On the sidelines of his state visit to China, the DRC president once again criticized the force of the East African Community (EAC) deployed in the east of his country to fight in particular against the M23 rebellion. Félix Tshisekedi on the other hand spared the Burundian contingent, during a meeting with the Congolese diaspora. Explanations.
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The Congolese president continues his official trip to China. This Friday, May 26, he met his counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing. He is now expected in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Upon his arrival in China, Felix Tshisekedi went to meet the Congolese diaspora in front of whom he spoke at length. He assured his audience that the presidential election would take place on December 20, castigating the position of the opposition which ” doesn’t know what she wants “. ” She denounced things, she denounced the Ceni, the Constitutional Court. In the end, these same opponents joined the process anyway “, he added.
The Head of State also returned to the situation in eastern DRC, denouncing ” cowardly and barbaric aggression by Rwanda », referring to the conflict with the M23. Kinshasa has been accusing Rwanda for several months of being behind the M23 rebellion which seized part of the province of North Kivu before returning its positions to the soldiers of the East African Force (EAC). Accusations taken up by the United Nations and several Western chancelleries, but completely swept away by Kigali.
Burundi contingent spared from criticism
The president also once again questioned the action of the EAC which includes soldiers from Burundi, South Sudan, Uganda and Kenya. The criticisms have mainly targeted the Kenyan and Ugandan soldiers, accused by the president of a ” kind of collaboration between the EAC force and the rebels or terrorists of the M23 “. And to add: with the exception of the Burundian contingent which applies in the true sense of the word, the agreements as they were planned. As proof of this, the intervention of the Burundians when the M23 terrorists began to illegally levy taxes in the territories they occupied. As for the others, the cohabitation continues. »
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For several months, Kinshasa has been criticizing this regional force, in particular that of not applying the mandate described as “offensive” by the Congolese authorities. The president also clearly hinted, about ten days ago, during a trip to Botswana, that the mission’s days were numbered: the mandate should end at the end of June.
To replace the EAC, the Congolese obtained the principle of deploying forces from southern Africa, the SADC. It could be effective between June 15 and 20, according to Kinshasa. A meeting of the chiefs of staff is due to take place in the coming days to set the terms.
Meanwhile, Malawi Defense Minister Harry Mkandawire traveled to Goma earlier this week to ensure his country’s involvement in restoring peace in eastern DRC.