It’s unclear whats happening on the ground, however, Bosco Ntaganda has been denouncing Nkunda in different news sources repeatedly over the past few days. This might be a last ditch effort for Ntaganda to position himself defensively and get some bargaining power in the face of an International Criminal Court indictment.
Wronging Rights thinks this might be the beginning of a new shiny rebel group, which could happen. However, there are some serious questions to think about beforehand.
Nkunda is a media fiend and knows what he’s doing. The CNDP is the most disciplined and robustly funded rebel group that the Great Lakes has seen in a while. Any possibility that these rumors have been started by the CNDP in order to obscure any strategic planning on their part to expand their presence in Ituri and North Kivu in the coming months? We’ve seen Nkunda go as far south as Bukavu, so we know he can do it. Does he really want to re-occupy Goma?
On the flip side, did Nkunda manage to upset who-ever-in-the-world he might be reporting to by going a bit too far and drawing too much media attention in what has been coined the Battle of Goma? Many aid workers in the field claimed the military offesnive in October was the most aggressive they had seen since 1998. Coincidentally, Rwanda seemed to get a lot more flack for this CNDP movement than they have in the past. Did Nkunda push a bit too hard and is he being reprimanded?
Or, does the absolutely non-sensationalist French media have it right when they call the current leadership situation, “Total Confusion,”? Are these the same organizational and structural problems common to rebel group?
Either way, the next few months in the Kivus should see changing alliances, emerging new leaders, and shifting regional relations. Happy 2009 Congo and goodluck UN Envoy to the Congo Obasanjo!