Major news sources are reporting that Laurent Nkunda is taking an extended vacation. At 22:30 last night, Nkunda was arrested by a joint Congolese-Rwandan force in Bunagana and shipped off to a relaxing future in Kigali.
Rwandan President Kagame is pissed at Nkunda and will frame him as a scapegoat for unrest in the DRC. Taking a radically different path from the past few years, Rwanda will probably try to squelch Congolese chaose now that Nkunda is out of the way.
History is already being rewritten to fit common tropes of African rebellion and violence. The New York Times article calls him a megalomaniac (i.e. every failed African leader) and claims that:
Although he never controlled more than a few small towns in the verdant east, he considered to be Congo’s No. 1 troublemaker.
Apparently sacking the capitals of both North and South Kivu as well as taking control over all resources export lines in the Eastern Congo just isn’t good enough. Nkunda, the New York Times is challenging you to take more than a few small towns.
But, what’s going to happen now that the question, Is Nkunda Out, answered?
No other rebel leaders appear to have the same military sway or savvy that Nkunda did and nobody has that awesome eagle-headed cane that Nkunda waved valiantly prior to massacring Congolese communities. Ntaganda and Kabarebe are weak leaders who are more interested in protecting themselves than leading an efficient and effective proxy army for Rwanda in the Kivus.
But wait, no more need for a proxy army for Rwanda in the Kivus. The real army has stepped in for their crumbling rebel group! Phew, nation-state led armies are so much more effective and efficient that squabbling rebel groups.
Congo, you just keep getting better and better.
(Picture: Congolese child befuddled by Nkunda’s arrest, complements of WSJ)