DR Congo: New President Felix Tshisekedi Facing Serious Dissensions Over Crisis in East

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

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

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 increased their warnings against his collaboration with the Rwandan regime and his actions and statements that may be viewed by the Congolese people as signs of treason against the country and its institutions. The aides have built on increasing statements and open condemnations by various local, church, and national leaders of his invitation of Rwandan troops to conduct military operations in Kivu and Maniema provinces  and the potential risks of the balkanization of the DRC.

Joke About Balkanization of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Before Felix Thisekedi there were on-going jokes in DRC, by Congolese people,  about the failing institutions of their country. One of the most ironic jokes was about the Congolese army, known as the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo or FARDC. The joke included the fact that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is  no professional army, but three warlords leading three militias to guide  the people under their beloved dictator Joseph Kabila. Joseph Kabila was considered  as the lord of the warlords,  leading the Republican Guard hailing from his region and  special forces deployed into DRC  by foreign friends of Joseph Kabila, such as the Rwanda Special Forces sent by Rwandan Defense Minister, General James Kabarebe (See here:Are Moïse Katumbi, John Numbi and M23 Rebels Joining Forces Against Joseph Kabila? 

With Felix Thsisekedi in power, the joke has evolved. It goes like this: "in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is no army. Actually no, there is no professional army.  No, that is not true. There is our most tested army, the  Nduma Defense of Congo Rwandan Defense Forces  (NDC-RDF) sent by  General Paul Kagame, the protector of our Toto Felix Tshisekedi,  to make sure Toto has his expensive toys during our transition to join our expanding Rwandan Empire."

The joke highlights the warnings about the on-going balkanization of the DRC, led by Rwandan Special Forces, operating under the cover of FARDC and the conglese militia known as The Nduma Defense of Congo (NDC)- Renouveau, previously referred to as Mai-Mai Sheka, from its leaders Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka. The UN accused Sheka of a mass rape of at least 387 women, men, and children over a three day span in Walikale in 2010 and was subsequently added to a United Nations Security Council sanctions list and a warrant was issued for his arrest in the DRC. In 2017, Sheka surrendered to the DRC in North Kivu and  his trial is still on-going. When Sheka was arrested and  replaced by his former deputy, Guidon, NDC  became NCD-Renouveau, which, according to people in the East, now includes mostly Rwandan Special Forces.

Growing Criticism and Condemnations of the Rwandan Troops's Invasion of Eastern DRC.

The warnings came following Felix Tshisekedi's latest criticism and berating of those speaking out against the dangers of the balkanization of the DRC and the role played by Rwandan troops. DRC President Felix Tshisekedi criticized those questionning his policies in Eastern DRC as he headed to the UK-Africa Investment Summit, held in London, UK, starting January 20, 2020. The Summit is attended by African heads of state, heads of governments, and various business leaders. The goal of the Summit is to promote business partnership between the UK  and African countries.  According to three sources within the delegation that accompanied Felix Tshisekedi, the closest aides are more and more shocked by Felix Tshisekedi's unpredicted behaviors and statements, his the lack of political experience, and patent naivete.

The sources added that there are growing suspicions that he may be under the pressure of or  being blackmailed by the Rwandan leaders, for unexplainable reasons, propably corruption.

Before going to London, Felix Tshisekedi visited Rome. In Rome, he met  with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday before heading on an official visit to the United Kingdom on Sunday, January 19, 2020. According to the aides, he discussed the situation in Eastern DRC. Before heading to Rome, he met Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo in Kinshasa. Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo is among the open critics of Felix Tshisekedi's incompetence and hazardous policies that could lead to the balkanization of teh DRC.

" Felix Tshisekedi is unpredictable in his approach to the Eastern DRC.  Actually, he seems to create unpredictability. On the one hand, it is an open secret that  Rwandan troops have occupied the East of the DRC. There they have been massacring Congolese civilians and taken over the coltan mines  and other minerals.  They were formally invited by him.  On the other hand, he seems to state loudly and lauds that he is looking after the interests pf the Congolese people, especially those in Eastern DRC,  and most  particularly in Beni," the sources told AfroAmerica Network

Well Planned Rwandan Invasion of Eastern DRC 

Early in his term in 2019, Felix travelled to Uganda. In Uganda, while meeting 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..

At that time, Yoweri Museveni answered: "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 had then 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.

He then made a  trip to Kigali, Rwanda, claiming  to meet investors and convince them to invest the DRC.

In Rwanda, Felix Tshisekedi's 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. 
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 was  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 had 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.

Balkanization of Eastern DRC In Action With the Blessing, the Naivety or Corruption of Felix Tshisekedi and His Closest Aides?

In October 2019, Felix Tshisekedi pushed for a close collaboration with the Rwandan Military.  The  military leaders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi  ageed to conduct military operations in Eastern DRC over the months of November - December 2019. Sources within the DRC's Ministry of Defense and the FARDC General Command then shared with AfroAmerica Network a copy of the secret agreement among the military leaders of the defense forces of Rwanda (RDF,) Burundi (FDNBU), and Uganda (UPDF), signed after the meetings held in Goma on September 13 and 14, 2019.

The on-going military operations  in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), that AfroAmerica Network was first to report on as they were being secretely planned  hit an unexpected roadblock when unspecified people introduced 2 documentns, signed more than 11 years ago, in Rome, Italy and Kisangani, DRC, in May 2008, by the leaders of the Rwandan political parties that form the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the members of the International Community (see here:Military Operations Planned in Eastern DRC: RUD-Urunana and RPR 2008 Kisangani Roadmap Foils the Agreement )

Following the roadblock, the military operations strategy in Eastern DRC  changed. Felix Tshisekedi, working with Rwandan Paul Kagame, organized  the operations directly  conducted by Rwandan  Special Forces, operating as FARDC troops or within the NDC - Renouveau  militia known.

These are the forces now accused by Congolese  local and opposition leaders and civilians of being bbehing the growing humanitarian crisis, conducting large scale civilian massacres, looting and eventually implementing the balkanization of Eastern DRC. 


@AfroAmerica Network 2020