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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

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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