Defeat Of The M23: First Thoughts
BMI View: The crushing defeat inflicted by UN-backed Congolese troops on the M23 rebels offers hope that Kinshasa may succeed in imposing government control over the chaotic province of North Kivu. It remains to be seen, however, whether President Joseph Kabila's unpopular government can enact the sweeping political and economic reforms necessary to address the underlying causes of conflict in the war-torn region.
The success of UN-backed government troops against M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has substantially changed the political landscape in the province of North Kivu. Hundreds of rebel fighters have fled into Rwanda and Uganda, while citizens of the town of Rutshuru were treated to the sight of the UN's local head of mission - a usually sombre German diplomat - celebrating the victory by dancing in the streets. A formal peace agreement with the Congolese authorities is expected shortly, while billboards celebrating the government's victory are already appearing across Kinshasa.
BMI believes that the government's success in defeating the rebels marks an important turning point in North Kivu's long-running conflict, signifying that recent reforms to both the Congolese army and to the UN forces in the country may allow Kinshasa to impose tighter political control over the chaotic region. Even so, we stress that a long-term solution to persistent instability in the region would require significant political reform, as well as a political settlement with Rwanda.
|Pushing Them Out|
|DRC - Government And UN Offensive|