Dr. Phil Clark, SOAS, University of London, a lecturer in comparative and international politics (with reference to Africa) and a specialist on conflict-related issues in Central Africa says that withholding or withdrawal of aid to Rwanda will do little to address systemic causes of conflict in eastern DRC.
Dr. Clark has published extensively on political, social and legal responses to genocide and other mass crimes in the Great Lakes, principally on the Gacaca community courts in Rwanda and the ICC. He has also published a book: THE GACACA COURTS, POST GENOCIDE JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION IN RWANDA: Justice without lawyers. (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
Clark is currently an expert for the Crown Prosecution Service on issues concerning Rwandan genocide suspects living in the U.K.
In dismissing the alleged U.N. experts, Dr. Clark states:
1.The U.N. report has methodological and substantive problems which call into question whether this single source should be relied upon so extensively in determining policy toward Central Africa and elsewhere.
2.Poorly gathered evidence can skew analysis and policy prescriptions.
3. The so-called experts ONLY spent several days in Rwanda conducting interviews and conducting other forms of investigation. This constrained their ability to draw robust conclusions about the precise nature of Rwanda’s ALLEGED support for M23.
4. The so-called experts’ geographical restriction limited the depth of analysis in the report and led to several erroneous claims.
Listen to this : The report states that Rwanda trained M23 fighters at Kanombe army barracks. These barracks comprise only a military hospital and cemetery. Laughable, indeed.
5. The report relies on testimony of military commanders and intelligence officials and defectors from the Congolese army whose impartiality must be seriously questioned.
Last, but NOT least:
6. The report neglects the role played by President Kabila in generating the M23 mutiny. Kabila reneged on deals with these rebels in 2009 — a motivator for this rebellion, and he has displayed bad faith and undermined the 2009 peace agreement between the DRC, Rwanda and other rebel groups.
Dr. Clark points out that Rwanda played a vital role in the DRC peace process and the subsequent increase in regional security — a positive contribution that warrants greater recognition in current policy discussions.
More broadly, the singular focus on Rwanda militarly involvement in eastern DRC ignores KABILA’S FAILURE TO CONTROL HIS ARMED FORCES WHICH ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR REGULAR ATTACKS ON CIVILIANS, AS WELL AS HIS TENDENCY TO USE INFLAMMATORY ETHNIC RHETORIC AGAINST SUPPOSED “RWANDANS” LIVING IN THE DRC, AS SEEN DURING THE 2006 AND 2011 presidential campaigns.