Central Africa

Congolese Parliament Questions Tshisekedi’s Project Against Militia

The Congolese Parliament has questioned the rationale of a new large scale joint military project against the armed militia based in the country.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi said in June 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.

Leaked but classified document attributed to the Congolese chief of staff suggests a planned large joint military operation program.

The Minister of Defence has come under fire to explain this document before the National Assembly. On Monday Congolese Member of Parliament Juvenal Munubo tasked the Speaker of parliament to summon the Defense Minister over this sensitive matter.

MP Munubo first wants to know if the documents are authentic. And if these operations are really planned, he wants the Minister to clarify the motivations, objectives, approaches and goals of this initiative.

In his argument the MP says based on previous similar programs that flatly failed, he does not think it is the right decision for the country to embark on this path.

“There have already been similar operations. Some thought that these operations would lead to the neutralization of the FDLR group. But what happened was that the FDLR who were dispersed, as a result of these operations, all fell back on civilian populations, ” Munubo said.

This MP suggests instead that the government considers strengthening the DRC armed forces.

“Put commanders anxious to restore the authority of the state at the head of the units. We need good collaboration also between the security forces, the police, the civilian populations, in the areas of operation. It also requires a good collaboration with Monusco. ”

This same concern was raised in the senate house on Tuesday in a plenary session. Senator Mabaya Gizi asked Alexis Thambwe, Speaker of the Senate, for more explanation.

“I think that the story we have all lived in the country should soften us and not allow anything. Alexis Thambwe announced that the issue will be dealt with at the next meeting.

Meanwhile, as both houses of the Congolese Parliament discuss this proposed massive military operation against the militia, reports on ground indicate mobilization has already begun.

General Jacques Chaligonza, new commander of Sokola 1 Great North Operations on Monday met with stakeholders in Benin here the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) Ugandan rebels are strategically based.

The operations commander asked for the support of the population in these operations.

“We went to tell the commander that the people are waiting for the operations. We asked that these operations can be revived and we would like to see the fruits of these operations, ie security and peace,” said Kizito Bin Hangi the head of civil society of the city of Beni.

In June, Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi said he had ordered the army to launch a “large-scale” operation against armed groups in the restive east after the killings of scores of civilians.

“I’ve ordered our armed forces to carry out large-scale operations in the territories of Djugu and Mahagi” in the volatile Ituri province, President Felix Tshisekedi said then.

He said the offensive would extend to South Kivu province to put a “definite end” to the dozens of militias roaming the lawless, mineral-rich region.

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