DRC: Mugabe deploys troops to the deadly frontline as DRC army flee positions

KIGALI – Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe has sent in military support to the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to back Joseph Kabila's struggling FARDC forces against the rebel group National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP).

In an exclusive telephone interview with The New Times, Rene Abandi, CNDP Foreign Affairs Commissioner, made these revelations: "Zimbabweans and the FDLR are the ones that fight, government forces simply run away and we remain fighting. We have given this evidence to MONUC and they acknowledge this."

"Apart from Zimbabwe, Kabila wants to bring in SADC and as you’ve heard, the French also want to come in, their Foreign Minister has been lobbying for a French dominated EU humanitarian mission of about 1,500 soldiers," added Abandi.

"Their role is real," he said, declaring that they had evidence of – Zimbabwe ammunition – from the battle field.

If this is proved true, then Zimbabwe becomes complicit in the rampant looting, rape and killing taking place in the Eastern DR Congo. Commenting on the atrocities committed last week Abandi said : "They raped women, looted and maimed families on that night."

He also claimed that these brutal atrocities in Goma town were designed by the DR Congo government troops in a bid to put blame on the advancing rebel army (CNDP).

"Bad things happened in Goma before we ceased fire. When just four kilometers away and before government soldiers withdrew, they killed people who don’t speak Kinyarwanda, and this was planned to be blamed on us to tarnish our image once we took over," Abandi said.

"All this they did to smear us. But what is more painful is that the international community sees this but does not act," he lamented.

Abandi sounded bitter while explaining that recently Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General simply condemned the government army for – indiscipline.

"Such type of killing and he merely calls it indiscipline?"

"Secondly, after our ceasefire, in all the areas under our control, people have resettled people have peace but this is not mentioned by the international community," he stressed.

"No one has been harmed in the many areas we control but the good things on the ground the truth, and the good on our side, is not mentioned," he added.

"The humanitarian crisis overly talked about is actually on the decline. We are finding a solution for it but this is news that they don’t want to accept," he said.

Commenting on possible dialogue with Kinshasa and Rwanda’s role in the conflict, Abandi said: "Instead of talking to us (Congolese), they want to talk to Kigali but we have a problem as Congolese between ourselves," he said, while strongly dismissing claims that Kigali supports his group.

Abandi, however, acknowledged that Rwanda shares a similar concern, over the alliance between the fatal rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the Military of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) – – saying that this is a fact that government uses as an excuse to say Rwanda helps CNDP. The FDLR rebels are genocidal forces responsible for the 1994 Tutsi genocide, which claimed over a million lives.

"We never buy weapons but capture from government," he stressed on their source of funding, adding that their strength comes from sheer determination, backed by truth.

"The first source of strength comes from willpower, but most importantly, from truth and our side has got truth.

And truth wins by all means," he said, accusing Kinshasa of corruption and divisionism, among others.

"Government does not work but pillages, they behave like mercenaries!" Source: The New Times (Kigali)