There is not much news from North Kivu these days, which is why the press has apparently tired of issuing the same reports on displacement, obscure rebel politics and rape. Which is why I have this blog.
Governor Paluku (who is also trying to weather an impeachment battle) visited Kitchanga, the capital of the ex-CNDP territory, last week with a delegation of UN officials and humanitarian organizations. They saw the many Tutsi returnees from Rwanda, none of whom were able to show any proof that they had been refugees in Rwanda, which only fueled suspicions that they might not be Congolese. The delegation also witnessed the control the CNDP still has over this area when a Hutu Chef de Poste was arrested by his superior for having spoken with the UN.
Meanwhile, in Goma, the new CNDP president Philippe Gafishi has begun hinting that he will not dismantle the parallel administration the CNDP runs in much of Masisi territory until the CNDP cadres are given official appointments in the Congolese administration. This came as a shock to diplomats, who had been promised by the CNDP that once money had been disbursed for the CNDP war wounded – which is happening now – they would take down the roadblocks, taxes and other administrative facilities in the highlands of Masisi.
Nonetheless, the double taxation did come to an end in Kanyabayonga, a large city on the edge of CNDP territory where a CNDP-appointed administrator had set up a parallel administration in December 2009.
Finally, 475 Mai-Mai KifuaFua soldiers are beginning to be registered for demobilization in Walikale town. Apparently their commanders are pressuring them not to opt for demobilization, so they can be integrated into the national army – that will help the officers bargain for higher ranks. It is a bit of an open question how many of them are really soldiers, though. Only one of them turned in a weapon…