Sunday, March 24, 2013

Congo Siasa: The Bosco surrender: more questions than answers

Bosco Ntaganda In Custody At Icc
In this Jan. 16, 2009 file photo, Bosco Ntaganda, seated center, holds a press conference with Congo Interior Minister Celestine Mboyo, right, in Goma, Congo, as rebel leader Ntaganda agreed to work with the Congolese government. (AP Photo/T.J. Kirkpatrick, File)

There has been a lot of conjecture and speculation surrounding Bosco's "surrender" to the US embassy on Tuesday morning. In recent weeks, various parties to the conflict have been purposely spreading false information, which has made it difficult to parse the facts. Here are my own thoughts on some of these points.

Why did Bosco surrender?

His time was up. On February 24, an internal battle had broken out among the M23, pitting Bosco's wing against that of Sultani Makenga (for more information about Bosco's career and the divisions within the M23 see the Usalama Project's briefing here). While Bosco led a large group of soldiers––at least 500 were reported to have crossed the border on 14 March––he was short on ammunition. After weeks of fighting, he decided to run.

The larger and perhaps more important question is: Why did the M23 implode? Divisions existed since the group's creation in April 2012, driven by ethnic considerations (Bosco is from the Gogwe sub-ethnic group, many of Makenga's officers are Banyajomba), historical differences (Makenga was close to Laurent Nkunda, whom Bosco replaced in January 2009), and struggles over money and power (each carried out promotions behind the other's back and set up separate tax structures)...............

FULL ARTICLE: Congo Siasa: The Bosco surrender: more questions than answers

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