Select Page

Democratic Republic of Congo Forums Food for thought The Annihilation and Operations against ADF Rebels , Allied Democratic Forces

This topic contains 0 voices and has 0 replies.
0 voices
0 replies
  • Author
    Posts
  • #48665
    Congo
    Keymaster

    ADF RebelsThe commander of the area of ​​operation, or the commander of the military region concerned, as with General Lucien Bahuma against the rebellion of the M23 in 2013 and the annihilation of the original ADF in 2014, is the main focal point of this level. He is the one on who depend all the actions of all the forces deployed on the concerned combat zones. And at the time, this option, after drawing lessons from the capture of the city of Goma by the M23, had facilitated the unity of command by avoiding, for example, to see some fighting units only respond to orders of the President of the Republic, as happened during the Umoja Wetu operations or against the M23 rebellion. At the time, General Lucien Bahuma was the commander of the 34th military region corresponding to the administrative territory of North Kivu and commander of Operation Sokola 1 against the ADF.


    By Jean-Jacques Wondo Omanyundu

    The news announcing the appointment of the army general (4 stars), John Numbi Banze , went around the social networks in the blink of an eye on December 4, 2019. John Numbi is sent to the North Kivu front to lead the Major military operations against the “suspected ADF rebels and armed groups in the region alongside the commander of the Sokola 1 operational sector”. According to General Léon Kasonga, FARDC spokesman: “the presence of General John Numbi in the Beni region is part of the reinforcement of the strategies put in place but also encourage the troops engaged on the ground in the hunt against the armed groups, the ADF “[1].

    This is a mini readjustment of the command of operations as the military offensive seems to be bogged down and there are more than 160 massacred civilians, despite the presidential promise to bring peace to Beni before the end of the year. Yet, during the same communication, General Kasonga boasted of total control over the military situation and the destruction of the ADF’s strategic strongholds.ADF Rebels

    How then to explain this restructuring if the operations were conducted with the full satisfaction of the authorities as mentioned by General Léon Kasonga? Why change a winning team? This article illustrates the strategic military incongruities in sending Army General John Numbi to Beni to lead the ongoing unsuccessful military operations. It also illustrates the geopolitical motives underlying this designation at a time when public opinion expects from President Felix Tshisekedi a major reshuffle of the operational staff of Operation Sokola 1 in Beni and a reorganization of the troops that compose it.

    A General Staff in Beni: a political, strategic and military absurdity

    During his presidential campaign, President Tshisekedi promised to settle the FARDC General Staff in the east of the country until the total eradication of all local armed groups. On 10 October in Beni, he announced the launch of a major offensive by promising peaceful end-of-year holidays to the local population. These operations launched with great fanfare on October 31, 2019 have had some meager success before turning into a nightmare, lack of sufficient and intelligent planning, making in a month more than 110 civilian victims in the areas where the FARDC and MONUSCO forces were deployed.[2]

    If in terms of political propaganda, the establishment of a General Staff in Beni naively seduces the local population, on the purely technical military side, this is a notorious strategic absurdity and a lack of knowledge of the principles of the art of War.

    Indeed, it is by providing sufficient means and autonomy of maneuvering to the commander of operations – according to the cardinal tactical principle ” unit of ground, unity of command ” – that one ensures to the military action on the ground all its efficiency. Thus we believe that the establishment of this General Staff in Beni is both a distraction and the display of technical incompetence. In fact, the Operational Staff of the Commander of the Operational Sector is largely sufficient to accomplish his mission. It is also suicidal for a state, which wants to be serious, to install its General Staff, the heart of the country’s military strategy, in an area as vulnerable and unstable as the eastern part of the country, severely exposed to the threat of enemy assault. No strategic military principle and no army can afford to conceive of such ineptitude!

    This requires us to briefly explain some military concepts in the context of employment and the articulation of military forces.

    General John Numbi

    General John Numbi in Beni saluting Genarl Léon-Richard Kasonga, the spokesperson for the army. December 2019

    General Strategy, Military Strategy, Operational Strategy (Operational) and Military Tactics 

    The development of these notions is in itself whole encyclopedias, but we will try to summarize them in a few lines.

    In its internal functioning and in its relations with other States, the main objective of a State is to achieve as much as possible the “National Interest” by appealing to its power, which will obviously result in a form of conflict between states (Struggle for power) that will be resolved by the confrontation of powers (not only by the use of weapons). And for the German strategist Carl von CLAUSEWITZ, “The war is an act of violence whose objective is to compel the adversary to execute our will”.

    In his famous book On War , Clausewitz argues that it is up to politics to fix the goals of war. A principle that has become a classic in the strategic field: “The political objective, as the initial mobile of the war, will provide the goal to be achieved by military action, as much as necessary efforts“. A master idea that leads to the famous universalized “formula”, often constantly quoted in a truncated way, without understanding its essence: “War is a simple continuation of politics by other means. War is not only a political act, but a real political instrument, a continuation of political relations (or transactions), a realization of these by other means.”[3]

    It is, moreover, on the basis of this assertion that the principle of the subordination (control) of the army to the civil authority follows. This sacred principle was clarified in 1875 by the French General Lewal, after the French defeat against the Prussian army in these terms: ” The leaders of the army do not have to decide the war: they are in charge of doing once it is resolved, rightly or wrongly, and their mission is to lead it as best as possible within the strict limits of their special profession. Military power is a means that must be put at the service of a political purposes, otherwise its limits appear quickly.[4]

    This can be summarized by the following strategic question: Where are we going to do what with what means and why? The resolution of this question can be done by following these three steps:

    1. Concretely describe the objectives set
    2. Determine all the means and resources that are to be mobilized and attributed to the achievement of these objectives.
    3. Establish and plan the actions to be undertaken, given the resources and resources allocated, to achieve these objectives.

    The American Randolph Bourne considers that the war becomes alongside the diplomacy an important matrix of the history of the Nations. War is a function – if not the main function – of states.[5] He states that war can not exist without a structured military power and a structured military power can not exist without structured state organization.[6] Thus, the military purpose is that of the army once entered the war and engaged in violence. Its end is, then, the victory over the enemy.[7]

    Thus, the General Strategy is for a State, the art of designing the use and implementing the elements of its power to achieve the objectives of its general policy. The general strategy includes political strategy, economic strategy, military strategy, diplomatic strategy, etc.

    The Military Strategy, part of the general strategy, is, for a State, the art of conceiving the use and the implementation of the resources of its power to achieve by the use or the threat of the use of the force the goals he has set for himself. This level is particularly interested in the preparation and conduct of war. The military strategic level is the level of leadership of military operations, deployment and employment of forces within a fixed political framework. At this level, and within a national framework, it reports to the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, who proposes the military orientations that should make it possible to meet the political objectives set.

    The Operational Strategy or the operatic[8] can be defined as “the art of coordinating at the level of a theater of operations the actions of forces of a different nature. It corresponds to the operative level. This operational level corresponds to the current operations sector in the case of ongoing offensives conducted around Beni and remains, for its part, the area ‘exclusively military’ because directly related to the theater of operations (military).

    This level, given its proximity to the ground, is essential for the planning, organization of command, the organization of the theater of operations, the definition of coordination measures and rules of engagement, the general conduct of operations, the articulation of forces and their coordination on the ground, with regard to the principle of unity of command. This, in order to avoid counter-productive hierarchical or political interferences[9], parallel commands (multiplicity of command centers) and amalgamation of command chain structures as in 2012 before the takeover of the city of Goma by the M23.[10]

    The commander of the area of ​​operation, or the commander of the military region concerned, as with General Lucien Bahuma against the rebellion of the M23 in 2013 and the annihilation of the original ADF in 2014, is the main focal point of this level. He is the one on who depend all the actions of all the forces deployed on the concerned combat zones. And at the time, this option, after drawing lessons from the capture of the city of Goma by the M23, had facilitated the unity of command by avoiding, for example, to see some fighting units only respond to orders of the President of the Republic, as happened during the Umoja Wetu operations or against the M23 rebellion. At the time, General Lucien Bahuma was the commander of the 34th military region corresponding to the administrative territory of North Kivu and commander of Operation Sokola 1 against the ADF.

    The results on the ground were not long in coming. Both the M23 and the ADF were defeated[11] Therefore, it is possible that the military operations are successful in respecting this scheme. This shows the uselessness of the superposition of an additional staff alongside the command of the operational sector.

    Thus, to help the commander of the area of ​​operation to accomplish his task, he must have a staff whose role is to translate the directives given by the strategic level (General Staff) into operational orders which will be transmitted to forces on the ground. The commander of the area of ​​operation does not only have a role of designer, he does not remain permanently at his command post, he must also go to the field to ensure the smooth running of operations, appreciate the situation, worry about the morale of the troops and verbally instruct his subordinates. He is in fact the man-orchestra of the military operations and must therefore enjoy a wide autonomy of maneuver.

    military operation: it is the set of military actions carried out by a generally joint force, even interallied or multinational, in a determined geographical area called theater of operation, in order to reach the objectives fixed by the strategic level on theaters of operation. This concerns the coordination at the theatrical level of the operations of forces of different natures, to carry out the strategic maneuver in a given geographical area. This is where operations are planned and supported[12]

    Once the actions to be determined and the resources allocated, it will be important to know the best way to implement these means in the field of operation to perform the missions imposed by the Strategy. These actions constitute what is called military tactics[13] It is at the tactical level that the battles are planned (The ‘Orders of Operations’ are given), the forces engaged in combat on the ground and that the maneuvers on the ground are executed according to the orders[14] given by the hierarchy, at the operatic level.[15]

    The elements developed above clearly demonstrate the uselessness of the appointment and involvement of General John Numbi, Inspector General of the FARDC in addition, in the current operations. Legally speaking, the Inspector General of the Army performs a purely administrative function – attached to the Department of National Defense[16]. As a result, John Numbi, despite his four-star army general, has no direct operational and operational hierarchy on the army[17] whose operational conditioning is ensured by the Chief of General Staff of the FARDC who makes him the true boss of the army as support for the Head of State as supreme commander of the FARDC.[18]

    In our view, Numbi’s presence in Beni responds to the underlying geopolitical objectives that are imposed on President Tshisekedi by Kabila and Rwanda. Numbi’s military past in the region does not argue in favor of improving the military performance of the FARDC. Similarly, Numbi’s military liabilities in the maintenance of the Bakata Katanga armed militia, in the massacres of followers of Bundu dia Kongo or his alleged involvement in the despicable assassinations of Floribert Chebeya and Fidèle Bazana, do not argue in favor of his deployment in a sensitive operational area like Beni. One can not forget his violent activist past as head of the militia of the Union of Independent Federalists and Republicans (JUFERI), a group of Katangese young with violent methods, who in the 90s, had engaged in pogroms against the Kasai – suspected of supporting the UDPS party of the opponent Etienne Tshisekedi – and have left hundreds dead and half a million displaced in Katanga.[19]

    John Numbi: the Rwandan man in the DRC, Umoja Wetu, and the private deal of Kagame and Kabila

    To understand the geopolitical motivations behind the sending of General Numbi to Beni, we need to go back to Operation Umoja Wetu, conducted jointly by the Congolese and the Rwandan armies.

    It is Numbi, then Inspector General of the Congolese National Police (PNC), who was charged by Joseph Kabila to undertake, in January 2007 in Kigali, the secret negotiations with the rebel leader Nkunda and the Rwandan officials. Negotiations that will take place in January 2009 to the operation Umoja wetu, conducted jointly by the Rwandan army and the FARDC in North Kivu. He will ensure co-supervision with the Rwandan military authorities. This operation will lead to the signing of the agreement of 23 March 2009 between the Government and CNDP.[20] This is not a coincidence as John Numbi had excellent relations with Rwandan officials who considered him as “a man open to dialogue, pragmatic and straight to the point”[21]

    Carried out between January and March 2009, Umoja Wetu’s military intervention will last 35 days in North Kivu and will lead to mixed results in terms of disarmament and repatriation of the FDLR, despite the political and diplomatic success it has achieved. In practice, they have exerted only temporary pressure against an enemy whose time and space have played in his favor. General John Numbi, commander of joint operations FARDC-RDF (the Rwandan army), in his speech at the closing ceremony of this joint operation, gave the poor record of 153 FDLR killed, 13 wounded, 37 captured, 103 returned and repatriated to Rwanda through the MONUC DDRRR.[22] General John Numbi had elsewhere recognized this weak result in these terms: “The enemy has not been totally destroyed, but its capacity of nuisance has been reduced to the maximum“. He added that after the departure of the Rwandan soldiers, the FARDC will continue the raking operation[23]. Brigadier General Jérôme Ngenda Imana, representing the staff of the Rwandan army, said meanwhile, that his country considers as completed its mission to the east of the DRC. He added that “Rwanda has no reason to return to Congo.” After a face-to-face meeting on August 6, 2009 in Goma between presidents Paul Kagame and Joseph Kabila, the Rwandan head of state cynically told the press that “the problem of the East of the Congo is the problem of Congo »[24]. Curiously, ten years later, the two armies continue to pursue the FDLR, with the same incompetent actors on the Congolese side.

    Conclusion : John Numbi, the solution or the complexification of the security situation in Eastern DRC? 

    On the basis of the evidence shown above, there is no objective evidence to support the sending of John Numbi to Beni. We have many contacts with general and senior officers of the DRC and it is not the skills that are lacking in the ranks of the FARDC.

    In addition, under the sanctions of the European Union and the United States of America, the support posted by President Tshisekedi, this new designation rather denotes the kabilist anchor of the Congolese president. It also serves his cause with the Americans who had specifically asked the Congolese President to dismiss some Congolese generals, including John Numbi, the army high command. The United States is in “strategic partnership” with the DRC, declared the United States Special Envoy to the Great Lakes, Peter Pham. But before the implementation of military cooperation between Washington and Kinshasa, he demanded “a dry cleaning of the FARDC chain of command quoting some Congolese general officers – Gabriel Amisi Kumba” Tango Four “(Chief of Staff Deputy General), John Numbi (Inspector General), Kahimbi (Military Intelligence) – listed as undesirable.[25]

    With the presence of Rwandan special units, hidden in FARDC uniforms, according to several military sources involved in these operations, after the withdrawal of the Ugandan, Burundian and Tanzanian armies[26] – countries in conflict with Rwanda – John Numbi, as a result of his close ties with Rwanda, is currently being trusted by Kigali to ensure the smooth running of Rwandan military activities in the DRC alongside the FARDC and local armed groups such as the NDC-Renovated Guidon which benefits from the support of the FARDC and the Rwandan army to fight groups hostile to Rwanda. But the alleged ADF, which sow desolation among Congolese populations and where there are Rwandophone fighters, do not represent a security danger for Rwanda. This suggests that the hidden purposes of these operations are not concerned by the “alleged ADF” who are in contact and even funded by General Delphin Kahimbi according to reliable sources and witnesses of his incessant trips to Beni where he held several meetings with the ADFs.

    In an analysis by Stephanie Wolters, she argues that Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi have a long history of destabilizing Eastern DRC, for supporting successive rebel groups in the country since 1996. None of these countries is a neutral actor in the region , and the Congolese population has many bad memories of the role they played in the history of the country. Although the governments of these countries have some legitimate security concerns arising from the FARDC’s inability to control the country’s territory, past military operations involving these countries have failed to eradicate these armed groups, even though had a very high cost paid by the Congolese population.[27]

    It is therefore towards Rwandan military reinvestment in the DRC, as after Umoja Wetu, which has seen the number of pro-Rwandan rebellions increase, that it is necessary to look for the motivations underlying this surprising designation of John Numbi. An option that does not aim at securing the populations of Beni. This ultimate presidential act reinforces my belief that President Tshisekedi is militarily encircled by the former Kabila military supporters that impose strategic and operatic choices contrary to elementary common sense.[28]

    Jean-Jacques Wondo Omanyundu / DESC Rights Exclusivity

    Notes

    [1] https://7sur7.cd/2019/12/05/rdc-john-numbi-depeche-beni-par-tshisekedi-for-the-pilotage-of-the-operations-of-the-trading-call .

    [2] https://desc-wondo.org/loffensive-militaire-baclee-menee-par-les-fardc-a-lest-de-la-rdc-tourne-au-desastre-jj-wondo/ .

    [3] http://desc-wondo.org/strategy-this-that-saved-on-the-war-1st-part-rwandam23-jj-wondo/ .

    [4] http://desc-wondo.org/strategy-that-that-saved-to-war- 1st-part-rwandam23-jj-wondo/ .

    [5] Randolph Bourne, La Santé de l’Etat, c’est la Guerre, Ed. Le passager clandestin, Paris, 2012, p.62.

    [6] Ibid.

    [7] Jean-Jacques Wondo Omanyundu, L’Essentiel de la sociologie politique militaire africaine, Amazon.com, Août 2019, p.41.

    [8] The Operational: concept used informally in the French military vocabulary and former French colonies in Africa.

    [9] Jean-Jacques Wondo Omanyundu, Les Armées au Congo-Kinshasa. Radioscopie de la Force publique aux FARDC, Monde Nouveau/Afrique Nouvelle, 2013, p.376.

    [10] Jean-Jacques Wondo Omanyundu, Les Forces armées de la RD Congo : Une armée irréformable ?, DESC, octobre 2015, p.56.

    [11] Lire Jean-Jacques Wondo Omanyundu, Les Forces armées de la RD Congo : Une armée irréformable ?, DESC, octobre 2015.

    [12] Glossaire interarmées – Doctrine interarmées françaises.

    [13] As a derivative of military strategy and tactical strategy, tactics can be summed up as the art of implementing, combining and articulating, in direct action, all the means in combat, in a clearly defined field of operation, with a view to victory in battle; that is, to achieve the objectives assigned by the operational strategy.

    [14] These orders give rise, for each important maneuver, to a tactical conception, the definition of the role of the different elements and the organization of the maneuvering space (each element operates in a delimited zone). In this sense, tactics is a science of power relations that must take into account, among other things, the threat, the environment and the means to be put in relation to the execution of the mission imposed by military strategy. That is, the tactic will answer the fundamental question: how to execute the MISSION, with the available MEANS, in the imposed environment and against the designated ENEMY (Threat)? This is called the tactical problem based on the 4M principle.

    [15] Jean-Jacques Wondo Omanyundu, Les Armées au Congo-Kinshasa. Radioscopie de la Force publique aux FARDC, Monde Nouveau/Afrique Nouvelle, 2013, p.377.

    [16] Article 49: The General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces reports to the Minister in charge of National Defense.

    [17] http://desc-wondo.org/nouvelles-nominations-fardc-kabila-vers-un-putsch-constitutionnel-24090-2/ .

    [18] Article 63: The Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces is in charge of the conditioning of the Forces and assists the Supreme Commander in their implementation.

    In connection with the conditioning, the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces coordinates the activities of the Chiefs of Staff of the Forces, different Corps and Services and the Commander General of the Military Schools.

    On a war footing, he assists the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces in the command of operations and the conduct of the war.

    In times of peace and war, the Chief of General Staff ensures permanent control of the command of units.

    Article 64:

    The Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces reports to the Minister in charge of National Defense for the mobilization of resources for the conditioning of the Armed Forces.

    [19] http://afrikarabia.com/wordpress/rdc-john-numbi-portrait-of-human-mode/ .

    [20] JJ Wondo. Les Forces armées de la RD Congo : Une armée irréformable ?; 2è Ed, DESC, octobre 2015, p.31.

    [21] http://desc-wondo.org/rehabilitation-general-john-numbi-consacre-dictature-militaire-regime-de-kabila-jj-wondo/.

    [22] JJ Wondo. Les Forces armées de la RD Congo : Une armée irréformable ?; 2è Ed, DESC, octobre 2015, p.33.

    [23] Wondo, J.J., Ibid.

    [24] Le Potentiel, « Dangereux essaimage », 23/05/2011.

    [25]https://www.mediacongo.net/article-actualite-59459_fardc_washington_exige_le_nettoyage_de_la_chaine_de_commandement.html.

    [26] https://desc-wondo.org/loffensive-militaire-baclee-menee-par-les-fardc-a-lest-de-la-rdc-tourne-au-desastre-jj-wondo/.

    [27] Stephanie Wolters, Opportunities and challenges in the DRC, CENTRAL AFRICA REPORT 15 | NOVEMBER 2019, ISS Africa. https://issafrica.s3.amazonaws.com/site/uploads/car-15.pdf.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Font Resize