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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 December, 2004, 10:53 GMT
Great Lakes tension divides press
DR Congo soldiers in Goma
DR Congo troops on guard in Goma
Newspaper commentators in Rwanda and DR Congo take sharply different views of the causes of the current military tensions in the Greak Lakes region.

Papers from both countries blame what they see as international indifference.

Elsewhere, the press expresses alarm at the latest "beating of war drums".

The Interahamwe [Rwandan Hutu militia] and other Rwandan militia groups are criminal elements that have wreaked havoc on our society. Their atrocities and the threat to peace in the region has been on for a long time and yet the respective players seem to be doing nothing geared towards the disarmament and eventual repatriation of these people... As usual, the international community has turned a blind eye to the problem, leaving Rwanda with no option but to defend itself against these wayward criminal groups.

Rwanda's New Times

Today, the Great Lakes region is suffering from two big tumours, one is the Interahamwe and ex-Rwandan Armed Forces [FAR], and the other, certainly the larger, is [Rwandan President Paul] Kagame... The Rwandan president cannot exist without his genocidal brothers. Kagame needs a true or presumed threat of Interahamwe and ex-FAR to rule... Thanks to that threat, the international community feeds and equips Rwanda with arms.

Commentary in DR Congo's L'Observateur

Paul Kagame's warmongering has been exposed... We have always held the view that Rwanda never left the DR Congo. Rwanda was still nursing ambitions of looting the natural resources in the eastern part of the country... The nation is in danger. The government should take the necessary measures... We should act before it is too late... The solution is a military one: Kagame has demonstrated how to do it.

DR Congo's L'Avenir

A new DR Congolese army is now an absolute priority... If Mobutu's Zaire collapsed like a house of cards, it is because the army was reduced to being a simple instrument of repression instead of being a instrument for securing and defending collective interests... Are we waiting for an additional tragedy in order to realise the need to reform the national army to make it truly republican?

Commentary in DR Congo's Le Potentiel

The co-ordinator of the Mai Mai [militia] group Francois Kibua Nguambo, recently met Gen Padiri, commander of the Military Region in Orientale Province, in Kinshasa.... [telling a rally] the group will fight until death to push Rwanda's Kagame and his men out of DR Congo.

Commentary in DR Congo's Forum des As

War drums are once again beating in our conflict-prone Great Lakes region. Rwanda has moved troops into the DR Congo, in what is turning out to be a routine. All of this is a mockery of the Dar es Salaam Declaration, signed less than two weeks ago by regional leaders to get rid of conflict. Why are our leaders not serious about agreements they sign? Our leaders owe us an explanation.

Uganda's The Monitor

This argument that President Kagame is just treasure hunting will fall into particularly credulous ears, because of the past experience. President Kagame will have difficulty pleading self-defence or the extent to which he can exercise it.

Kenya's Daily Nation

This time Rwanda's move has gone against its neighbours' and the United Nations Security Council warnings and several undertakings... Rwanda's defiance against the UN and its neighbours might lead to a spiral effects of instability in the region as other countries try to justify their moves without international or regional approval.

Commentary in Uganda's The Monitor

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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