Another threat to regional security as Tshisekedi edges closer to escalation of war

In yet another move aimed at advancing the war agenda, the Democratic Republic of Congo regime ruler Felix Tshisekedi has made changes in the Congolese military, FARDC. Tshisekedi is replacing one General Célestin Mbala Munsense with Lieutenant General Christian Tshiwewe Songesha, a loyalist from Lubumbashi, as Chief of Staff of the FARDC. This comes following the surprise arrests of the high-ranking officers, including Gen. Yav Irung and Chirumwami who he accused of treason. Tshisekedi and his loyalists in the government have been beating war drums, in total contempt of ongoing peace initiatives.

The changes are part of Tshisekedi’s ongoing plans to mount what he and his cronies call a ‘final onslaught’ to retake Bunagana from M23 rebel movement. It should be recalled that FARDC in collaboration with the most brutal armed groups operating in eastern DRC including the blacklisted genocidal, terrorist group- FDLR have fought deadly battles since March this year but have failed to dislodge the M23 rebels who are fighting for the rights of Rwandophone Congolese whom the Congolese leaders have denied their natural right to citizenship.

Tshisekedi’s plans to re-ignite an armed conflict in the Eastern Congo violates both the Luanda and Nairobi peace processes which are mandated by the UN security Council, the African Union-AU, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region- ICGLR and the East African Community-EAC to draw a roadmap towards lasting peace in the Eastern Congo which will in turn ensure peace for the troubled nation and the entire region. 

It has now become clear that Congolese ruler, Tshisekedi is determined to frustrate efforts by regional and international actors to bring peace to Congo. Tshisekedi’s actions as well as utterances of his leaders leave no doubt that they are not pulling in the same directions as the other stakeholders in the peace process.

While the Luanda Tripartite peace roadmap for DRC and the Nairobi peace process are clear about the de-escalation of conflict for the peace process to be implemented, Tshisekedi and his lieutenants are instead making preparations for yet another bloody war, using the flawed pretext of ‘protecting the sovereignty of Congo.’ While to everyone else the causes of insecurity in the Eastern Congo which have had a spillover effects to Congo’s neighbours are completely internal, the deluded Congolese leaders insist foreign actors are to blame.

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