DR Congo: New President Felix Tshisekedi Already Showing Serious Shortcomings," Closest Aides Say

Felix Tshisekedi, Yvonne Makolo, Col Kalibata in Kinshasa, Vital Kamerhe with Paul Kagame in Kigali, March 2019

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Sources close to the new president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Felix Tshisekedi have told AfroAmerica Network that his closest aides have recently started  warning him against actions and statements that may be viewed by the Congolese people as signs of incompetence and most likely, treason against the country and its institutions.

The warnings came following his latest trip in Kampala, Uganda and in Kigali, Rwanda. According to two the sources within the delegation that accompanied Felix Tshisekedi on both trips, the closest aides were shocked by Felix Tshisekedi's unpredicted behaviors and statements.

"In both trips, Felix Tshisekedi gave us different accounts. He said that the purpose of the trip  to Uganda was a continuation of his goal to introduce himself and acquaint with neighbors in order to improve relationships  among the two countries and their people. In Rwanda, the stated purpose was to meet potential investors. He lied us on both," the sources told AfroAmerica Network

"Help me in securing peace in Beni", Felix Tshisekedi asked Yoweri Museveni

In Uganda, Felix Tshisekedi's stated mission was to touch base with Yoweri Museveni and create a bond, as he starts the presidency. However, according to the sources in the delegation, when he met Yoweri Museveni, he made the following request:

"I need your help in securing peace in Beni. I want something similar to Sokola and Usalama,  a kind of Sokola 3. Would you be willing to send a few battalions to support FARDC troops in Beni?"

Sokola and Usalama are military operations, launched in 2014-2016 by Congolese troops known as FARDC, with the support from the United Nations peace keeping forces, know as MONUSCO, to fight and destroy Uganda islamist rebels of the Allied Democratic Front (ADF), who have been terrorising and massacring civilians in the North-Kivu region of Beni, close to the border with Uganda.

The operations have so far failed to reach their goals.

According to the sources, both Yoweri Museveni and Felix Tshisekedi's closest aides were stunned. Allegedly, the conversation went as follows.
Yoweri Museveni paused before answering: "what is critical now is really to agree on how to better exploit, in partnership with your country,
the oil and gaz from Lake Edward and Lake Albert"

Felix Tshisekedi answered: "I am not familiar with that dossier. The former president Joseph Kabila did not mention it to me during our transition. I will look into it when I get back to Kinshasa."

Museveni responded" We will then discuss other matters when this Lake Edward dossier is clarified." The meeting ended in disarray.

"As promised, I will send you 3 battalions of Rwandan special forces in Kivu," Paul Kagame assured Felix Thisekedi.

Regarding the trip to Kigali, Rwanda. Felix Tshisekedi told his closest aides that the trip to Rwanda was to meet investors and convince them to invest the DRC.

In Rwanda, Felix Tshisekedi first action was to write, during a visit to a genocide memorial site in Rwandan capital Kigali,  that 6 millions congolese civilians killed by Rwandan troops in Eastern DRC between 1997 and 2003, were  a collateral damage of interethnic massacres and genocide that happened in Rwandan in 1994 and led to more than 1 millon Rwandan killed, according to estimates.

The use of "collateral damage term by our own president, pointing to 6 millions ... imagine, 6 millions Congolese Civilians including children, women and elderly  killed by Rwandan troops inside Congo, shocked all of us in the delegation, to say the least," the sources independently told AfroAmerica.

"It was like somebody stabbing you in an unhealed wound... that somebody being our newly elected president!!! inimaginable. I am  not from Eastern Congo, but think about the families that lost people, massacred by the Rwandan troops... really sad!" the other source added

After the visit to the memorial site, Felix Tshisekedi had a meeting with the Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame. According to the sources, during the meeting, Paul Kagame mentioned, that Felix Tshisekedi closest aides who recently  visited Rwanda had requested that Rwanda send battalions in Eastern DRC to fight armed groups there.

"As I promised, I am ready to send 3 battalions. I think that, working  with FARDC, they will be able to destroy, once for all, the foreign and local militias operating in North and South-Kivu. Trust me on this. I will send 3 battalions of the Rwandan special forces in Kivu. They will have the job done swiftly and cleanly."

The aides appeared confused, since they were told that the meeting with General Paul Kagame was about mostly meet-and-greet and talk about the convention of investors held in Rwanda. Further in the conversations, it was revealed that the purpose of a trip to Rwanda, earlier in March 2019 that was led by Felix Tshisekedi's chief of staff, Vital Kamerhe However, negotiated the deal to send  3 to 5 Rwandan troops battalions in Eastern DRC.

"Our president was full of joy.. does he realize how many more Congolese civilians will be killed by Rwandan troops?" the source commented.

After the meetings, when asked by journalists, probably aware of the discussions with both Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda, about the insecurity in Eastern DRC, Felix Tshisekedi simply said that he is trying to understand the question of insecurity and finding solutions. He added that neighboring countries are also threatened by forces based in DRC and that DRC people should stop being selfish by avoiding to only focus on themselves.

He promised to undertake actions to secure peace. Asked whether the contacts and statements he made blaming Congolese for insecurity may be interpreted as treason, he said that he will never betray the congolese people.

The sources said that, before his trip to Rwanda, Felix Tshisekedi met with FARDC generals, from Eastern DRC who advised him to support the deployment of Rwandan battalions. Most of the FARDC generals from Eastern DRC have been often accused of closely working with Rwandan military leaders.

Felix Tshisekedi is expected to travel to the United States of America, where he is expected to be received at the US State Department. There is no known scheduled meeting with  US President Trump.

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