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Update on Masisi

A reader posted this comment in response to my posting on the CNDP parallel administration in Masisi:

I just came back from Masisi and what you write is true. CNDP maintains a parallel administration based in Mushaki. I witnessed a meeting between the official administrateur adjoint of the Masisi territory and the CNDP’s administrateur adjoint, in which the latter corrected his counterpart when he introduced himself as “administrateur du Masisi”. “Masisi centre” said the CNDP man. “Masisi”, repeated the other one. It doesn’t look like there’s any dispute going on between the CNDP administration and Bosco.
Thanks to the “integration”, CNDP has extended its military presence to Masisi areas it didn’t control yet, through the nomination of several CNDP (tutsi) officers as FARDC local commanders. It facilitates the recruitment of children, which appears to be pretty intense in the current weeks.
A clash between “ex-CNDP” and FARDC soldiers (which are supposed to work hand in hand) occurred last Thursday. An “ex-CNDP” soldier was stopped by two FARDC military policemen in Bihambwe (between Mushaki and Masisi centre). He had no order of mission but refused to be arrested and threatened the MPs, who shot him dead. One of the shooters was then lynched by the tutsi population, and the tension escalated between the communities. Monuc organized on Friday a public meeting in Bihambwe with CNDP colonel Baudouin Ngaruye, the local FARDC commander, in the aim of calming down people. It was an “incident between soldiers”, “people should preserve peace”.
The influx of thousands of people coming from Rwanda is a reality, particularly in the area of Kirolirwe. Added to the return of IDPs, it creates tensions with local inhabitants, especially cultivators whose lands are destroyed by cows !
CNDP is reproaching the government for not respecting its commitments. Kinshasa and provincial government are denying there’s any problem, Monuc is petrified by its ambiguous mission (protecting civilians and supporting those who sometimes massacre civilians). I am convinced that the day Kimia II is over, or even before, CNDP or CNDP-like FLEC takes back its autonomy.

The tooth fairy also gave me MONUC’s version of events (very similar):

In the afternoon of 03 December, a violent incident with possible interethnic and political impact occurred at Bihambwe (15 km of Mushake) but was calmed down by MONUC forces. Reportedly, two soldiers of FARDC/Military Police tried to arrest another soldier of the FARDC (ex- CNDP) at Bihambwe for reasons still unknown. According to some sources, the latter tried to evade arrest and attempted to hurl a grenade on the Military Police soldier, which however exploded in his hand, killing both of them. Other sources suggested that the ex-CNDP soldier refused to show his identification papers at a check post and was shot dead by the Military Police soldiers, who reportedly later also shot himself when a mob surrounded him. Yet other sources reported that he was killed by the angry mob. A larger crowd gathered on the spot trying to get hold of another FARDC Military Police, who hid in a nearby house, and the mob erected road blocks to prevent arrival of FARDC reinforcements. A MONUC team, escorted by military, which was on a fact finding mission in the area got stuck and was pelted with stones before its extrication to the TOB at Osso Farm (02 km of Bihambwe). Finally, MONUC and FARDC military commanders along with Quick Reaction Forces were sent to the location and interacted all night long with locals to diffuse the tension. The situation went back to normal in the morning of 04 December, but remains volatile in all areas around Masisi (90 km NW of Goma).

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