Museveni’s dilemma as ex-rebel leader Makenga now runs into his arms
Saturday November 9 2013
The surrender of the M23 rebel leader, General Sultani Makenga leaves President Museveni with a major headache: To hand over the rebel leader to ICC over crimes against humanity or hold him for a peace deal. TEA Graphic
The decision by the rebels to surrender to Kampala effectively makes it President Museveni’s responsibility to either deliver a deal that saves their neck or stand between them and the UN.
Should he not hand over Gen Makenga, said Paul Omach, a senior lecturer in international relations at Makerere University, President Museveni is likely to reinforce allegations that the UN’s Group of Experts on DRC made last year — that Kampala and Kigali had backed the rebellion, charges both countries have denied.
Yet, should the President, indeed, comply and turn the former rebel chief in, it will leave the Ugandan leader exposed to M23 and its sympathisers, who will feel betrayed that he sowed the seeds that led to the group’s eventual demise when he asked them to leave Goma, which they had captured on November 20 last year.
Victory over the M23 rebels is emboldening the United Nations to take the same aggressive approach against other forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo — and possibly to export the model of combative UN intervention to other conflicts in Africa.