DRC: Protests and Rebellions Against Joseph Kabila and Kidnappings and Killings of Opposition Leaders

Congolese protest against Joseph Kabila whom they call Hypolite Kanambe, a Rwandan operative

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Congo for Congolese, Rwanda for Rwandans. Get Out, Joseph Kabila Kanambe slogan.

On Monday August 7, 2017, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),  demonstrators held signs asking President Joseph Kabila, whom they call Hypolite Kanambe, to get out of the country and accusing him of being a Rwandan operative. The signs read, "Congo for Congolese. Rwanda for Rwandans. Get out, Hypolite Kanambe known as Kabila and your brothers !!!".

They were voicing their opposition to DRC President Joseph Kabila's refusal to hand  over power and to organize elections as provided by the Constitution

During the demosntrations security forces killed at least 12 demonstrators accused of being members of a separatist sect Bundu dia Kongo (BDK) during clashes in the capital Kinshasa and the southwestern city of Matadi. Earlier that day, the police had  accused armed BDK fighters of attacking a prison in Kinshasa killing at least one police officer. At the end of the day  more people were killed by the security forces during demonstrations in Kinshasa, Matadi, and Boma. 

.According to police, among those killed are 2 high ranking police officers, a major and a captain and 17 alleged fighters: 12 in Kinshasa , 2 in Matadi and 3 in Moanda. On Wednesday, the police presented 31 people, including 3 women as fighters who led the attack. 

Witnesses contradicted the police version of Monday events, saying that those accused of being fighters were instead demonstrators, just wearing red headband.

President Joseph Kabila Orders Restriction of Social Media.

To stop the spread of unrests, the Congolese government ordered  that the internet capacity be slowed down  and restricted the transmission of  images via social media. Later, President Joseph Kabila targeted all social media sites in DRC in a letter, of which AfroAmerica Network received a copy. The letter Ref ARPTC/PRES/509/2017 of August 7, 2017 from the office of President Joseph Kabila, signed by Oscar Manikunda Musata, and addressed to the Director General of the company Orange in Kinshasa/Gombe ordered Orange to target the following sites: Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Baidu tieba, Skype, Viver, Pinterest, Linkedin, Tagged, Badoo, Myspace, Youtube, Videos, Buzznet, Meetup, Snapfish, and imo.

BDK and several organized opposition groups have threatened to continue both peaceful and armed resistence to Joseph Kabila for his refusal to hand over power. Theses groups continued their nationwide strikes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Congolese Opposition Leaders Kidnapped  in Burundi

Meanwhile AfroAmerica Network has learned that in late July 2017,  Burundian intelligence services have captured 13 congolese opposition figures who were travelling to Burundi and handed them to DRC intelligence services. They were arrested on July 21, 2017 and handed over to DRC intelligence services on July 27,2017 at Kavumu airport, in South Kivu.

They have, since, been  held in secret locations in or around Kinshasa. Among those arrested are: Michel Kabuya, Peter Leya, Elisha Mutumishi, Magorwa Kitumaini, Germain Malega, Bwasa Ruzeduka, Akili Kasanda, John Mayabishi, Kabika Nihi Tigre, and Kalyaho Buhombo. There are three more know as Adbuli, Jacques, and Tshibola whose complete names AfroAmerica was unable to get.

A New Rebel Group in Eastern DRC

The 13 congolese are accused of being members of another new rebel group, known as the Collectif Des Mouvements pour le Changement (CMC),  that has started insurgency activities in Eastern DRC. On August 4, 2017, AfroAmerica Network received a press release from CMC claiming that their armed branch, that they called Forces de Defense du Peuple Congolais (FDP), has allegedly attacked the Congolese army, FARDC, and seized the towns of Bambo, Kabizo, Butare and Bumbasa in the territory of Rutshuru, North-Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

 The press release, No 011/CMC/CIP-PP/07/2017 issued in Walikale on August o8, 2017 and signed by Jules Mulumba,  claimed that CMC/FDP  fighters killed many FARDC soldiers  and seized a large quantity of ammunitions. AfroAmerica Network has been unable to confirm the claims.