Casualties of M23

With M23 crushed on the field of battle and Bosco Ntaganda awaiting trial, what remains of Paul Kagame’s latest assault on the Congo are the dead and raped. Overwhelmingly, this is the native population of the Kivu provinces, but it also includes those from Rwanda and Uganda foolish enough, or unfortunate enough, to enlist (or be enlisted) in M23, many of them Bagogwe Tutsi.

A dead M23 soldier.

More M23 casualties.

How many of these dead were child soldiers, kidnapped into battle by M23? As we know:

While M23 denies recruiting children, between January and April 2013, CPS identified 33 boys who deserted from M23, aged between 15 and 17 (see annex 68). Out of the 33, 11 had been recruited in Rwanda. In addition, the Group interviewed nine M23 deserters who confirmed that some children had escaped and returned directly to their families without surrendering to authorities, confirming that there are undocumented cases of child soldier desertions. According to these sources, this practice has been more common among deserters who had been recruited in Rwanda and who seek to directly return home.

The Group also interviewed seven adult former combatants who had been recruited in Rwanda; these men stated that recruiters had promised them and some children “lucrative jobs in Congo”, but instead they were delivered to M23. These sources also disclosed that they had been recruited in Rwanda’s Nkamira Refugee Camp and the villages of Mizingo, Bigogwe, Byumba, and Nkuri. They added that while training in Rumangabo they had met other recruits who came from Kitotoma, Gitega, Musanze (Ruhengeri), Kichumbi, Rukomo and Gisenyi town in Rwanda. The Group also interviewed nine M23 deserters and 24 civilians in Kiwanja, Kanyaruchinya, Rutshuru town and Bunagana who also confirmed cases of forced recruitment of children in their communities.

Captured M23 terrorists. 

The effects of this latest wave of evil do not fall proportionally on those responsible for it, as they pretend along with Paul Kagame that all is well, at least when in the public eye.

Rucyahana playing Kwicazwa ku gatebe

Meanwhile, the FARDC inspects this artillery piece below, which looks like it could be a M1943 (ZiS-2) from Rwanda, to venture a guess. I’m sure the Group of Experts will have a lot to talk about in their next report.

Where did M23 get this Howitzer?

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