Thursday, 26 February 2009

Rwanda pulls out of the Congo

The media here is full of triumphalist news about the Rwandan army coming home from Congo after sorting out the Interahamwe militias. Reports from the Congo, however, suggest that many of the rebels have melted into the jungle while the Rwandan and Congolese armies rampaged around, and are returning to the areas they controlled now that the armies have left. They're taking revenge on the local populations, especially, of course, the local women, and it is feared that the rebel problem has only been reduced and not solved. Meanwhile Rwanda is orchestrating a massive campaign to welcome the troops as conquering heroes.

The following pictures are from today's BBC Africa website.

After the soldiers have passed there are always dozens of newly orphaned children to be looked after.

A carefully staged shot for local consumption. The rwandan women welcoming their conquering heroes.

The deciding factor in this conflist was astute use of helicopter gunships. These Rwandan ones practise most days over the countryside around Kigali; they're based at the main international airport and clatter over our VSO programme office day after day.

Rwanda troops (front) and Congolese troops (rear) marching through Goma in a ceremonial parade to mark the successful completion of the campaign...... for now!

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