The M23 rebels say they want to “liberate” DR Congo. They say they will take their fight thousands of miles westward to the capital Kinshasa if necessary. The M23 want to overthrow Kabila? Nonsense. It could be argued that Rwanda and Uganda have never had, and will likely never have, a better friend in power in Kinshasa than Mr. Kabila.
North Kivu province Governor Julien Paluku has reassured residents of the eastern Congo city of Goma that it remains under the control of the Congolese army. He dismissed rumors that top government and military officials have fled the provincial capital towards Bukavu, in South Kivu province. Military officials in Goma vowed to defend the city against an attack by M23 rebels.
President Joseph Kabila held a two-hour meeting with army officers based in North and South Kivu provinces on Tuesday to insist on military discipline and cohesion.
President Joseph Kabila and the Congolese Army Chief of Staff, General Didier Etumba, arrived in Goma on Monday to deal with the security threat posed by the defections of former rebels integrated in the army under a peace deal.
The Congolese government said on Thursday that “irregular troop movements” have been observed in North and South Kivu Provinces since last weekend. The troop movements are believed to be a show of force by General Ntaganda amid renewed calls for his arrest after his former boss in the FPLC, Thomas Lubanga, was convicted by the ICC on March 14.
A private jet belonging to former Katanga Province governor Katumba Mwanke crashed at 1pm on Sunday near the airport of Bukavu, South Kivu Province. According to state radio and television broadcaster RTNC, Katumba Mwanke, the pilot, and the copilot were killed.
President Kabila will rally supporters at Stade des Martyrs, while Etienne Tshisekedi has announced a rally in the capital upon his arrival at Njili airport. Vital Kamerhe will also hold a final rally at Stade Tata Raphael.
Presidential candidate Vital Kamerhe held a meeting at Independence Square in Bukavu, South Kivu Province, on Monday. The president of the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) told his many supporters in his hometown that if elected his priority will be “restoring state authority.”
President Joseph Kabila announced on Thursday night that he was suspending all mining operations around Walikale, North Kivu province, during a speech at a banquet in Goma attended by local authorities and representatives of the civil society.
Rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) have been reported in the North Kivu region of Walikale, where they are, once again, conducting a terror campaign against the local population.