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The CNDP negotiate with a new man at their helm

The CNDP are currently negotiating their participation in the national government, according to Radio Okapi, which could mark a step towards cementing the political deal the CNDP had signed in March 2009 – they recently wrote a letter to the Kinshasa government complaining that none of the promises contained in that deal had been implemented. It’s actually a fairly comprehensive list of demands, including positions for their cadres in the administration, the integration of the CNDP police force, the creation of local reconciliation committees and the holding of a tripartite meeting between Rwanda-DRC-UNHCR for the return of refugees (most of whom are Tutsi) from Rwanda.

It is, however, unlikely that even if the CNDP get what they want, their soldiers will be completely integrated into the national army. The incentives for them to maintain a parallel militia is too great, and even if they get positions and guarantees, these are not worth much given how unreliable the Congolese government is.

In the meantime, here is some more information about the CNDP’s new president, Philippe Gafishi:

He was born in 1966 in Mema, Masisi and is a member of the Gogwe clan of the Tutsi. He got his bachelor’s degree in statistics in Lubumbashi and then went on to study in Yaounde, Cameroon. He has lectured in statistics at universities in Kigali and Goma, and has served as a statistician for several ministries in Rwanda. He has also served as a consultant for several UN agencies and international aid groups. He has not been involved in politics until now and was not a member of either the AFDL or RCD rebellions. He does have close family ties to politicians, however: His brother is Mpumuro, the former bourgomestre of Mutara in Rwanda and the former editor of the RPF radio station. Gafishi’s brother-in-law is Colonel Wilson Nsengiyumva, a CNDP officer close to Bosco Ntaganda

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