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US bounty could foment M23 splits

The US government recently placed a bounty on the head of General Bosco Ntaganda, an influential figure within the M23, potentially deepening splits within the young rebellion.   The statement by the White House to renew the Reward for Justice program, made on January 15, flew under the radar. In the statement, President Obama did not mention any individuals, but said “This includes individuals such as Joseph Kony and other leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), as well as certain commanders of M23 and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).” According to officials in the State Department, this includes a $5 million reward for Bosco Ntaganda, FDLR commander Sylvestre Mudacumura, and the three top LRA commanders.   There have long been splits within the M23, between the pro-Bosco wing, led by “General” Baudouin Ngaruye, and the pro-Nkunda wing, led by “General” Sultani Makenga, respectively called the Kimbelembele and the Kifuafua. The reward on Bosco’s head could intensify this discord, although the fact that the Congolese army considers both Makenga and Bosco as war criminals could forge cohesion, especially if fighting kicks off again.

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