(photo: Col Innocent Zimulinda)
Sources in Kibumba, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo(DRC) and in Gisenyi, Rwanda inform AfroAmerica Network that the much publicized fightings among General Makenga’s and General Jean Bosco Ntaganda’s M23 factions at the end of this week never happened.
“The fightings simply never happened and we didn’t flee. It is a deception. We were just told to cross the border into Rwanda,” one Rwandan Defense Forces commander who was sent into DRC to support the M23 rebels confided to AfroAmerica Network.
The accounts were confirmed by sources with General Sultani Makenga’s faction, troops who defected from General Ntaganda’s faction and joined General Sultani Makenga and Rwandan rebels based near the positions recently occupied by General Ntaganda’s faction.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame Gave the Order to Return to Rwanda
“Earlier this week, Rwandan Defense Forces Commander General Emmanuel Ruvusha, who was our true operational commander (see here our article Kinshasa: How Rwandan Defense Forces Conquered Goma and M23 Claimed Victory of November 25, 2012 held a meeting with unit commanders and told them that Rwandan President General Paul Kagame and Rwandan Minister of Defense General Kabarebe had ordered all the RDF troops who were sent to support M23 rebels to return to Rwanda. He then told those who had ever been integrated FARDC that they had a choice, either to join General Makenga, or to return to Rwanda as a refugees. Most, around 600 troops including me, made a decision to join General Makenga, and the rest followed RDF troops to Rwanda, ” a commander who has joined General Makenga told AfroAmerica Network.
Asked about the 159 casualties on General Bosco Ntaganda’s side and 50 on General Makenga’s side as claimed by the Rwandan Government and media in Rwanda, the source said:
“How can you have casualties without fighting? Also, even if there were fighting, such high number would mean a large scale war with vestiges that no one can hide. It is absurd. The claimed fightings are just a deception..”
AfroAmerica Network was also able to contact some Congolese civilians from Kibumba who were returning to their homes after a few days spent hiding in the forests or across the border in Rwanda.
“We heard heavy shooting and fled. When the shooting stopped and saw Rwandan troops returning to their country, we came back, ” the Congolese civilians said.
The heavy shootings were a hoax
AfroAmerica asked both the RDF source in Gisenyi and the M23 Rebel commander who joined Makenga to explain the heavy shooting mentionned by the Congolese civilians in Kibungo.
“It was all a show. General Emmanual Ruvusha asked us to shoot in the air with heavy and small weapons to give impression to both MONUSCO [NDLR: The UN Mission in DRC] and the Congolese civilians that we were under attack. Then we could justify the troops movements and the flight of Pastor Runiga and his cabinet to Rwanda, ” the two sources concurred.
Sources within Rwandan rebels based in Eastern DRC have also confirmed the fact that there were no fightings among the two M23 rebels factions.
“We are now occupying some of the positions abandoned by M23 rebels when they went back to Rwanda. We have been observing these positions because they were adjacent to ours, close to the Virunga National Park. We can confirm that there were no attacks from General Makenga’s faction, no fighting, no casualties,” the sources within Rwandan rebels told AfroAmerica Network.
The Elusive General Bosco Ntaganda
Asked about the whereabouts of General Ntaganda, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide and has a $5 millions bounty over his head, all the sources said that they could not know for sure where he currently is, but they were almost sure that he crossed the border into Rwanda, well before other troops.
“If we held him, everybody would have known by now. We could have given him the sentence he deserves, ” sources within Rwandan rebels said.
“General Bosco Ntaganda, Colonel Innocent Zimulinda, General Baudouin Ngaruye, Colonel Innocent Kaina, and others had become a hot potato for General Paul Kagame to handle. The pressure from the International Community has become too great to ignore. This masquerade was needed to appease the International Community. The Rwandan Government will from now on say that General Bosco Ntaganda has disappeared, Colonel Innocent Zimulinda has succumbed to or still recovering from his claimed injuries, with the hope that the International Community will turn a blind eye, and usually, with time, it does,” a source with the Rwandan Government told AfroAmerica Network.
According to sources within the Rwandan rebels groups, known as FDLR-FOCA, just before the meeting held by Emmanual Ruvusha with M23 unit commanders, General Bosco Ntaganda sent a team of his trusted men to contact Rwandan rebels commanders and offered US $ 150,000 to allow him to cross FDLR-FOCA positions. He wanted to establish his new headquarters in the area known as Gatoyi. The Rwandan rebels refused the offer, and instead asked that he surrendered to them.
Sources within General Ntaganda’s faction confirmed that the negotiations really happened, but that it was also a ploy. The intention was, it the negotiations had succeeded, to let people believe that General Ntaganda is in Gatoyi, when he is really inside Rwanda.
Whether General Bosco Ntaganda has crossed the border into Rwanda or is still inside DRC remains a mystery. A mystery that may benefit the Rwandan Government in the short term, but may not put to rest the pressure from the International Community in the long run.
What is sure is that the claimed fighting among the two M23 congolese rebel factions and the casualties reported in media around the World never happened. The reported fightings are another tragic hoax among many in Eastern DRC, concocted by General Paul Kagame and Rwandan Defense Forces military leaders in Kigali, Rwanda.