This was a very interesting talk, which touched on the topics of the presence of the FDLR in the Kivu region, the RPF and accusations of it’s continued support to the M23 and also Rwanda’s involvement in the conflict in Kivu. The DRC conflict in the Kivus is not different from other conflicts that have occurred in countries like Sierra Leone, Chad, Ivory Coast and many others. Although the conflict foundational causes may be different whatsoever, I believe that any conflict can be resolved. Until outside countries have stopped facilitating this looting and exploitation of minerals from the DRC through torture and mistreatment of the Congolese people in the Kivus, this war will not end. At the lecture it was interesting to learn how Rwanda and neighboring countries, especially Uganda, paved way for their military presence in the DRC to be effective. Rwanda having the excuse of protecting its citizens from the threats posed by the FDLR after the 1994 genocide probably had arguably the easiest “entry” into the Kivu region. The conflict in the Kivu has served as a means to economically advance the countries involved in the conflict at the expense of 5.4 million deaths of the Congolese. Soon or later, if this conflict is not resolved, it won’t be only Rwanda, Uganda and neighboring countries involved in having some form of presence in the DRC but other beneficiaries will join in for whatever reasons.
I recently read an article from BBC that China had signed a contract with the DRC government which stated that China would give to the DRC $ 5 billion and in return China would own some of the diamond mines and set up companies to extract the diamond. Such a grant with strings attached to it, is what is going to keep this foreign presence in the DRC going and sooner or later the government will not only have no control of the Kivus but a possibility of much of the country ending up in the “outside hands”. Until the DRC government has decided to own the problem and seek ways to resolve it, DRC will go into history as a country once wealthy but was devastated over time. Although conflict resolution seems to be a difficult task, it is possible to carry out and successfully achieve once you own the problem in the first place. Unless the DRC government has come to realize that they own the problem and should not rely on any one to solve it for them, then the conflict will carry on and it might reach a point where it will be too late to be able to bring this mineral rich country back into the prosperous country that it used to be.