President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, a strong ally of the Joseph Kabila-led government, has strongly condemned the seizure of the key eastern city of Goma by rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The M23 rebels moved into the country’s regional capital Tuesday and took over Goma, a city of nearly one million people, amid warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe and reports of killings, kidnappings and looting.
The United Nations Security Council immediately adopted a resolution calling for sanctions against the M23 rebel leaders. But in defiance of the resolution, the rebels held a massive rally Wednesday vowing to overthrow the Kabila government.
The Congolese government accuses Rwanda and Uganda of helping to equip the rebel forces in the central African country.
The DRC is part of the Southern African Development Community and there are now fears that the crisis in the in the war-torn country will have a negative impact on regional security.
Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA Studio 7 that his party still strongly supports the DRC government.
“What is happening in the DRC is tragic and unacceptable because the DRC should be allowed to maintain its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. We are fully aware that certain countries are funding the M23 and for us it is really unacceptable,” said Gumbo.
But the Zanu PF spokesman doubted that Zimbabwe will be able to send troops, if there is such a need, to support the DRC government like it did in 1998.
“When we did that last time we were condemned, we were accused of interfering in the internal affairs of the DRC. People said we spent taxpayers’ money, so I doubt if we could do that again,” Gumbo said.
Jameson Timba, the secretary for international relations for the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said what is happening in the DRC is “extremely worrying and regrettable”.
Commenting on whether the MDC part of government would support any military intervention by Zimbabwe, Timba said: “It depends on the circumstances we would be asked to play.
“And at this juncture Zimbabwe haina mari (has no money) to be able to commit resources outside the country because we are even struggling to meet the basic needs of the people.”