Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

News round-up: Maniema Dojo, Nkunda and Agathe

A short news round-up:

  • In the next installment of my series on raucous caucuses, Maniema's provincial assembly almost blew up yesterday, literally. A group of 11 MPs had tabled a motion to impeach the governor of the province for corruption. Soon the battle lines were drawn. According to one press report, the legislature was transformed into "a dojo" and the the MPs "became suddenly experts in martial arts." The police had to break up the fight between the besuited legislators, and the minister of interior immediately ordered everyone onto a plane to Kinshasa. And this is Maniema, where almost every MP elected is in Kabila's AMP alliance.
  • Nkunda was supposed to have his day in court yesterday, Rwanda's Supreme Court. I haven't heard what the result was, but I doubt he has been set free.
  • Olivier Kamitatu, the Minister of Planning and the former deputy of JP Bemba before defecting to Kabila, gave an interview to Jeune Afrique for their latest edition, suggesting that there needs to be a constitutional revision to make the Congolese president stronger. This is sure to irritate some people, but Kamitatu is far from alone - many around Kabila are fed up with the amount of time they spend making the many different arms (and pockets) of government happy. Democracy can be a real waste of money and time.
  • Ah, and yes, France arrested Agathe Habyarimana yesterday, the widow of former Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana. It's probably no coincidence that this comes days after President Sarkozy visited Kigali and Rwanda re-opened its embassy in Paris. Agathe was the powerful head of the akazu kitchen cabal around Habyarimana that helped plot the genocide - however, until now, the UN court in Arusha has not issued an arrest warrant for her, and her brother Protais Zigiranyirazo was recently released by the court. So where will Agathe be tried?

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