Geoffrey York of The Globe and Mail visited the M23 militia’s capital of Rutshuru. (As across the region, the natural order of things appears to be that Tutsis rule Hutus: M23 is Tutsi, Rutshuru is Hutu.) Looks like M23 has the place well-organized:
Neat and tidy, without a scrap of trash to be seen, Rutshuru is supervised by taciturn young M23 members in clean new uniforms, with new radios and weaponry from their Rwandan sponsors.
Just as in Rwanda, anti-corruption signs are posted on the roads, and every adult is compelled to clean the city streets for four hours on one Saturday per month.
Despite the hooha in the media when M23 took Goma, they behaved in a disciplined fashion:
After capturing Goma on Nov. 20, the rebels did not indulge in mass slaughter. Instead, according to human rights researchers, M23 had careful lists of enemies that included judges, government officials, even witnesses who had testified against M23’s mineral smugglers.
Their discipline may be an improvement over the chaotic Congolese government. Still, the price to be paid is predation.
“Their attitude,” says another man, “is that everything nice and beautiful should belong to them: motorcycles, mobile phones, women.”
(Evo-alert: note the evolutionary desires at play here.)
Not nice, but is the M23’s combination of order-giving and resource-seizing any worse than the Congolese army and police?