M23 Take Nyanzale in Eastern DRC: EU and China

M23 Take Nyanzale in Eastern DRC: EU and China

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tutsi-led M23 insurgents in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have taken control of the town of Nyanzale. This town is located in the province of North Kivu. Accordingly, this town of approximately 80,000 people further consolidates the M23 in the environs of Goma.

M23 forces also took over the villages of Kashalira, Kirima, and Ngoroba.

The provinces of Ituri, North Kivi, and South Kivu feel the ongoing convulsions of so many ethnic, religious, political, and terrorist groups. For example, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is an Islamist terrorist group that formed in Uganda – but the ADF mainly butcher Christians in the DRC. 

Despite persistent denials by Rwanda, this nation supports the M23. However, the role of Hutu forces (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda – FDLR) against the Tutsi in this part of the DRC – gives credence to why the M23 is utilized by Rwanda. Henceforth, Rwanda is determined to counter forces that are deemed a threat to the national security of Rwanda.

The European Union (EU) said, “The EU underscores the obligation for all States to stop any support to these armed groups. In particular the EU condemns Rwanda’s support for M23 and military presence on Congolese territory. It strongly urges Rwanda to immediately withdraw all its military personnel from the DRC as well as to terminate all support to and cooperation with M23. It strongly urges the DRC and all regional players to terminate all support to and cooperation with the FDLR, who have their roots in the genocide against the Tutsi, and any other armed group.”

The EU is adamant that only a political solution can end the crisis between the DRC and Rwanda. Accordingly, the EU is calling for dialogue between both nations.

Also, the EU said, “The strengthening of military capabilities as well as the use of surface-to-air missiles and sophisticated drones constitute a worrying escalation.”

China sent 9 Caihong 4 (CH-4) attack drones to support the armed forces of the DRC. These drones are being used against the M23.

Also, similar to China’s role in exploiting the Balochistan region of Pakistan, drones and other weapons are assisting the economic and geopolitical ambitions of China in the DRC.

The Council on Foreign Relations reports, “The abundance of natural resources—especially precious minerals—found in Congolese soil has globalized the conflict in eastern DRC. While U.S. companies once owned vast cobalt mines in the Congo, most were sold to Chinese companies during the Barack Obama and Donald Trump administrations. Chinese companies connected to Beijing now control the majority of foreign-owned cobalt, uranium, and copper mines in DRC, and the Congolese army has been repeatedly deployed to mining sites in eastern DRC to protect Chinese assets.”

The New York Times reports, “Making sense of the mayhem is not easy. Over 100 armed groups and several national armies are vying for supremacy across a region of lakes, mountains and rainforests slightly bigger than Florida. Meddlesome foreign powers covet its vast reserves of gold, oil and coltan, a mineral used to make cellphones and electric vehicles. Corruption is endemic. Massacres and rape are common.”

DRC faces many pressing problems. Hence, concerning the crisis in the eastern DRC, it is incumbent on the DRC and Rwanda to focus on dialogue.


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