African Arguments has come into possession of a copy of the latest United Nations Group of Experts (GoE) report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The report in full can be viewed here:
Notably, the report gives a comprehensive breakdown of military offensive against M23 during the second half of 2013 leading to its eventual military defeat.
Reasons for M23 defeat
p.6 – 7: “The FARDC victory over M23 is due to several factors. First, FARDC had superior numbers and firepower. FARDC had at least 6,000 troops during the final operation, who were supported by the FIB, which had 400 troops on the ground. FARDC and FIB used helicopters to gather intelligence, transport and resupply, as well as carry out aerial attacks. FARDC also used tanks, artillery and mortars to great effect. Second, FARDC and MONUSCO military leadership demonstrated good coordination and collaboration in the planning and execution of the operation. Third, in spite of continuous recruitment, M23 suffered declining numbers due to casualties and desertions, as well as low morale among the rank and file.”
p. 9 – 10: The Group has documented that M23 received continued support from Rwandan territory. The most consistent forms of support were through recruitment (see above) and provision of arms and ammunition, particularly during periods of combat. M23 also received direct troop reinforcement by Rwandan soldiers in August. During the October fighting, Rwandan tanks fired into DRC in support of M23.
Domestic armed groups
p.12 – 17: Details on operations of other armed groups in the region; Kata Katanga, Forces de résistance patriotiques en Ituri, Mai Mai Morgan and Rai Mutomboki.
External armed groups
p.17 – 23: Details on operations of external armed groups including the ADF, FDLR and the lord’s Resistance Army
Natural resource exploitation
p.34 – 49: A lengthy section on the exploitation of natural resources in the conflict, mainly focusing on Gold and the “˜3Ts’ – tin, tungsten and tantalum.
GoE recommendations can be found on pages 49 – 51. These include a recommendation for the UN Security Council to “extend the mandate of the FIB for another year in order to support FARDC operations against armed groups in eastern DRC.”