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Central Africa

Two DRC Judges Refuse Taking Oath Before President Tshisekedi

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The Congolese justice system is engulfed in a complex situation following the refusal by two constitutional judges to take oath before the Head of State.

Two judges of the constitutional court Jean Ubulu Mpungu and Noël Kilomba Ngozimala appointed Presidents of the Court of Cassation by an order of the Head of State Félix Tshisekedi on July 17, 2020 refused to take the oath, this Tuesday.

According to details they want to stay at the Constitutional Court to complete their constitutional mandates there while their oaths were scheduled for Tuesday 04 August 2020.

These two judges estimate that the respective terms of the constitutional court are nine (9) years for each, and are still in progress.

“Allow us, nevertheless, to inform your Very High Authority that in accordance with the Constitution, in its article 158, paragraph 3, and with the Organic Law no 13/026 of October 15, 2013, on the organization and functioning of the Court Constitutionally, in its article 6, our respective Mandates are nine (9) years for each, and are still in progress,” the judges said in a joint communiqué.

Foremost, the two judges argue that although they were appointed by the President, they claim were not consulted.

“Excellency the President of the Republic, It was through the airwaves and without prior consultation that we learned, on July 17, 2020, of our appointments as Presidents to the Court of Cassation, by Ordinance n ° 20/108 of July 17, 2020, which were followed by our immediate replacements, while it is since July 2014 for Judge Kilomba, and April 2018 for Judge Ubulu, that by our respective letters, copies of which were reserved for you in due time, we had lifted the option of no longer work at the Supreme Court of Justice, until the end of our nine-year mandates at the Constitutional Court, and this, in accordance with the Constitution, in its article 158, paragraph 3, as well as with Organic Law no. ° 13/026 of October 15, 2013, on the organization and functioning of the Constitutional Court, in its articles 6 and 34,” reads part of their correspondence.

The assistant to the President of the Republic, Michée Mulumba, considers that Judges Kilomba and Ubulu refusing to go to the Court of Cassation for not having completed their mandates at the Constitutional Court amounts to pure manipulation which results from a failure after their appeal against their departure from the High Court.

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Central Africa

DRC’s New Interior Minister Promises To Secure Kivu Region

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As Daniel Aselo Okito wa Koyi DRC’s New Interior Minister assumed office, more than 4000 Banyamulenge were fleeing from attacks by Mai-Mai militia in the Eastern part of the country.

The new Interior Minister, as part of his mandate, announced that he intends to take concrete actions in the face of the major challenges that hamper the security situation of the country, especially in its eastern part.

Daniel Aselo Okito wa Koyi explained his vision on Tuesday April 27 in Kinshasa, during the handover and recovery ceremony organized at the Vice Prime Minister of the Interior, with his predecessor Gilbert Kankonde Malamba.

Himself a member of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), Minister Daniel Aselo Okito wa Koyi promises to succeed until going to the elections in 2023 and allow both the UDPS and Félix Tshisekedi to keep the power.

Okito wa Koyi appealed to all the staff of his ministry, the Congolese Police as well as those of the security services to leave the stage of grievances on the various security issues. He also invited them to suggest possible solutions to the country’s major security and social challenges, with an upsurge in attacks by armed groups and urban crime.

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.

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.

According to reports, Banyamulenge were attacked over the weekend by the Mai-Mai  militia group opposed to their stay in the country.

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.

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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

New MONUSCO Boss Bintou Keita Starts Work

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Bintou Keita,63 , the new Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC, made her first trip to the interior of the country on March 9, more specifically to Goma (North Kivu), in the east of the country.

She spoke with Governor Carly Kasivita. The two discussed the precarious security situation in the region where the peacekeepers are supporting the Congolese security forces in the fight against the negative forces.

“If you listened to me when I arrived during the audience with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and then the Head of State, you understood that the priority of peace and the stabilization of eastern Congo is fundamental,” Keita said while speaking to press.

According to her, there is a political will to strengthen the positive partnership that already exists between the governorate and MONUSCO and particularly to work together on one of the priority aspects of stabilization and the fight against insecurity which concerns the DDRCS (Editor’s note: Disarmament, demobilization, Community Reintegration and Stabilization),” Bintou Keita told reporters briefly after meeting Governor Kasivita.

Governor Kasivita of North Kivu insisted on the need to strengthen the Congolese security system thanks to the contribution of the UN mission whose withdrawal plan is still on the table.

“For North Kivu, it’s security first. The United Nations are present in our country to accompany us in the search for peace and the restoration of state authority. We spoke with Keita about approaches that can consolidate state authority. We also talked about development. We also talked about what to do so that the transition from leaving MONUSCO is a process discussed together with the grassroots authorities. Strengthening the security system of our police and our army is one of the best responses to this transition, ”said the head of the provincial executive of North Kivu.

President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi also hosted Bintou Keita on March 4.

Bintou succeeds Leila Zerrougui who has completed her term as head of Monusco.

Meanwhile, Keita was Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. She joined the United Nations in 1989. She notably served as Deputy Joint Special Representative to the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

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