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CNDP, Tshisekedi and mining in the Kivus

News round-up:

  • The CNDP officially announced that it was joining the AMP ruling coalition. Critics suggest that this is a way for the AMP to secure votes in the territory occupied by CNDP troops – anywhere between 300,000 to a million people live in and around CNDP-controlled areas in the Kivus. Nonetheless, it seems strange to forge an alliance with an armed group that is so unpopular.
  • The Rwandan government is looking forward to an increase in mineral  exports due to the ban on exports from the Kivus, according to the mining minister. Hmmm…I wonder how that works? Perhaps because minerals from the Congo are smuggled into Rwanda and then exported? The minister hinted at that: “But we know that investors can get the minerals they were getting from Congo here in Rwanda.” Minerals make up 30% of exports from Rwanda; while the country has its own tantalum and tin mines, a fair share of the exports are suspected to be from the Kivus.
  • Tshisekedi said that dissidents from his party, including former leaders such as Maitre Mukendi wa Mulumba and Francoi-Xavier Beltchika, can join the party again – but they have to do it from the bottom up, through participation in local UDPS cells. This was seen as another way of telling them they are free to leave the party.
  • Vital Kamerhe just finished his much-anticipated announcement at the GB complex in Kinshasa – instead of announcing the members of his party, he just made official his resignation from the PPRD.
  • Rwandan dissidents Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa and Col. Patrick Karegeya, along with Theogene Rudasingwa and Gerald Gahima, launched the Rwandan National Congress, an umbrella group under which they hope to organize against the ruling RPF party. Some critics suggest that they have failed to rally more heavyweights to their cause, as the names of some signatories on the document are not well known. You can read it here.
  • Nzanga Mobutu announced that he would be running for the presidency in 2011. He was 4th in the 2006 elections with only a few percent of the national vote.
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