Nkunda made it clear he would not accept EU troops
What makes him think he is in a negotiable position? He should be in jail.
DRC rebel leader wants Norwegian mediation
November 27, 2008 (afrol News) report by staff writer:
Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda has called on the Norwegian government, which has led several international peace mediations, to intervene in the armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Congolese rebel leader has made several advances towards Norway, politicians from the Nordic country revealed today. General Nkunda said he would trust the Norwegians due to their experience in peace mediation and Norway's very limited economic and political interests in his country.
Mr Nkunda today confirmed this to reporters from Norway's public broadcaster 'NRK' on telephone from eastern DRC. He again made an appeal to the Oslo government to get involved in the Congolese conflict.
Asked whether he believed that Norwegian mediators could achieve anything UN mediator and Nigerian ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was unable to achieve, General Nkunda answered it was not a question of choosing. He "several times" had suggested to the Norwegian government that they should "assist" Mr Obasanjo in his ongoing mediation.
He also hailed a UN request for Norwegian peacekeepers in the DRC. "That is a very good idea. EU troops, no, but Norwegian troops I could trust." Mr Nkunda made it clear he would not accept EU troops, but wanted smaller countries such as Norway - not an EU member - to send contributions to the UN peacekeeping mission MONUC, or engage otherwise militarily.
Norway's government so far has been lukewarm when it comes to sending troops to the DRC, but Development Cooperation Minister Erik Solheim - who is also the peace mediator in Sri Lanka - immediately answered the Congolese rebel leader's request. He promised the Oslo government would go through the troop request again, having Mr Nkunda's desire in mind.
Mr Solheim also did not rule out a Norwegian effort to assist in DRC peace negotiations. Also other political leaders in Oslo gave their immediate support to look into the Congolese rebel leader's request.
Norway has a long history of international peace mediation, with the "Oslo process" between Israel and Palestine being the most known. Norway-mediated peaces also include Guatemala and Sri Lanka. In Africa, the Oslo government has been strongly involved in the South Sudan peace and is now trying to mediate between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
The DRC rebel leader to calling for Norwegian mediation has been seen as a sign of his Tutsi rebel movement being sincere in wanting to reach a peaceful solution to the eastern Congo conflict.