Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good Riddance, Gen. Nkunda

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) doesn't get a lot of press, but those that follow the region know that the country is home to one of the longest and bloodiest conflicts on Earth. However, there may be a small glimmer of hope now that rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda is behind bars. This thug and his army forced a quarter-million Congolese civilians to flee their homes last year, so I am positively elated to hear that he is now rotting in a Rwandan jail cell.

Nkunda, a warlord who ran the DRC's largest and most active rebel group, had previously enjoyed the backing of the Rwandan government because he was supposedly trying to fight Rwandan Hutu rebels operating in the Eastern DRC (that is...when he wasn't terrorizing civilians or shooting at the Congolese Army). However, the Rwandans are now cooperating with the Congolese government to root out the Hutu militias, and hence have no more use for Nkunda's antics. So, when Congolese forces forced him to flee in to supposedly friendly Rwanda, Nkunda's old friends arrested him instead of sheltering him.

Now, I'm not naive enough to think that the conflict in the DRC is even close to over. Thre are still a lot of bad people running around that country, and there will still be a lot of shooting. Furthermore, I'm not a huge fan of either the Congolese or Rwandan governments - but the two countries are cooperating with each other for the first time in recent memory, so it is now less likely that another Rwandan-backed rebel movement will take hold in the Eastern DRC (Nkunda's was not the first). So, I'm at least hopeful that there will less death and destruction in the immediate future.


  1. Thanks for bringing this to our attention Adam. I hope that you are right that there will be less problems.

  2. thank you for this, adam. I know so little about the area. I appreciate the insight you have.

  3. My only real knowledge of the situation comes from the movie "Hotel Rwanda" and if having this guy locked up is even only one step in the process to settling things between the Hutu and the Tutsi, well then Hurray! Thanks for the info. Keep us posted.

  4. All right, Adam----that does it!
    Your comments are all so consistently on-target, that if some savvy politician doesn't snap you up and HIRE you SOON, well, then I'm not so sure that politician is all that savvy!
    Tremendously compassionate and wise post. Thank you.

  5. Thought you might like this story Adam