1884/85, in Berlin at the Congo Conference and Germany had reigned through a system of indirect rule with the aid of the indigenous elites. In case of insurgency, for example in the year 1912, Berlin's expeditionary forces intervened, when the aristocratic Ega family, useful for the German empire, was threatened. As the expert on Africa, Dr. Strizek, reports in his recently published monograph, Paul Kagame, the current president of Rwanda, is a high ranking member of this family - the same family rescued by the German militarily from northern Rwandan autonomy efforts.[14] As before, Berlin is working very closely with this family clan.

Raw Materials

The alleged war criminal Laurent Nkunda is one of Kagame's partisans. Already in the early 1990's, Nkunda was supporting Kagame in his attempts to militarily take power, while in Ugandan exile.[15] He succeeded in the aftermath of the genocide in 1994 and participated in several West supported military campaigns against Congo, in which Rwanda took control over East Congo, particularly its mineral deposits.

Options

Laurent Nkunda held high ranks in the pro-Rwandan militias, who financed their weapons with profits from mineral sales to Germany, and ultimately took refuge on the premises of the German controlled Somikivu mining company. Nkunda's threat to prevent the forthcoming elections with resumed combat, coincides with the beginning of the most extensive German military deployment in Africa since the Second World War. The expedition offers Berlin several options: If the elections' outcome are suitable to Berlin, arrangements for the extraction of minerals can be made with a docile Congolese central government. If this is not successful, they could resort to the German-sponsored East Congolese militias. They are ready.

Please read also Interview with Dr. Helmut Strizek.

[1] Hintergrund: Warlord droht mit Angriff während Wahlen. Nkunda auf Fahndungsliste von UNO-Truppen - Mischt Ruanda mit?; Der Standard 25.05.2006
[2] Nkunda, Mutebusi et Bosco préparent déjà la guerre; www.digitalcongo.net/fullstory.php?id=68510
[3] Laurent Nkunda, auch bekannt als Laurent Nkundabatware, unterliegt UN-Sanktionen gemäß den Paragraphen 13 und 15 der Resolution Nr. 1596 des UN-Sicherheitsrates.
[4] Jules Mutebutsi, auch bekannt als Jules Mutebusi oder Jules Mutebuzi, unterliegt UN-Sanktionen gemäß den Paragraphen 13 und 15 der Resolution Nr. 1596 des UN-Sicherheitsrates.
[5] Demokratische Republik Kongo: Kriegsverbrechen in Bukavu; Pressemitteilung von Human Rights Watch 11.06.2004
[6] Bericht der Expertengruppe für die Demokratische Republik Kongo; Security Council Document S/2006/53
[7] see also War Resources (I)
[8] see also War Resources (III)
[9] see also Kriegsressourcen (II)
[10] see also War Resources (III)
[11] Please read also Interview with Dr. Helmut Strizek.
[12] Die neuen Eliten um Staatspräsident Paul Kagame, die damals aus dem anglophonen ugandischen Exil kamen, hätten "Ruanda aus der Frankophonie 'herauskatapultiert'", berichtete die deutsche Botschaft in Kigali vor zwei Jahren. See also Region of the Great Lakes
[13] Politische Beziehungen; Länder- und Reiseinformationen des Auswärtigen Amts 27.05.2006
[14] Helmut Strizek: Geschenkte Kolonien. Ruanda und Burundi unter deutscher Herrschaft, Berlin 2006. Please read also Rezension.
[15] International Crisis Group: Congo's Elections. Making or Breaking the Peace; Africa Report Nr. 108, 27.04.2006

see also Begrüßt und fortgeschrieben