Congolese authorities should address these activists’ legitimate demands for effective protection of civilians in the conflict, instead of preventing them from speaking out.
LONDON, United Kingdom, April 2, 2022 – Today’s conviction of 13 activists from the citizen movement Lutte pour le Changement (LUCHA) by a military court in Beni is a scandalous attempt to silence critical voices, said Amnesty International.
“The conviction of these 13 activists simply for having exercised their right to freedom of peaceful assembly is another scandalous and shameful attempt to suppress dissent in DRC,” said Flavia Mwangovya, Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes Region
The activists – who have already been held arbitrarily for five months – were sentenced to a further 12 months in prison for their participation in a peaceful demonstration in November last year.
“The conviction of these 13 activists simply for having exercised their right to freedom of peaceful assembly is another scandalous and shameful attempt to suppress dissent in DRC,” said Flavia Mwangovya, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes Region.
“The sentence must be quashed, and these activists must be immediately and unconditionally released,” said Flavia Mwangovya
“The sentence must be quashed, and these activists must be immediately and unconditionally released. Congolese authorities should address these activists’ legitimate demands for effective protection of civilians in the conflict, instead of preventing them from speaking out.
“President Tshisekedi must lift abusive restrictions on civic space under the pretext of the state of siege, and completely revoke the power given to military courts to judge civilians, in accordance with international human rights standards.”
“Kinshasa: Disorders reported in the municipality of Limete 10th street. Boulevard Lumumba blocked by young people presented as UDPS. According to a police official, “they are protesting against rumors of a possible coup”. The police are deployed to “restore order”” (Stanis Bujakera Tshiamala, 06.02.2022).
Today, its revealed through military intelligence (ANR) that François Beya was plotting a coup d’etat against President Felix Tshisekedi. Beya is a man who has overseas accounts and manages former President Joseph Kabila’s assets in Congo-Brazzaville, Morocco and Tunisia.
We know that CACH and FCC made an agreement after the previous election to let Fatshi becoming the President and his coalition to run the Republic. So, Kabila made an agreement with Tshisekedi and he became his puppet. That’s why Kabila could run into the sun-set without worrying about accountability or any transparency of his prolonged reign of the Republic. Therefore, today’s news is worrying.
As Fatshi and UDPS has already started to purge its own. Secondly, it tried to control the state and gain more formalization with Union Sacrée. However, the current President didn’t challenge or change the security units around him.
Fatshi has been guarded by the Garde Républicaine (GR) and kept the ANR. Heck, he kept the FARDC without much altercations or the PNC for that matter too. So, the President is tried to consolidate power politically, but not enacted swift changes to the personnel keeping him safe. He has not altered or direct things differently from Kabila in this sense.
That’s why you know the arrests and detaining Beya is speaking out loud. This is either done because of some intelligence or reports, which has scared Tshisekedi, as he left Addis Ababa earlier than scheduled. He had to return, because things was not in order in Kinshasa.
Now, the UDPS and the President is saying Beya allegedly behind a coup d’etat and therefore arrested him. Beya is a man who has been conning and brutal since the days of Mobutu. A useful man for the ones on the top and for three years he served Tshisekedi as well. That’s why we know this is either another cleaning the house operation or a justified arrest of a man who thought he could outsmart Fatshi.
However, Fatshi has already done stuff like this earlier with Kamerhe and Kabund. This seems like a continuation of the fallouts of the past. Where Fatshi is getting rid of allies and trusted politician in favour of consolidating power. Therefore, unless the true plot is revealed to the general public. I have a hard time believing it.
As it seems more like a move to ensure Tshisekedi has his own men and appointees in control of vital security organizations, instead of trusting allies of Kabila. That is how things can be interpreted as well.
And who would Beya get into office? Kabila returning from exile and getting ready to return like he never left? Really? Who would benefit from the coup d’etat and get UDPS out of office?
Fatshi had already made an agreement Kabila. This is why Kabila is settled for life and has nothing to worry about. Even if Fatshi is trying to form new structures that benefits him. Alas, in the end… Kabila can still pull strings and it’s just evident that Tshisekedi is trying to challenge that after three years in office. Peace.