DRC presidential contender Moïse Katumbi, threatens to launch a war to overthrow Joseph Kabila?

Congolese Opposition Leader Moise Katumbi

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Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) political opposition leader, the magnate Moïse Katumbi, has threatened a forceful action against the regime of president Joseph Kabila if the latter fails to organize the presidential elections before December 23rd, 2018. According to sources contacted by AfroAmerica Network, the forceful action includes an armed rebellion or a military coup.

 In an video interview with the news media "Libre Afrique", circulating on social media, Moïse Katumbi threatens to overthrow Joseph Kabila. At the same time, he accuses the DRC Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) of being responsible and complicit in the massacres of Congolese civilians, by failing to organize the elections.

He added that, this time, his warnings are not empty threats and are rooted in concrete actions already being planned.

Afroamerica Network has tried to find out more about the seriousness of these threats. In his interview, Moïse Katumbi talks about the heads of state who support his plan to go to war to seize power in Kinshasa. In late January 2018, Moïse Katumbi met the Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame in Davos, Switzerlang, before travelling together to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (see AfroAmerica Network:Rwandan General Paul Kagame Meets Congolese Opposition Leaders, Moise Katumbi and Mbusa Nyamwisi, in Davos and Addis-AbabaRwandan General Paul Kagame Meets Congolese Opposition Leaders, Moise Katumbi and Mbusa Nyamwisi, in Davos and Addis-Ababa ). Moïse Katumbi also has close relations with the Zambian president Edgar Lungu.

Ex-M23 Congolese Rebels Being Mobilised in Refugee Camps in Rwanda

According to our sources in Kigali, Moïse Katumbi, will allegedly rely on the Rwandan military forces to launch his armed rebellion. General James Kabarebe, Rwandan Minister of Defense, appears to be engaged in the preparation of a significant military force to put at the service of Moïse Katumbi.

In fact, two ex-M23 officers, namely Colonel Baudoin Ngaruye and Colonel Innocent Zimulinda, were summoned by James Kabarebe last week to his office for an urgent meeting. During the meeting, he asked the two ex-rebel commanders to start mobilizing the ex-23 fighters for a new military expedition in the DRC.

In the Congolese refugee camps in Rwanda, the mobilization has begun. However, Congolese refugees and ex-combattants contacted by AfroAmerica Network have said that they do not want to join the effort. The argued that they do not want to engage in an adventure of which they do not know the ins and outs, including the objectives, the main actors, and the benefits.

Refugee leaders have asked to first meet Moïse Katumbi or his representative to secure a commitment that once in power in Kinshasa, Moïse Katumbi will look after their interests and pay adequate rewards. The invasion is allegedly planned for late July 2018, if Joseph Kabila declares himself a candidate for his own succession.

Plan with Far Reaching Implications and Regional Actors.

Moïse Katumbi has been accused by Joseph Kabila' s government of having multiple citizenships, including being an Italian citizen. The father-in-law of Moïse Katumbi, a former Burundian ambassador and a fierce opponent of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza is expected shortly in Kigali to represent Moïse Katumbi and reassure the ex-M23 of their dividends once in power in Kinshasa. The father-in-law of Moïse Katumbi and his daughter, Carine Katumbi, have been allegedly active in the exiled Burundian opposition group known as Forces Républicaines Burundaises (FOREBU), led by Hadji Hussein Radjab, a Burundian opposition leader in exile. FOREBU was created in March 2018 in Kigali with the help from the Rwandan Department of Military Intelligence (DMI) services.

In the meantime, Paul Kagame, as the seating president of the African Union, is trying to convince other African heads of state that Moïse Katumbi is the most credible Congolese opposition leader. He has been reassuring African heads of state that Moïse Katumbi will succeed in reconciling with Joseph Kabila. In return, Moïse Katumbi has already agreed to protect Joseph Kabila once he leaves office.

The questions remain though. Both Joseph Kabila and Moïse Katumbi remain unpopular with the Congolese peopl. Both are seen as puppets of the Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame and are often accused of being Rwandans. Moïse Katumbi's alleged Italian citizenship also complicates the matter, given that the DRC constitution forbids dual citizenship, especially for political leaders.

According to the sources, Rwanda's military intervention under the cover of a power struggle between Moïse Katumbi and Joseph Kabila appears more and more inevitable.