Monitor: All the News of the World: Response to the current instability in Congo

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"THE NEW force which is angling to take over Kinshasa may be even weaker than Kabila's `army' and may well be compelled to convey complete autonomy on the various provinces. This autonomy would be extremely convenient for the neighbouring countries who would perhaps develop economic, cultural and, indeed, political links with the nearby regions of Congo. If the political and military scenarios deteriorate yet further, it is important that we should insist upon the only given which really matters: that the Congolese people may yet express their own point of view and chose their own leaders within a democratic political system."

Le Soir, Brussels

"THE CURRENT successes of the anti-Kabila operation are essentially due to the military know-how of the Tutsi and Rwandan officers. A success which is still without obvious compensation. In the meantime Kabila is trying to find a political and popular base to shore up his power.

But in order to effect this he is using the most pernicious of methods to stir up xenophobia and ethnic division; he is encouraging the hunting down of Tutsis and recruiting children in order to put them on the road to becoming professional soldiers."

Le Monde, France

"THE ALTERNATIVE to military involvement is not non-involvement, but a strong political initiative. Political initiative needs to be two-pronged - one directed at the interventionist powers and the other at the government of Kabila. The interventionist powers need to be discouraged by strong peer pressure. The likely consequences of foreign military adventures by small and resource-poor neighbours need to be underlined. The Kabila government in Kinshasa needs to be reminded that its real weakness is political, not military. It needs to be told plainly that the quid pro quo of regional political support must be internal political reform. That means recognising multiple centres of political power within Congo. It is time to recognise that political reform cannot be brought about by military intervention, and turn a crisis that looks like it could fragment Congo into an opportunity for political reform."

Mail & Guardian, S Africa