Moyale Commanding officer to launch book titled ‘The Dilemma that is Congo’


Moyale Barracks Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Thokozani Andrew Chazema says all is set for the launch of his book “The Dilemma that is Congo” on Friday.

Chazema says among others the book highlights the achievements and operations of the Malawi Defence Force in international peacekeeping missions.

The launch will take place at Officers Mess building from 10 am.

The book which has subtitle, “The Force Intervention Brigade’s Sojourns and the Congo’s Picture”, is answering some questions that people have but are failing to ask.

It walks the path of the Force Intervention Brigade, particularly the First Malawi Battalion’s contribution in an innovative role of peacekeeping and solidarity to help bringing peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and beyond.

The DRC has been plagued with a deadly conflict for years. The country has numerous illegal armed groups that pry in the security vacuum spaces as well as contesting for the areas of operation with government forces.

DRC’s numerous armed groups are formed for a diverse array of reasons, ranging from legitimate concerns over land rights in the country’s eastern Kivu provinces to xenophobic discrimination against particular ethnic groups to a desire to control key trade routes or natural resource revenues.

Taking names that almost invariably include the words “justice,” “freedom”, “democracy” or “liberation,” many groups fizzle within a few months or years, while others build enough strength and a strong enough financial base to sustain decades of sporadic, low intensity fighting with DRC government forces and one another.

The UN continued operating with framework brigades to pacify the country; however, conflict spiraled in 2012 when M-23 armed group took control of Goma City, the Capitol of North Kivu Province without contest from the UN forces and the Government forces.

Resultantly, UN broke the tradition by endorsing deployment of a more robust force in the Congo.

In March 2013, the United Nations under UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2098 strengthened its peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo with a more robust, austere and versatile force to neutralise armed groups with the end state of setting conditions for restoration of state authority.

A move some skeptics labeled UN’s dilemma for Congo troubles despite the Congo’s security picture wanting for a concerted effort.

The readily available tool during this time for the UN was the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) composed of troops from Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania.

This book examined the interactions of politics, key players in the conflict, and FIB operations on how these factors affected peace and security from the year 2013 to 2014.

The book makes a key conclusion that institutions were weak to bring about stability and makes a key policy recommendation that holistic institutionalization of the national instruments of power would be ideal to realize peace and security in the DRC.

Chazema said part of the book launch proceeds will go towards the Mzuzu City Fundraising Campaign to keep the city clean.

“Environmentally, as far as Mzuzu city is concerned, I think it’s degrading and as citizens we need to do some social action. There is that initiative to raise funds towards waste management for Mzuzu city, I saw it very imperative to have an auction during the launch and the funds will go to Mzuzu City Council,” he said.