World View: United Nations Celebrates M23 Rebel Militia Defeat in Congo

This morning's key headlines from

  • United Nations celebrates M23 rebel militia defeat in Congo
  • New Greece bailout crisis approaching over $2.7 billion deficit
  • How do you entertain a bored pharaoh?

United Nations celebrates M23 rebel militia defeat in Congo

Residents cheer as Congolese soldiers pass through after defeating M23 rebels (AP)
Residents cheer as Congolese soldiers pass through after defeating M23 rebels (AP)

United Nations and African officials are celebrating the victory by the army of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC or DR Congo) over the M23 militia and rebel group in eastern DRC. Officials are hopeful that this will finally bring peace to eastern DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda for the first time since the end of the horrific Rwandan genocide of 1994. 

In 1994, there were two ethnic groups in Rwanda -- the Hutus and the Tutsis. They had lived together for decades, had intermarried, had their kids play games with each other, and so forth. Then one day, a Hutu leader announced over the radio, "Cut down the tall trees." The radio announcement, which was heard all over the country, was some sort of visceral signal. On cue, the Hutus erupted in violence, picking up machetes, murdering, dismembering, and raping the Tutsis. Close to a million Tutsis were tortured, raped, and murdered in a three month period. The "tall trees" were the Tutsis, who are slightly taller than the Hutus. 

In the generational Recovery era that followed this crisis civil war, the Tutsis took control of Rwanda's government, and many Hutus fled to border regions in eastern DRC, where refugee camps were set up. The Hutu leaders of the 1994 genocide formed a group of armed militias called the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda), which began conducting terrorist attacks on civilians, especially Tutsi civilians, living in eastern DRC. 

There were Tutsi militias opposing the FDLR, and the most important recent one was the M23, named after an abortive March 23, 2009, peace agreement. M23 has also been supported by the current government of Rwanda, who deny that they're supporting M23, but who also say that they fear the FDLR plans to invade Rwanda again and complete the genocide. 

With Wednesday's victory by the DRC army over M23, it is hoped that there will finally be peace between the FDLR and M23, and between the Hutus and the Tutsis, but Generational Dynamics predicts that's not going to happen. Rwanda is just now at the beginning of a generational Awakening era, following the end of the 1994 civil war. The typical civil war pattern is that the two sides start with low-level violence, usually during the Awakening era, and then go through warring periods alternating with periods of peace. Each warring period is more violent than the previous one until there is a massive new genocidal civil war, usually 55-65 years after the end of the previous one. 

So the celebrations of victory are expected to be short lived. The M23 were defeated in their principal stronghold, but they didn't disappear in a puff of smoke. The towns and villages they controlled are now free, and the villagers are happy not to face the daily abuse of M23. But the M23 Tutsi rebels themselves simply ran away into the forest or into Uganda, until the next opportunity to regroup, rearm, and fight again. A new round of fighting between Hutus and Tutsis will not be far off. BD Live (S. Africa) and AP

New Greece bailout crisis approaching over $2.7 billion deficit

There are mixed reports about whether representatives of the "Troika" of organizations bailing out Greece -- the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- have canceled their long-scheduled visit to Athens next Tuesday since Greece has not yet met all the austerity commitments it's previously made to qualify for the 240 billion euro bailout already pledged. 

We've mentioned several times in the last few months that Greece has not laid off enough public employees or sold off enough public assets to cover the expected new debts that will arise in 2014. Well, then it was just a news story, but now it's an approaching crisis. Without laying off more workers or selling more assets, Greece will be 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) short next year. That money will have to be made up either by more austerity or by a new bailout. The Germans are particularly opposed to a new bailout. On the other hand, Greece already has a 28% unemployment rate, so further layoffs don't seem like a good idea.  Unless one side or the other backs down in a big way, we're getting close to another one of those nail-biting weekends. Kathimerini and Reuters

How do you entertain a bored pharaoh?

Question: "How do you entertain a bored pharaoh?" 

Answer: "You sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile and urge the pharaoh to go catch a fish." 

-- A joke from 1600 BC Egypt, said to be about King Snofru. Reuters

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, Rwanda, Hutus, Tutsis, FDLR, M23, Greece, troika, EU, IMF, ECB, Egypt, King Snofru 

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