Congolese Rebel Laurent Nkunda Caught


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KIGALI, Rwanda — Laurent Nkunda, the fearsome Congolese rebel leader whose national ambitions and brutal tactics threatened to destabilize eastern Congo, was arrested Thursday night along the Congolese-Rwandan border, United Nations officials said on Friday.

According to the United Nations officials and statements made by the Congolese military, Mr. Nkunda was trying to escape a joint Congolese-Rwandan military offensive that was intended to wipe out several rebel groups terrorizing eastern Congo.

He was captured at a small border town called Bunagana after trying to resist Rwandan troops. “He’s going to Kigali,” said Lt. Col. Jean-Paul Dietrich, a United Nations spokesman, referring to Rwanda’s capital.

The arrest could be a turning point for Congo, which has been mired in rebellion and bloodshed for much of the past decade. It was also a stunning turn of events because Rwanda had recently been accused of supporting Mr. Nkunda, who was widely considered to be an agent for Rwandan business and security interests in eastern Congo.

h/t Bonnie Dwyer

Spectrum has reported several times on his self-described, but officially tenuous, ties to Seventh-day Adventism.

The official church has stated:

Some media reports have claimed General Laurent Nkunda, leader of the National Council for the Defense of the People is affiliated with the church. He never served as a Seventh- day Adventist pastor. While at times he has chosen to attend the church, he is not regarded as an active church member. His conduct and reported involvement in the conflict does not represent Adventist values and lifestyle.

...

Seventh-day Adventists join the calls on all those engaged in the conflict in Congo to cease military activities and resort to peaceful methods of resolving any issues that might be causing the hostilities. Dialogue and negotiations are preferable to violence and the cry for war.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1367