Today, Vital Kamerhe the Chief of Staff for President Felix Tshisekedi was sentenced to 20 years of forced labour, massive fines and losing his civic duties and opportunity to have a public office in the next 10 years too. This is a giant blow to him, but will also have political ramification beyond the sentencing itself.
Kamerhe (UNC) and Tshisekedi (UDPS) made an alliance before the last election (2018), this was the Cap pour le changement (CACH). This agreement was between them and their two parties l’Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social (UDPS) and l’Union pour la nation congolaise( UNC). This was a game changer.
I have no doubt that Kamerhe was corrupt and has done his dirt. Deserving like any citizen to answer for his crimes and be sentenced today. However, with his stature, role in government and as a running mate to the President. This opens up a can of worms. As he was the leader of the UNC, which is one half of the CACH. It is kind of hard to not see the issues.
Yes, the CACH made secret deals behind the closed doors with Front Commun pour le Congo (FCC). With the fall of Kamerhe, the support there is ideal for the President. But with the fall of Kamerhe his losing the balance within the government and might even get open dissent from former allies. This might be seen as a betrayal of their alliance and also coalition they made. All of that wouldn’t be shocking either, as the UNC has defended their leader is statements since his arrest.
For the UDPS directly they are in pickle. They either got to promote someone else from the UNC or they got to disband the alliance and only focus on the FCC. The FCC is Kabila and Kabila is the FCC. The FCC have never denied that and been adamant about it.
We can wonder how this will affect the relations between them all. As one of the three kingpins are behind bars. Tshisekedi and Kabila is living large, while Kamerhe is in the pen. That is the reality of this. The CACH should practically be dead and this is the funeral of it.
As the CACH are getting the merciful death by the slingshot of getting rid of Kamerhe. We can wonder how the FCC and UDPS will play this one out. Since they let this happen and it happened on their watch. Yes, Kamerhe was corrupt, but so has the whole system been. Getler and Kabila can write books on it and their shady deals behind closed doors. Therefore, we know Kamerhe is just a fitting target here.
The UDPS better consolidate and we better see the President suddenly appear again with Kabila. Like they have done in the past. Having suddenly meetings to iron out their differences. This would make sense now. Since they have no practically assaulted the UNC as one of their allies.
Tshisekedi isn’t alone in power. His still the puppet of Kabila. If he like that? Well, that is the choice he made with the secret deals behind closed doors after the 2018 election. Now that he have betrayed his coalition mate and with the sentence he got. We know this is the end of the road for Vital. Then we can wonder who will trust Felix now?
Unless, he like to be used and toyed around with. Yes, they made an example of Kamerhe. That is why the ones in office now should thread the waters carefully. If Tshisekedi can do this to Vital. Begs me to question: What could he do to you? Peace.
There is an issue that returns and returns, something that never leaves. The bullets and the victims doesn’t stop. The armies and militias are continuing. They have sponsors and they have fields of tax to continue their looting of either South Kivu Province or the North Kivu Province. This has been going-on, but continues to this day.
Therefore, these days things are getting worse. The realities on the ground is hard figure and the players are acting aloof. Even as they are all playing victims of insurgency, as long as they are sponsoring insurgencies in proxy within the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Ugandans are known for supporting the M.R.C.D., the former FDLR and RNC combined group whose targeting the counterpart Rwanda. MRCD has promised to fight to overthrow Paul Kagame.
While the Rwandan Patriotic Army or Rwandan Defence Force is now in the DRC to fight the militias together with MONUSCO and FARDC. They are still following genocidaires and others there. Even the groups supported by the powers in Kampala. This being CMI and others who is giving training, ammunition and so-on.
While the Rwandan government isn’t innocent as they are supporting the Red-Tabara who is targeting Burundi and hunts for the head of Pierre Nkurunziza. Therefore, the Burundian is stressed by this.
The Burundi supported militia Mai-Mai has in the end also attacked Rwanda too. That is why all of these are using other militias, which is organized within the provinces of Kivu. While having bases there and being a proxy to attack the ones whose enemies of the head of state, who happens to control the various of Republics.
Taht is why this is worrying, as the intelligence and the means are there. That the Ugandan (Museveni) are having meetings and connections to the militias who works to topple Kagame. While Kagame are supporting another militia to topple Nkurunziza. As well, as Nkurunziza is supporting another militia to topple Kagame. Surely this East African Community (EAC) isn’t that friendly, neither is their intentions.
That they are all using various of groups, name-salads. Supported through the soft-borders of the DRC. To ensure their looting and enriching the supporters. While they are trying to find a way to ensure the end-game is secured. That their enemy and their neighbour is another leader, who they can have as a puppet.
What is worse too is that these groups are extending the harm, the deaths and the massacres in the Kivu’s. They are creating this and the masters across the borders are doing it for greed and for high of power. That they can use proxy warfare to extend their will. This is what they are doing with the various of groups. Just like the Ugandan-Rwandan used to do with the M23 and others in the past. Now, they are targeting each other and using militias for their own benefit. While Burundi has thrown their coins into the mix too, hoping for positive returns.
That should worry the FARDC, MONUSCO and the elite of Kinshasa. As their territory is used as battlefield and also as a training ground for insurgency. That will not create sustainable peace. Since, this will not silence the guns, but instead it will import the guns. That is the mere reality and reason why the silent war of Kivu’s continues. Peace.
Now after two days of Demonstrations in Beni and also demonstrations in Butembo in the Province of the North Kivu. This is happening as the ADF/ADF-NALU is causing more casualties, more fatalities, as the citizens doesn’t feel secured by the army nor the peacekeepers (MONUSCO). All of this in a region and a province that has been battling militias for two decades. There been several of militias in the region supported by foreigners in Rwanda and Uganda. These been supported with reinforcement, with ammunition and training across the borders.
Therefore, the reality of North Kivu province is dire. Not like the peacekeepers nor the army has any control. The numbers over the last two years are tragic. So many innocent lives taken by the means of insurgents and lack of responsibility from the powers in Kinshasa. There is a lack of will, to support and be there for the civilians in North Kivu. If the army and the Republic cared, they would have tackled this head-on. As this is years and years on end.
The numbers of killings reported by UN Experts on the DRC in June 2019. The UN reports reported there was 78 killed in 2018 in the Beni region, by April 2019 there was reports of 121. This means the UN has registered 199 deaths in between 2018 to April 2019. That is 16 months and that 16 people a month on the regular. This being both killings of MONUSCO Peacekeepers, FARDC soldiers and also civilians. Therefore, this is a lot of casualties in just one region.
I don’t have verified numbers between April and November 2019. Which means there is most likely more casualties and more fatalities, which isn’t recorded or been reported en-mass. That would have shown the whole picture. So, I will end on the recent month, this November, but the UN Experts Report and this shows the amounts of killings and systematic it is. If we would for argument sake, say that the fatalities continued in the same fashion as it has been from January 2018 to April 2019. With 16 per month and it continued up to November 2019. That means There is another 128 more fatalities, but my reckoning that’s just mere speculation. As I don’t have any numbers in the time between April and November.
Well, with that being said, November 2019 has been bloody too. There is report of a total of 69 dead after skirmishes of ADF in the Beni region. Beni is burning and steadily so. The FARDC and MONUSCO isn’t able to beat the ADF/ADF-NALU.
Skirmishes from ADF this November:
“Since 30 October 2019, the Congolese government has launched military operations in North Kivu, in the Beni territory, with the aim of neutralizing the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), one of the deadliest armed groups in eastern DRC, which emerged from an Islamist rebellion of Ugandan origin. Since then, ADF attacks have been ongoing on the outskirts of the city of Beni. The attacks target the Congolese armed forces but also civilians, with multiple brutal killings. On 5 November, ten civilians including six women, were killed in an attack in Kokola. This first mass killing has been followed by many other abuses (murders, kidnappings, house fires, looting, etc.) on a daily basis since 15 November 2019. Some AFD attacks against the Congolese forces are claimed by Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP)” (European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations – ‘DRC – Rapid and intense deterioration of the humanitarian situation in North Kivu, Beni (UN, DG ECHO)’ 20.11.2019).
There is a silent war going on. It is not causing a stir, not making headlines or shaking the heads of state. Not even making President Felix Tshisekedi, neither gets actions of Vital Kamerhe or Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilukamba. The FCC-CACH is more involved in eating and looting, than governing apparently. Since, they are not acting upon this nor creating the space to create peace in North Kivu. They are not even trying and there is a lack of will.
This silent war got to stop, but there is no signs of it. Since, it seems like the merchants of deaths continue to roam this region and the allegiance to illegal activity counters the possibility for a peaceful development. Peace.