The politics of the fait accompli

From Congo Siasa Tue Nov 20 2012, 04:48:00

As the M23 engages in urban warfare in Goma (the latest news is that they have taken the town) one wonders what their strategy could be. While unfolding of the M23 rebellion has involved a lot of shooting from the hip--from all sides, including Kigali, the M23, and Kinshasa--one would imagine that by now, a strategy would have coalesced. So what is it?

In the past, I have speculated that it will be difficult for the M23 to conquer and hold territory, mostly due to their lack of manpower, which started off at around 400-700 and is probably around 1,500-2,500 now. They have been able to rely on Rwandan (and, to a lesser degree, Ugandan) firepower for operations close to the border (in particular Bunagana and Rutshuru, allegedly also this recent offensive), the farther into the interior they get, they harder it will be to mask outside involvement.

Alliances with other groups­­--Sheka, Raia Mutomboki, FDC, etc.--have acted as force multipliers, but have been very fickle, as the surrender of Col Albert Kahasha last week proved. From this perspective, the M23 strategy could well be more to nettle the government, underscore its ineptitude, and hope that it will collapse from within.

However, the recent offensive on Goma has made me consider another, bolder alternative. If the rebels take Goma, thereby humiliating the UN and the Congolese army, they will present the international community with a fait accompli. Yes, it will shine a sharp light on Rwandan involvement, but Kigali has been undeterred by donor pressure thus far, and has been emboldened by its seat on the Security Council. Also, as the looting by the Congolese army and their distribution of weapons to youths in Goma has shown, the battle for Goma is as much of a PR disaster for Kinshasa as for Kigali.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Africa:   Technology Will Make Lecturers Redundant - but Only If They Let It (analysis)
The Conversation
9 February 2016

A teacher walks into a classroom and begins a lesson. As she speaks, the audio is translated in real time into a variety of languages that students have pre-selected, so each can hear the lecturer's ... [read more]

Central African Republic:   Tight Security for Presidential Run-Off (news)
Deutsche Welle
14 February 2016

The election for a new president is seen as crucial to ending years of sectarian violence that has pitted Muslims against Christians. Two former prime ministers are battling it out for the top job. [read more]

South Africa:   We Have Made the Economy an Apex Priority - Zuma (news)
News24Wire
13 February 2016

South Africa's economy is government's main priority due to the current global economic climate, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday. [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!


Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...