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President Tshisekedi Orders Army To ‘Arrest Mai-Mai Commander Dead Or Alive’

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DRC President Felix Tshisekedi has instructed his military to aggressively find Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga the commander of the notorious Mai Mai militia responsible for launching deadly attack in Lubumbashi on Saturday.

The attack left several people dead and vast destruction of property. President Tshisekedi ordered the immediate arrest of the leader of this rebel movement who has not been seen at his home since the incidents.

Defence Minister Aimé Ngoy Mukena, promised to implement this instruction after the president chaired the Security Council meeting last Monday.

“The President is disgusted that people would die in this way; he has sent us on this mission to establish everyone’s responsibilities, understand what happened, who did what, who should do what. The second part of the mission is to get hold of Gédéon. He cannot run away twice, he cannot continuously challenge the state,” the Defence Minister said.

The Minister suspects that the war lord might be hiding in the house of a citizen still in Lubumbashi.

“And there we need everyone, as we have done elsewhere. Because if he has fled, he is not in the air, he is not underground, he is not under water, he must be in a house of an individual who must denounce him “, The minister said.

According to insiders, the deadly Lubumbashi attacks by Mai Mai militia was precipitated by a caucus of MPs from Haut-Katanga that had demanded the opening of an investigation in the application of the terms of negotiation having led to the surrender of Gideon Kyungu Mutanga.

Mai Mai war lord Kyungu is no stranger to controversy, in 2016, he surrendered in southern Democratic Republic of Congo with about 100 of his fighters. However, he was not arrested by local authorities.

Instead of arresting him, local officials in the provincial capital of Lubumbashi gave the war lord a celebratory welcome. He wore a shirt with a photo of President Joseph Kabila and the slogan “Shikata” – which means “stay for a long time,”

(In green Tshirt) Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga the commander of the notorious Mai Mai militia after surrendering in 2016

Earlier in 2006 Kyungu surrendered with about 150 fighters. The government tried him for crimes against humanity. In March 2009, he was convicted and sentenced to death.

However, this war lord managed to escape from prison in 2011 and entered the jungles to lead an armed group that has carried out serious abuses in central Katanga for many years.

Thierry Mukelekele, spokesperson for the Mai Mai war Lord says his boss still does not have the freedom to carry out his private activities.

During his recent interview, the warlord, Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga had denounced the indifference of the authorities towards him.

He said the Congolese government was not honoring its commitments. His fighters mostly youth are still hanging out in Kamina after having received military training, and returned to civilian life, at the same time in detention at Kamina base.

“There are nearly 350, with the exception of to some who escaped. There are still some in the Kasapa, Makala, Buluwo and Kitona prisons. However, the authorities had reassured us to pardon all these people in detention,” he said recently in an interview.

Kyungu Mutanga was active in the former triangle of death, located notably in the territories of Pweto, Mitwaba and Manono.