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DRC: Tshisekedi wants control of the security services

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Tuesday, 26 November 2019 09:38

President Félix Tshisekedi most likely felt safer addressing the UN in New York in September than he does in his own country. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The Congolese president intends to overhaul of his security system – with one objective: to take back control of the services still run by followers of Joseph Kabila.

DRC president Félix Tshisekedi is “seriously” considering overhauling his security system, according to our sources in the presidency. It comprises the Garde Républicaine and the Garde Rapprochée – which also protects his family, his property and strategic sites such as airports and public television.

Only when he feels his safety is assured will he be able to take on Kabila”

Like the army and the intelligence units of the Agence Nationale des Renseignements, these services are still run by people close to former president Joseph Kabila. Ilunga Kampete, who is under European Union sanctions, is the head of the Garde Républicaine, and Josué Kasongo Ntenki leads the Garde Rapprochée.

President Tshisekedi is gradually integrating his loyalists into the latter structure, such as Freddy Mpindi, former president of the youth league of Tshisekedi’s party, the Union pour la Démocratie de le Progrès Social. Others are reportedly being trained abroad.

“Only when he feels his safety is assured will he be able to take on Kabila,” says a source close to the President, referring the directorships of the national mining company Gécamines and the railway company Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo.

  • Signed by the President on 3 June, these appointments remain blocked by Kabila’s Front Commun pour le Congo coalition.

 

This article first appeared in Jeune Afrique.

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