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Central Africa

Over 4000 Banyamulenge Flee From Mai-Mai Attacks in DRC

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More than 4000 members of the Banyamulenge tribe in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have fled from their villages in Rurambo in the plains of Ruzizi and Nyabigega village in the middle of the Uvira plateau.

According to reports, these Banyamulenge were attacked over the weekend by the Mai-Mai  militia group opposed to their stay in the country. Banyamulenge said they feel betrayed because the attackers stormed their villages located just one kilometre away from the FARDC military base and no intervention was provided.

“The Nyabigega village in the middle of the Uvira plateau on Tuesday was systematically destroyed,” according to eye witness accounts.

Banyamulenge are appealing to the Government of President Felix Tshisekedi to immediately intervene and save them from these barbaric attacks by Mai-Mai militia and other rebel groups loitering in the eastern part of the vast mineral rich country.

Bnyamulenge stranded as they flee from Mai Mai militia attacks which have forced more than 4000 from their homes scampering for safety

Banyamulenge have lived in the DR Congo for centuries but for a long time were not recognized as citizens of this vast mineral rich state. Former President Mobutu Seseseko signed a decree granting the Banyamulenge tribe an irrevocable citizenship.

“The Banyamulenge are Congolese,” President Felix Tshisekedi said in January 2020 during an interaction session with Congolese Diaspora in London, UK.

President Tshisekedi at his inaugural speech in January 2019 said he would deploy the army and remove all foreign armies and neutralize all local militias that are a threat to national security.

The province of South Kivu is infested with many armed groups, in particular the Raïa Mutomboki in the territories of Shabunda and Mwenga, the Mayi-Mayi in the territories of Uvira and Fizi, the inter-ethnic conflict in the high plateau of Bijombo, Minembwe and Itombwe, and many other groups.

According to the Congolese Army, this region hosts various armed groups, especially the foreign rebel forces CNRD, FDLR (Rwandan rebels) and FNL (From Burundi). In most attacks, these foreign rebel groups align with local militia to attack Banyamulenge families.

National Liberation Forces (FNL) a Burundian rebel group crossed into South Kivu and created rear bases to fight the Burundian armed forces. The FNL is currently in an alliance with Mai-Mai Yakutumba and FDLR in South Kivu.

The FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) is the largest illegal foreign armed group operating in the DR Congo.

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Central Africa

Rwandan Police Peacekeepers Lauded For Excellent Discipline

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The Joint Task-Force Bangui (JTFB) commander, Brig. Gen. Ely M’Bereck Elkair, on Thursday, September 16, visited Rwanda Formed Police Unit One (RWAFPU-1) serving under the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and commended the contingent for their discipline and contribution to the mission mandate.

Brig. Gen. Elkair and his delegation were received at the RWAFPU-1 Camp-Fidele base in the capital Bangui by the contingent commander, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Claude Bizimana.

CSP Bizimana briefed the JTFB commnder on the assigned peacekeeping tasks, achievements, challenges and routine operations.

Brig. Gen. Elkair appreciated the contingent for their resilience and work done as well as the general environment in the RWAFPU-1 camp.

“MINUSCA recognizes your discipline and appreciates what you do for the people of Central African Republic,” Brig. Gen. Elkair said while briefing the contingent.

He urged them to maintain the spirit and avoid acts of sexual exploitation and abuse.

“Keep the existing professional standards and values that define Rwandan Police officers, ensure continuous full time command and control,” he added.

CSP Bizimana, on his part, thanked the entire MINUSCA leadership for the continued support adding that the contingent remains committed to its mandate despite the challenges encountered.

RWAFPU-1 is one of the three Rwandan Police contingents of combined 460 officers deployed in CAR.

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Central Africa

MINUSCA Police Commissioner Visits Rwandan Peacekeepers

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The Head of Police Component for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), CP Christophe Bizimungu, on Monday, August 10, visited Rwandan Formed Police Unit-One (FPU-1) and urged them to stay focused on their mission mandate.

CP Bizimungu was received at the FPU-1 base camp by the contingent commander, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Claude Bizimana, who briefed him on the tasks assigned, achievements as well as challenges they face.

The MINUSCA HoPC was also given a guided tour of the camp facilities, operations and their readiness.
Later, the Police Commissioner met and addressed all Police officers where he appreciated the work they do to protect the civilians and to bring about peace and security in CAR

He further urged them to maintain discipline and professionalism by “ensuring full-time command and control to accomplish their peacekeeping duties.”

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Central Africa

Russia ‘Wins’ Central African Republic, France Angry

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The scramble for influence in Central African Republic has pitted France against Russia- both western powers that have historically flexed for control of resources in this African country.

According to details, France has formalised suspension of part of its aid to the Central African Republic.The gap is widening between Paris and Bangui, which has relied on a rapprochement with Russia.

It is now official that the French Ministry of the Armed Forces announced on June 9 that Paris would suspend its military aid and cooperation with the Central African Republic.

The French Armed Forces Ministry said Paris had cut Euros10 million in budget aid and stopped all direct military cooperation.

France is accusing Central African Republic of “disinformation campaigns targeting French representatives”.

The tough sanction comes against a backdrop of tensions between Bangui and Paris, which has been alarmed for months by the growing influence of Russia over the Central African government. 

The decision was taken as Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada returned from a visit to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, on his return from which he was greeted at Bangui airport by Dmitriy Sytyi, a Russian national well known to Central Africans and linked to the private security company Wagner.

Officially, the Wagner company does not operate in the Central African Republic, where only Russian instructors cooperate with the Central African army. 

However, according to many sources, this company linked to Evgeny Prigozhin, employs up to 3,000 men in Central African territory and is connected to several mining companies under local law.

Did Bangui definitely choose Moscow to the detriment of Paris? What is the government’s position on the presence of mercenaries on its soil? 

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