DRC President Félix Tshisekedi has rubbished talks of a neighboring country moving to occupy part of the mineral-rich Eastern Congo, as a baseless rumor being fronted by those against his leadership and the enemies of Congo.
Last week Tshisekedi met with the head of the Congolese Catholic Church Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo over the latter’s alarming remarks made recently that a certain neighboring country was planning to occupy Eastern Congo.
Speaking to Congolese the community in London where he is joining other African leaders for UK-Africa summit, Tshisekedi said “As long as I am the president of the DRC, there will not even be an inch of our country that is occupied. These stories are created by the opposition and they ought to do better for example when we were in opposition, we did not lie to the people to vote us rather we presented our agenda and people voted us,” he said.
Tshisekedi also wondered how a sane person would come up with such story knowing that it can easily send the country into flames
“Where did the story of occupation come from? Who created this when he or she knows of what consequences it can have on our country? Please don’t listen to them, these are words coming from enemies and witches who want to destroy our country, “he added.
The occupation or Balkanization by the neighboring Country talk in DRC has in the recent days gained momentum with a number of opposition politicians and religious leaders saying the plans are ripe and already on going.
Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo the head of the catholic church while on visit in Beni where Islamist militants have killed hundreds said it is clear the project is being implemented by regional players he did not name.
“The plan by our enemy is to create terror, in order to force our people to flee, and by consequence abandon this place to be freely run by other occupants who will come to settle,” He said. “This project success will depend on us the people of Congo; if we sit and don’t defend our country then they will succeed.”
This notion was supported by the Congolese Army through a statement by FARDC spokesman Maj Gen Kasonga Cibangu Léon-Richard who said FARDC was aware and had sufficiently documented the plot.
There is a small difference between what FARDC is saying about the occupation and what was said by the Catholic Church and former Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito.
The army for its part said there are individuals who want to secede the greater north of the Kivu referring to Butembo and Beni in north Kivu province.
On the hand, the Catholic Church and Muzito clearly said this project is foreign-led and is aimed at the cutting off all areas bordering Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.
Muzito was more pointed, categorically naming Rwanda as the one behind this project, and called for war on Rwanda
Currently, Rwanda has over 5000 military personnel from the National Army and Reserve Forces conducting operations against armed groups in East Congo opposed to the Kigali establishment. They operate in the areas of Rutshuru, Masisi, Minebwe in North Kivu Karehe and Uvira in South Kivu near the Burundi border.