General Laurent Nkunda, Leader of the Tutsi rebel has called for negotiations with the government of DR Congo, otherwise he would attack Kinshasa, the country’s capital, and overthrow the government of President Joseph Kabila, reports claim.
Gen Nkunda who confirmed to the BBC that the only way to resolve the current crisis in Congo was through negotiation has accused the government of Joseph Kabila of working against the Tutsi population.
Reports claim however that the Democratic Republic of Congo government has rejected calls for talks with the rebel leader whose forces now control eastern areas.
Gen Nkunda who commands 6,000 Tutsi rebels in the east, where some 250,000 people have been displaced by recent fighting has sworn to over throw the government of incumbent President Kabila but is believed that his small force could not really threaten the capital, Kinshasa.
This threat could, however, only be a means or reinforcing Gen Nkunda’s political position, raising stakes at an extremely tense time, when other African countries are also threatening to intervene on the side of the elected Congolese government.
Gen Nkunda has always said he is fighting to protect his Tutsi community from attacks by Rwandan Hutu rebels, who fled to DR Congo after Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. He also added that his forces are respecting a ceasefire, although they still surround the city of Goma, which is protected by UN peacekeepers.
In the most recent clashes, Gen Nkunda’s forces have taken a series of towns and villages near Goma, the capital of DR Congo’s North Kivu province.
DR Congo’s ambassador to the United Nations said Gen Nkunda should be in jail for war crimes.