The Bukavu Explosion: Was it an Attack?

By Scott Morgan

It was a story that vanished from the News Cycle just as quickly as it appeared. There was an explosion in a Car in Bukavu that killed three people. News Reports were unable to determine who was responsible for the incident.

This is where the first issue occurs. When one thinks or hears the term Car Bomb the first thoughts lead to an Islamist Involvement. In the past Al-Qaida and their affiliates have used this tactic in various locations such as Iraq and Pakistan. So the question now becomes whether this plays into what occurred in Bukavu?

Before answering this question it is necessary to lay some foundation. The Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has been torn by strife for more than two decades. The two main causes of this are the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 and the Collapse of the Government of Zaire after the Death of President Mobutu in 1998. Since then, the area has been a vast ungoverned space controlled by regional warlords and rogue Military Officers.

Let’s return to the incident in question. Who is behind this event and what nefarious agenda was at play? The car Explosion suggests an Islamist Element to this event. However the lack of a claim of responsibility by the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) cannot be ignored and reduces the probability of this being a Terrorist Incident. However the recent raid on a Mosque, in Kigali, and the evidence gathered there suggests that in the future this will most likely happen.

The second motive that has to be proven - or disproven - is Foreign Involvement. Over the last two decades the Kabila Regime has screamed loudly, and often, that either Rwanda or Uganda - and in some cases both - were interfering in the day to day operations in the Kivu and in Ituri Provinces. There has been no great outcry of Foreign Elements orchestrating this incident. This is puzzling to some, especially when Kabila has recently accused Governor Katumbi of hiring Foreign Mercenaries to safeguard him as he prepares to challenge the incumbent President. This can be seen as hypocrisy by President Kabila.

After ruling out these possibilities that leaves the following to be the truth: it was a locally inspired event. Whether or not it was an act by a Group of Petty Criminals or a spat between rival owners of Artisanal Mines or even a spat between rival Military or Police Officers has yet to be determined. Whatever the reason the situation in the East has led the UN not to withdraw MONUSCO - as Kabila wishes - but to extend the Mandate for Another year.

After doing an Analysis of Congolese reactions on Social Media Outlets[1], it is clear that most are concerned still with the Security Situation, in the Eastern Provinces, resulting from the measures taken by Governor Katumbi to safeguard his person and property in the Katanga Province itself. So what is the real objective here? Is someone trying to extend the powerbase with the blessing of the security forces? This is most likely the scenario at play here.

[1] The Author makes this statement by reading comments placed by Congolese Nationals that appeared on his Facebook and LinkedIn Feeds

(Image: Bukavu - Google Images)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]


  1. I'd add Kabila himself to the list of suspects.

  2. Could also be a deceptive move as it seems to be the M.O. Of most regimes. Yet, we cannot discount a jihadist, Al Quds or Mercenary element to the mix.

  3. Don't ignore growing jihadist activity in the region so this can be also a jihadist attack to expand their base, yes?

  4. Why does Kabila just hand over the Rwandan murderers over to Rwanda? Not doing so also suggests that the DRC may have had a hand in the Rwandan Genocide, so if Uganda and Rwanda are indeed involved then it is a reaction to DRC's actions. Just wondering...


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