DR Congo: President Felix Tshisekedi Beset by Systemic Corruption, now Under Threat from Former President Joseph Kabila and Associate Vital Kamerhe

Former DRC Joseph Kabila, on a Lake, in 2017

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On Sep 19, 2022,  Lieutenant-general Philémon Yav Irung, the commander of the Third Defense zone of the FARDC covering the East of teh Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was arrested. According to sources close to the DRC government, he is accused of being an agent of the Rwandan military, working with M23 rebels commanders and preparing coup against Felix Tshisekedi.  The arrest is another event in the scandals going within the DRC government and military leadership. 

  Lieutenant-General Philémon Yav Irung is the  the head of the command of 5 provinces including North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, Maniema and Tshopo. The troops under his command were supposedly deployed in the Eastern DRC to fight against armed groups, including M23 rebels, created, funded and supported by the Rwandan government and miltary.  

The reasons of the arrest of Gen Philémon Yav Irung appear consistent with the content of the  secret recordings  by agents connected to international organizations obtained by AfroAmerica Network  confirming that the special forces of the Congolese military FARDC have been deployed in East, not to fight the rebels as a priority, but mostly to make sure that the minerals, especially coltan and tourmaline, are exploited by entities connected  to and paying bribes and  kickbacks to government and military leaders in Kinshasa ( and ).

 In fact, as the top Commander of the FARDC forces in Eastern DRC,  Gen Philémon Yav Irung is responsible for the Special forces involved in the exploitation of the mines and working with M23 rebels.  


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Are Joseph Kabila and Vital Kamerhe Planning Their Return to Power in DRC?

According to AfroAmerica Network sources close to the DRC government,  the accusation against Gen Philémon Yav Irung  are beyond just mining. He is accused of being an agent of the Rwandan military and working with M23 rebels and preparing a coup against Felix Tshisekedi, in collaboration with former President Joseph Kabila and Vital Kamerhe, a former chief of staff of President Félix Tshisekedi and leader of the Union for the Congolese Nation opposition party, who has been in jail until recently and still facing accusation of widespread corruption.

Among the evidences of his collaboration with M23 are his secret communications with M23 rebels commander, Gen Sultan Makenga, and Gen James Kabarebe,  the security advisor to the Rwandan President Paul Kagame,  in which he disclosed the strategies of FARDC. In these secret communications he also allegedly  said that his true Commander-in-Chief is the former president Joseph Kabila and  asked that they welcome Vital Kamerhe, who is expected to be the most trusted collaborator, as they looking forward to the next steps in regaining power in the DRC, with the help from M23 rebels and the Rwandan military. Following the communications, Hon Bertin Kirivita, one of the assembly representative of  North Kivu known to be close to the Rwandan government, was dispatched to Kigali, where he met the Rwandan President Paul Kagame, before the latter travelled to New York, USA to attend the UN General Assembly. 

Vital Kamerhe was  the President of the National Assembly of the DRC  from 2006 to 2009 under President Joseph Kabila. He resigned citing the invasion on the DRC by Rwandan backed rebels as the reason, but mostly to prepare  his unsuccessful bids to become the president of DRC, after Joseph Kabila.

 In the 2018 presidential election Kamerhe made an alliance to support Félix Tshisekedi's candidacy. In exchange he became Tshisekedi's chief of staff in January 2019. On 8 April 2020, Vital  Kamerhe was arrested and imprisonned on charges of corruption and embezzlement of $48 million dollars and later  sentenced to twenty years for corruptioin, embezzlement, and money laundering. Recently, he was released for unexplained reasons.

Based on the latest development rumors have been fueled that he may return to prison. 

 AfroAmerica Network is still double-checking the sources and closely following the situation.


@AfroAmerica Network 2022