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Bemba’s Main Task is to Implement Newly Adopted Defence Policy

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DRC’s new Deputy Prime Minister and Defence minister has a major task of implementing comprehensive reforms in the country’s troubled Defence sector.

According to Emmanuel Kabengele, coordinator of the Network for the Reform of the Security and Justice Sector (RRSSJ), Bemba is expected to implement the Defence Policy (2023-2025) recently adopted by the Government.

“The implementation of the military programming law is the big challenge at the moment. It will have to start with the mobilization of funds likely to give more force to this law. This is the priority of priorities. Because even the National Defense Policy is a comprehensive policy. But it is the Programming Law which tries to indicate the annual deadlines in terms of disbursement and allocation,” he said.

The ordinance-law on military programming (LPM) of the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) was adopted by the Government of the DRC on August 16, 2022.

This law, a first in the history of the Congolese army, provides approximately 1 billion dollars per year for the national defense sector from 2023. In particular, it prescribes the creation of a military industry.

Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo was named head of the defense ministry after the government reshuffle on Friday last week.

The government reshuffle is seen as Tshisekedi’s attempt to breathe a new life into his defence policy amid rising insecurity in the provinces of Maï Ndombe and Kwilu, west of Congo, but more importantly in the eastern part of the country where the entire Great Lakes region hopes to see the war going on there come to an end and rebels withdraw from conquered localities by March 31, the date set for the rebels to cede all ground to the troops of the East African Community Regional Force.

Meanwile, Peter Kazadi was appointed the deputy prime minister for Interior and Security replacing Daniel Aselo.

Mbusa Nyamwisi, another former warlord who has extensive knowledge of the eastern part of the DRC where he is originally from, has been appointed minister for Regional Integration.

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