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Vol 49 No 23

Published 14th November 2008


Congo-Kinshasa

The man who says no

Rebel leader Laurent Nkunda likes to compare his relentless campaign against the Kinshasa government with the military resistance of General Charles de Gaulle, 'the man who said no'. Taking the parallels further, Nkunda has announced the formation of a provisional government in eastern Congo and threatens to march on the Kabila government. Without substantial back-up for the UN peacekeepers and a turnaround by the government forces, Nkunda's wild ambitions will face few obstacles.

The strategic blunders of both the Kinshasa government and the Kivu rebels leave Congo's government facing military defeat, the rebels facing political isolation and the people of Kivu facing disaster. Moreover, proposals for international intervention seem likely to stiffen the resolve of the rebels and of the embattled Rwandan government, which is their natural ally.

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