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Central Africa

Belgium Considers Disarmament ‘Way Out Of Armed Conflicts In DRC’

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Tristan Terryn the political adviser to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in the DRC, observed on Friday November 6 that the Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration (DDR) mechanism is a way out of armed conflicts in the DRC.

His remarks came after holding discussions with Alain Kashindi Assumani the DRC’s National Coordinator of the Stabilization and Reconstruction Program (STAREC).

According to Terryn his country sees the return of a lasting peace in the parts affected by armed conflicts, particularly in the east of the country, through the DDR mechanism, but also by the creation of small jobs in favor of militiamen who agreed to respond to the call of President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo who had invited them to lay down their arms and participate in the DDR process.

“Belgium is also considering the creation of small jobs and certain income-generating activities for the benefit of local populations who are victims of several war pangs and other atrocities linked to the various armed conflicts in the DRC”, he said.

The UN through the stabilisation mission in DRC , Monusco, has tried to stabilise the country for the past 20 years with a 15,000-strong peacekeeping force but has miserably failed.

An estimated 160 rebel groups with a total of more than 20,000 fighters are still active in the DRC’s east. The motives for the various groups are not always clear, although it is believed they are mostly over control of land or minerals such as gold and cobalt.

President Felix Tshisekedi said in June last year that his government had devised a plan for the “complete eradication” of foreign armed groups, in collaboration with Monusco and neighbouring countries affected by the violence, particularly Uganda and Rwanda.

The STAREC Program was created by presidential decree – its essential mission is the stabilization and reconstruction of the DRC.

STAREC was primarily designed for armed conflict-affected areas, especially in eastern DRC. It was launched by the Congolese Government, with the support of the United Nations system and development technical partners. Its main goal has been to restore State authority in the East which is the region that is the most fragile and most exposed to conflicts.

The plan works towards the rehabilitation of administrative infrastructure, and is also involved in the fight against poverty and impunity regarding the numerous exactions and violations committed in this part of the country.

Congolese Parliament Questions Tshisekedi’s Project Against Militia

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Central Africa

Congolese Army Clashes With CODECO / FPIC Rebels

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The Congolese army FARDC said on Monday it had launched attacks on bases of rebels and managed to liberate several localities in the region of Mwanga, Lipri and Ngongo.

According to details fetched from our source, these areas were considered the epicentre of the hostilities of the CODECO / FPIC rebel coalition in the Walendu-Datsi sector, in the territory of Djugu in the province of Ituri.

CODECO (Coopérative de développement économique du Congo) CODECO is a coalition of militia founded in the 1970s as a Lendu agricultural cooperative and operating in Ituri.

The group actively participated in the so-called Ituri War, which took place between 1999 and 2003.

At the end of the war, the group did not completely dissolve and stockpiled the weapons used during this conflict in a number of communities.

In 2018, CODECO started engaging in armed attacks again with the objective of defending the Lendu population against the Hema.

According to Army Spokesman Lieutenant Jules Ngongo said that for a week FARDC soldiers have been launching repeated assaults against the various positions of the militiamen.

During these battles on the fronts particularly in the North and South, the loyalist forces, under the command of the military Governor Luboya N’kashama, won a “shattering” victory, by now besieging the bastion of these rebels in the territory of Djugu. .

“81 elements of the armed groups were neutralized including a self-proclaimed rebel leader general and his S4 in the region of Mwanga, 62 other militiamen were also captured. 29 ADF surrendered to the army with 16 weapons, 26 other weapons recovered during the fighting on the North and South fronts. This is the record of the military operations carried out in Ituri during the 2nd phase during this period of the state of siege, ”he told local press.

According to the army, these military offensives against all the armed groups still active in the province of Ituri, aim in particular to “impose peace and restore the authority of the State.

“We must now know that peace will be there,” insisted Lieutenant General Luboya N’kashama, Military Governor of Ituri.

The FARDC soldiers have liberated areas including; Mwanga, Lipri, Ngongo and Lipri.

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Central Africa

Teachers’ Strike Paralyses Education In DRC

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Striking teachers in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo will be replaced with new ones, an order has been issued by the Acting Secretary General of Primary, Secondary and Technical Education (EPST).

The 2021-2022 school year started on Monday 04 October last throughout the country.

However, teachers in some parts of the country decided to begin the school year with a strike making various demands.

They ask the government to improve their salary conditions according to what was agreed when the free education started.

Students are bored in classrooms. No teacher shows up to give the teachings. In addition, some teachers deplore intimidation from the supervisory authorities.

Odon Mulanda Kipembe Acting Secretary General of Primary, Secondary and Technical Education (EPST), called on the teachers to cease the strike and return to classes to teach.

He has also instructed these educational provinces to establish the report of absence for teachers absent at the time of the control and, at the same time, to proceed to their deactivation from the payroll file as well as their replacement by the new units.

On Monday, a meeting is scheduled between the coordinators of the Catholic conventional schools and the Minister of Primary, Secondary and Technical Education (EPST), Tony Mwaba.

Salary increase

From this year, 20,000 Congolese francs (10 dollars) will be added to teachers’ salaries and an additional 10 dollars as a so-called “bush” bonus, exclusively for teachers working in rural areas.

These additions will bring the average teacher’s salary down to around U$ 185 per month. According to the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the civil service, this is a gesture which proves the “good faith” of the government.

For their part, teachers are still waiting for the application of the second step of the gradual increase in salaries as agreed with the government two years ago. This will be one of the hot topics of the commission between the government and the labor organizations that will be set up.

The first salary increase in September 2019 had made it possible to increase at the time from 170,000 to 360,000 Congolese francs.

It should also be noted that the first stage of negotiations closed on Thursday in Kinshasa. Even if a lot remains to be done from the point of view of teachers who still plead for the improvement of their socio-professional conditions, there has been progress.

The government has pledged to include the phased retirement of teachers and administrative staff in next year’s budget. He also promised to pay the end-of-career indemnities of 1,342 teachers retired since 1984.

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Central Africa

President Tshisekedi Increases Teachers’ Salaries By U$20

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Every Congolese teacher is scheduled to receive an extra U$20 (40,000 CFA) above the usual take home monthly salary.

Jean-Pierre Lihau the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Public Service, modernization and innovation of public services on Thursday announced the government pledge saying it aimed at helping each teacher to meet so many or little to their concerns.

The revision of teachers’ salaries was reached during the Bibwa agreement signed in 2019. This was also a campaign pledge by President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo who sought to gradually meet the challenges of rehabilitating the teacher to improve the Congolese education system.

According to Jean-Pierre Lihau this sum of money, which will shortly be made available to teachers, is divided into two installments, in particular 20,000 CFA on salary and 20,000 CFA as bonus.

To find a total solution to all the teachers’ demands, Lihau announced the urgent establishment of an interministerial commission-trade union ban for primary, secondary and technical education ( EPST) under the leadership of Prime Minister Sama Lukonde, in order to continue the discussions of the joint government-trade union commission, which was delayed by one day.

To this end, he said that a ministerial and interministerial decree was signed on Friday setting up the interministerial government-trade union commission to complete the discussions to allow the government to meet the relevant concerns and proposals from teachers.

Schools in DRC will reopen on October 4 after a long closure due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions aimed at stopping further spread of the virus.

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