La Rdc pacifiée peut être le moteur du développement
de la Région des Grands Lacs »
de Joseph Kabila au Financial Times, 24 juin 2004
boursier londonien The Financial Times a publié une longue et exclusive
interview lui accordée par le Président de la RDC, le Général-Major
Joseph Kabila. La traduction de cette interview, réalisée
par Antoine Lokongo, a été publiée sur le site de
digitalcongo.net. Vous pouvez consultez cette traduction en
Nous publions ci-dessous le texte en Anglais.
Times June 23 2004 18:12
our Nairobi correspondent and David Lewis of Reuters news agency speak
with President Kabila, as a fresh insurgency in the east of the Democratic
Republic of Congo threatens to derail the country's year-old peace process.
Here are edited highlights.
question everyone is asking themselves is whether the transitional power-sharing
government can survive this current crisis?
JK: The transition has survived for the last 12 months. Of course
this is one of the worst situations we have encountered during those 12
months. But since the beginning I have stated that it was not going to
be a honeymoon. We were bound to encounter obstacles. The most important
thing is how we deal with those obstacles. We are either going to avoid
them or we are going to bulldoze them.
the moment it looks like you've chosen to bulldoze them.
JK: Well it could be a bulldozing path. But whatever the solution,
the important thing is that the transition must stay in place and that
we attain the objectives we set.
the power sharing agreements of Congo's peace accords need to be adjusted
or renegotiated in order for them to withstand this crisis?
JK: It took us three years to negotiate what we have put in place.
Of course, when we were negotiating, the objectives were to find a solution
to a given problem. That given problem was the division of the Congo into
two or three areas. The solution was to bring everybody together, so it
was a power sharing agreement that was signed. Nobody thought that these
institutions could be perfect institutions. But the solution is not to
play around with the structures that we have. The solution is to give
more speed to the structures that we have, to make it such that politicians
within these structures are more determined to achieve their goals.
there seem to be groups ranged on all sides, both inside Congo and outside,
who want to derail the process?
JK: It was to be expected. In this part of the transition, there
will be losers and there will be winners. Let it not be that the winners
take all. That's not what we want. We were bound to encounter people that
were going to be against the transitional institutions- that was the test.
There were people who did not want to sign (up for peace), but those are
elements that I want to minimise.
they not getting the upper hand as we speak?
JK: No, not at all. They can never get the upper hand. I believe
that 99% of the Congolese people want the institutions to succeed. By
the success of the institutions, I mean the organisation of elections
(due in 2005). That one per cent we can crush them.
are people in the east of the country, in Goma, who have refused to swear
allegiance to Kinshasa. Do they constitute part of the 1 per cent?
JK: I wouldn't like to point to Goma in particular. I'd like
to point at individuals. There are of course individuals who would like
to go back to the good old days when they were the masters, where the
confusion that was being entertained allowed them to profit as individuals
and not necessarily as a people. Those elements are there.
you believe that the current crisis (sparked when renegade ethnic Tutsi
commander Gen Nkunda occupied the eastern town of Bukavu) has been partly
orchestrated by Rwanda, across the border?
JK: The government has clearly stated from day one that the attacks
on Bukavu were not only an orchestration from Rwanda but those attacks
were assisted militarily by Rwanda. These are hard facts and these are
reports that not only come from the population. They also come from the
you think at this stage that a war with Gen Nkunda and possibly with Rwanda,
JK: We have never wanted to fight a war with Rwanda. It's not
in our interests. It's not in the interests of our people. It's not in
the interests of the region. With Nkunda, the government has stated clearly
that either he surrenders his arms and himself so that he goes to a military
tribunal, or we will deal with him militarily. If dealing with Nkunda
militarily means dealing militarily with Rwanda, that's something else.
has it been so difficult for Congo to deal with the Rwandan Hutu militia
threat in the east of the country? (The Hutu
and " interahamwe" militia based in eastern Congo, some of whom
participated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and that have served as Rwanda's
principle justification for the invasion of Congo in 1998 )
JK: Well, lets go back to the signing of the agreement in Pretoria.
Since then, and these are figures from the UN, I believe that over 15,000
of these ex FAR have been repatriated to Rwanda. Those efforts were ongoing
until Mutebusi (another insurgent) started his adventures and until Nkunda
started his adventures. Our commitment to disarming these people and their
eventual repatriation under UN auspices is still the principle that we
intend to respect. But let's look at the reality. How do you go after
the Interahamwe when you have Nkunda and Mutebusi making trouble? One
of the conditions for us to take care of the ex FAR or any of these threats
is that the situation in Bukavu, or South Kivu must be calm.
I have heard reports of the Congo sending 10,000 men to the east to fight
Rwanda. No, we are sending 10,000 men to the east to retake control of
areas like Kamanyola (scene of fighting) yesterday and eventually resolve
the situation with Nkunda. Later these troops will stay in the area to
deal with the threat of ex FAR (Forces Armees Rwandaises) and any other
armed groups in the area.
are reports that pro government forces are now mobilising these Rwandan
Hutu militia (as allies)?
JK: It's not in our interests to deal with ex FAR or any other
groups. The Congo has 60m inhabitants. Nobody is going to tell me that
the Congolese people cannot organise themselves, and put in place an army
to deal with a situation and that we have to go around looking for 1,000,
or 3,000 ex FAR. That's truly an insult We want to get our hands on them
to send them back to their country of origin. So, if there have been any
contact, it could have been in that sense. Of course now the situation
is very clear. Now that we have UN observers on the ground, its now not
only going to be our word against that of Rwanda, we've got a neutral
partner in MONUC (the UN mission to Congo).
you disappointed in the way MONUC has performed. Is it able to do its
JK: It depends on how you look at the situation. I believe that
the events of the past three or four weeks have been quite important in
raising the awareness of MONUC. It has woken them up to realise that the
situation was as serious as we were always telling them. When we were
saying there were going to be incursions (from Rwanda), that the situation
wasn't stable, everybody thought these were just Congolese, panicking.
But things have happened and MONUC is aware that the expectations of the
people of Congo were not met and that in the future they have to meet
those expectations. In order for them to do that, MONUC might need more
men on the ground, more equipment, more material, more intelligence info
and clear priorities on how they have to operate . Because without clear
objectives, they will be doing 100 things at the same time: they will
be purifying water, they will be building roads instead of having clear
people say the same thing about the presidency. That your objectives have
been lost and, as a result, you and your government, have lost the confidence
of the people?
JK: I don't believe that we have really lost the confidence of
the people. I believe that we have made quite a number of mistakes over
the last year and we have to learn from those mistakes. And I believe
that we have the capacity to do much better. But we have not lost focus
on our objectives. As far as I am concerned, the objectives are four total
reunification, the pacification of the country, reconciliation and, of
Now if we go into the details of the reunification I believe that 90 percent
of the country has been reunified. Today you can go to Goma come back
to Kinshasa to Kindu to Gbadolite and to everywhere else. So the country
is reunified administratively with the governors and vice governors in
place, with the police force that is under restructuring with the programme
for the integration of the army adopted and is under way. So slowly but
surely we are moving forward. As far as pacification is concerned we have
got three major hotspots. Ituri is one of those. Another hotspot is the
two Kivus (eastern provinces). The other hotspot is north of KatangaOur
plan has always been to deal with these hotspots one by one.
people say another hotspot is in your own entourage? That the presidency
is threatened from within.
JK: I personally don't believe so. We have had one incident which
should not have happened (an alleged coup attempt on June 11th) and steps
are under way in order to prevent such an incident happening again.
more heads going to roll?
JK: I wouldn't talk of heads rolling. I would talk of restructuring.
We have to restructure. My intentions are to make tomorrow a better day.
If that means that people should be changed, if that means people should
be made more responsible, then that's exactly what is going to happen.
talked about neighbouring countries meddling in Congo's affairs. Is there
a need for neighbouring countries to support the peace process more actively?
JK: More actively in a positive sense yes. Some of them are supporting
the process more actively in a very negative sense. After all this is
an African process. After all this is an example for the continent. If
we succeed, then very many other African countries can succeed. I am not
only talking of the Congo I am talking of Cote d'Ivoire, I am talking
of Somalia, I am talking of Darfur. The success of this particular process
will definitely be a success for the whole region. All our neighbours
have a stake in what is happening today. They all have to gain just like
the Congolese people have to gain from this particular project.
you have their support militarily in this tense period. There is talk
of Tanzanian troops coming in to assist, that the Angolans are waiting
in the sidelines?
JK: For the time being those are just rumours. There are so many
rumours in this country. Sometimes I just close my ears. For the time
being no. But of course there are quite a lot of initiatives as far as
the support of the integration process of the army is concerned. We signed
an agreement recently with South Africa supporting that process. We will
sign in the coming days an agreement with Angola in the same sense. We
have signed an agreement with the Belgians. We will be signing with other
countries who are ready to assist in so far as the reintegration of the
army is concerned and the retraining of our army. For the time being informations
about the Tanzanians being here is one big lie.
there not signs that the crisis is becoming regionalized again? Given
that Rwanda has also moved troops towards its border.
JK: We should not arrive at a situation like we had in 1998 (when
7 African armies were sucked into Congo's war). That's not our intentions.
Everybody has a stake in what happens in the Congo and they want to see
peace in the Congo.
you think Rwanda wants to see peace in the Congo?
JK: I think that question would be better answered by President
Kagame who I will be meeting in a few days time. I would want to believe
that Rwanda also wants peace.
are you going to tell President Kagame?
JK: What is he going to tell me? That is the question. Because
the situation is just as clear as I have put it on the table. I want everybody
to know that the Congo since independence has been undergoing very hard
times. We thought in 1997 that we had seen the worst, but 1998 proved
that wrong. 2001 we started this very long process with very humble objectives
and we want to reach the final stage: elections.
I believe these are noble objectives that the whole world should support.
Our intentions will always be to live in peace with our 9 neighbours.
Our intention will always to be the source of development in the Great
Lakes region and the Congo has the capacity to be that, it has the resources
to do that. What has always been lacking has been the peace, and the direction.
Currently we have got the direction. We are now looking for the peace
and the contribution of each and everyone is very much welcome