Tension: DRC President Tshisekedi Calls For Urgent Meeting Over Rising Political Conflicts

Tension: DRC President Tshisekedi Calls For Urgent Meeting Over Rising Political Conflicts

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By Spy Uganda Correspondent

DRC: According to several security sources in Kinshasa, the Congolese head of state is preparing a counterattack to a “serious rebellion brewing in the highlands and midlands of the Fizi and Mwenga territories in South Kivu province, and that is backed by a foreign power”.

The situation is being taken seriously at the highest levels of the state. It has, for example, driven Tshisekedi to postpone a private trip to Brussels, initially scheduled for 3 July, by a day. “He took advantage of this day to sort out how the crisis will be handled during his absence,” said a person close to the president.

On 3 July, during a cabinet meeting, Tshisekedi let members of government know that he had been informed of “attempts of rebellion in eastern DRC”, without providing any additional details.

For several weeks now, his country has regularly fallen victim to foreign military incursions. In particular, Zambia, South Sudan and Angola have been blamed by the government for their involvement.

Civil society, for its part, has on several occasions condemned incursions committed by the Rwandan army in North and South Kivu, allegations that Paul Kagame has systematically denied.

In a mid-term report published in December 2019, the United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo stated that Burundi’s army was present in South Kivu, where Burundian rebel groups operate.

The most recent armed group to have mobilised the entire Congolese politico-security apparatus was M23. Some of its ex-fighters are still awaiting, while confined to Rwanda and Uganda, the implementation of a roadmap signed in October 2019 in Kigali that provides for their reintegration into the military and civil society.

On Going Protest

Two protesters were shot dead and a policeman was lynched Thursday in clashes in the Democratic Republic of Congo over plans to name a new head to the country’s election panel, sources said.

The body of one protester was taken to a hospital morgue in the city of Lubumbashi, in southeastern DR Congo, a member of the local United Nations human rights office said.

An employee of the hospital confirmed that the body was that of a 32-year-old man and said he had received a gunshot wound.

A UN source added that in the capital Kinshasa, another protester was killed and “a policeman was lynched after firing on the demonstrators” while several other police were injured.

Public and private property, including political party offices, had been attacked and set ablaze, according to the UN while local media reported that police in Kinshasa had used tear gas to break up thousands of members of President Felix Tshisekedi’s Union for Democracy and Progress (UDPS) who had marched to near the seat of parliament.

In Kananga, a UDPS stronghold in the central region of Kasai, three protesters suffered gunshot wounds when security forces clamped down on a demonstration outside party headquarters, the reporters said and other protests were reported in south-central Mbuji-Mayi, the eastern city of Beni and in Kisangani.

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