Despite reports by Reuters and Voice of America about losses suffered by M23, Abandi says that M23 retains control over the same amount of territory it had before the renewed fighting. Reports of loss of ground by M23 are a result of MONUSCO giving access to FARDC to advance on the M23 from behind their own lines.
Abandi also accuses the Congo government and MONUSCO of "lying" about casualty numbers. Declining to give exact numbers Abandi said, "There have obviously been some casualties within M23 ranks, but the numbers are a lot less than what is being reported in international media."
As far as casualties within FARDC, Abandi says media is not reporting numbers there because "M23 does not celebrate the deaths of Congolese." The enemy are considered "brothers," in the eyes of the M23 political movement.
Given the reports of U.N. supported FARDC rapes, desecrations, civilian casulatied and desertions, perhaps the U.N. working group on peacekeeping could focus more on the use of brain analysis of U.N. commanders rather than drone analysis of eastern Congo.
According to VOA News, Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to chair a special session of the U.N. Security Council on the Great Lakes regional conflict. But the State Department seems woefully uninformed about the conflict and continues to blame Rwanda for the conflict when all evidence points to AFRICOM and United Nations meddling in a regional conflict.
The only hopeful signs emerging from this mess are reports by
international media outlets that are finally recognizing the truth from the ground.
The Government of Congo cannot feed itself on atrocity forever.
UPDATE: At John Kerry's special session of the Security Council today, Congo's foreign minister Raymond Tshibanda said that rebellions in the Great Lakes region for years have "all bear the same genetic signature" (la meme signature genetique). This is a hate reference to Tutsis, who were killed en masse in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. This might also help to explain the desecration of M23 corpses by Congolese Army troops.