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DR Congo: President Felix Tshisekedi Facing Serious Crisis in East Mulls Over Expelling Rwandan Ambassador Karega

FARDC, Goma in 2013

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Vincent Karega, the Rwandan ambassador in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been under consideration to be expelled from the country. The information and the fact have been communicated to AfroAmerica Network  by sources close to the president of DRC,  Felix Tshisekedi, and his minister of Foreign Affairs, Christophe Lutundula and who have been closely following the dynamics.   Felix Tshisekedi heighted the prospects to expel the Rwandan ambassador after the Rwandan special forces, wearing uniforms and under the cover of M23 rebels, who been waging war in the East, seized the FARDC  military camp  in Rumangabo and were advancing on Goma, the capital of the North-Kivu provice, in eastern DRC.  

Over the recent years, Felix Tshisekedi's closest aides have constantly warned him against his collaboration with the Rwandan regime and his actions and statements praising the Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame, that were widely viewed by the Congolese people as signs of treason against the country and its institutions. The aides  pointed to increasing statements and open condemnations by various local, church, and national leaders of his invitations of Rwandan troops to conduct military operations in Kivu and Maniema provinces and the potential risks of the balkanization of the DRC. 

Until recently, Felix Tshisekedi  kept his mouth shut and looked the other way, even when the Rwandan troops  invaded the country under the cover of M23  Congolese rebels, to finalize the plan of the balkanization of the DRC. 

Plan of  Balkanization of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Action?

Before Felix Thisekedi there were on-going jokes in DRC, by Congolese people,  about the failing institutions of their country.  With the advent of  Felix Tshisekedi in power, the joke became close to reality (see here DRC-Rwanda: Congo President Felix Tshisekedi Declares Himself Ignorant of the Crimes Documented in UN Mapping Report Rejected by Rwandan Paul Kagame ). Then, after days of systematic public tortures and execution of Congolese civilians,  on March 27 - 28, 2022, Rwandan special forces in M23 uniforms and under the cover of M23 Congolese rebels launched major military operations in Rutshuru and Bwisha, in North-Kivu, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  

Following these military operations and alleged crimes,  DRC and Rwandan leaders with the involvment of  the United Nations peacekeeping mission in DRC (MONUSCO),  the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (CIRGL), and Ugandan military (UDF) held meetings to  address the situation and find a solution.

The meetings led nowhere. Instead, RDF special forces attacked FARDC and the civilians, claiming to pursue Rwandan rebel groups known as FDLR-FOCA, RUD-Urunana and RPR-Inkeragutabara (see DRC-Uganda-Rwanda - Update: Rwandan Military Under Cover of Congolese M23 Rebels in Eastern DRC, Blame on FDLR and RUD-Urunana Rwandan Rebels, and Coup Attempts).

Balkanization of Eastern DRC In Action:  Is it Fueled by the Blessing or the Naivety of Felix Tshisekedi and His Closest Aides?

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). Rwandan government leaders pressed Felix Tshisekedi to ignore the documents and continue to support the Rwandan troops deployment to East DRC.


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 Felix Tshisekedi has been widely criticised for closing his eyes when it came to the atrocities committed in the DRC and against the Congolese civilians by Rwanda troops and military leaders and their supported militia.   According to AfroAmerica Network sources with access to  Felix Tshisekedi's administration,  his closest aides have been more and more shocked by Felix Tshisekedi's unpredicted behaviors and statements, his lack of political experience, and his patent naivete.

Potential Expulsion of the Rwandan Ambassador Vincent Karega: Is Felix Tshisekedi Waking Up to Reality?

AfroAmerica Network sources added that there have been growing suspicions that  Felix Tshisekedi may have been under the pressure of or  being blackmailed by the Rwandan leaders, for unexplainable reasons, propably corruption or lack of political savvy.

However, according to the sources, with the growing chaos, instability and upcoming elections, the eyes of Felix Tshiseked appear to have been opened by two recent events:

  • The rapprochement between former DRC  President Joseph Kabila and the former governor of Katanga and presidential candidate, Moise Katumbi, aka Kitokatoka.
  •  the recent cooperation agreement between the governments of Rwanda  and of Republic of the Congo, also viewed as a pact between the Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame and the Congolese dictator  the  Denis Sassou Ngu'esso.

The rapprochement between Joseph Kabila and Moise Katumbi, both very close to Rwandan leaders,  signaled a new coalition forming against his candidacy in 2024 and the solidification of the Rwandan influence. The Congo-Rwanda agreement, which fortified the alliance between Paul Kagame and Denis Sassou Nguesso further isolated Felix Tshisekedi.  The agreement was signaled in Brazzaville  on April 12, 2022 by Denis Christel Sassou Ngu'esso, the son of Congo's dictator Denis Sassou Nguesso who serves as his father's Minister of International Cooperation and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Vincent Biruta.

Alarmed and under stress, Felix Tshisekedi abruptly travelled to Bujumbura, Burundi to meet and ask for advice from the Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye.

According to the sources, President Evariste Ndayishimiye was open, gave an unimbigous assessment of the situation,  and proposed options. Meanwhile, Rwandan troops were busy launching their well planned military operations in Eastern DRC.

Following his visit to Burundi, Felix Tshisekedi held meetings with his closest aides to assess the situation. One of the scenarios considered was to expel the Rwandan ambassador to Kinshasa. 

 In the meantime, to  justify an open invasion, on May 23, 2022, the Rwandan government accused FARDC and Rwandan rebel troops of attacking the area of Kinigi and Nyange inside Rwanda. Immediately after, the Rwandan troops attacked the area of Kibumba Mboga and started their advances to capture the town of Goma.

 However, by May 26, 2022, with the backing of foreign troops, especially the United Nations mission in Congo (MONUSCO) , according to   Gen. Benoit Chavanat, Deputy Force Commander, the FARDC troops were able to  

The time was running out for Felix Tshisekedi. He gave order to expel the Rwandan ambassador and to approach the RDC allies for aid and support. AfroAmerica Network sources were there when Vincent Karega was summoned to appear in front of Christophe Lutundula.

After the meeting with VIncent Karega, DRC’s Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula  travelled to Malabo,  the capital of Equatorial Guinea for a meeting of  African foreign ministers to prerpara for  two African Union summits scheduled to take place this weekend. While in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea,  Christophe Lutundula directly blamed Rwanda and stated "I say it, without hesitation, that Rwanda attacked the Rumangabo camp, an important military base of the Congolese armed forces”.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy iin Rwandan has warned US citizens against travelling to Kinigi and Nyange Sectors, Rwanda until May 31, 2022, pending assessment of the securirty situation.

 AfroAmerica Network is still closely following the situation.

 

@AfroAmerica Network 2022