DR Congo's rebels say they will march to Kinsasha and take control; South Korea likely to choose liberal presidential candidate by survey; China appoints new propaganda minister; 2008 Mumbai attacks gunman hanged; Gaza cease-fire looks unlikely as international diplomats gather; and more

Top of the Agenda: DR Congo's Rebels Threaten To March To Kinsasha

Editor's note: There will be no Daily Brief Nov. 22-23 because of the Thanksgiving holiday. The brief will resume Nov. 26.

M23 rebel fighters in the Democratic Republic of Congo said they were prepared to march to the capital city of Kinshasa and take control (Guardian) of the country after having captured the main eastern city of Goma. Thousands of Congolese troops defected to the rebels at a gathering of civilians, police and government soldiers at a football stadium in Goma, as the M23 military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Vianney Kazarama issued a message to the president, Joseph Kabila, and promised to "liberate" the country. The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned (BBC) Goma's seizure and called for sanctions against the rebels.

Analysis

"Analysts say it is in Rwanda's interest to exert influence over areas of eastern Congo, where a million Hutu refugees fled after perpetrating the genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutus. This enables Rwanda to maintain a buffer zone and exploit the trade and trafficking of minerals. For its part, M23 may push on to another provincial capital, Bukavu, and seek an improved version of the 2009 peace deal," writes David Smith for The Guardian.

"[The Congolese armed forces are] being weakened by the periodic defection of the disloyal, and the demoralisation of loyal soldiers. But this vicious circle has the effect of encouraging the DRC government to consider reintergration as an option for rebels, since the army has less and less capacity to defeat them," writes Mélanie Gouby for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

"Kinshasa refused to see that they were playing a game of Russian roulette, banging the war drums, refusing to talk to M23 and attempting to play amateurish international politics, by blaming Rwanda and Uganda for M23. Well, it has seen the result of that; a hard slap in the face and the loss of one of DRC's biggest cities to a force no larger than 3,000 lightly armed mutineers. So, what's next?" writes Sunny Ntyombya for The New Times.

 

PACIFIC RIM

China Promotes Hu Ally to Propaganda Minister

China appointed on Wednesday Liu Qibao, the former party boss of Sichuan province and an ally of President Hu Jintao, as propaganda minister (Reuters) after its incumbent minister was promoted to the Standing Committee in the country's power transition. Liu is said to be unlikely to loosen China's censorship policies as the country's leaders continue to keep a close eye on domestic media.

SOUTH KOREA: South Korea will likely pick its liberal presidential candidate (Yonhap), who will compete in the country's December 19 elections, by a nationwide survey.

 

ELSEWHERE:

Mumbai attacks gunman hanged

Prospect of Gaza cease-fire not likely

 

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org.

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