DR Congo’s army has recaptured Bunagana, the last major town that was still occupied by the M23 rebels in North Kivu province. The victory marks a turning point for eastern Congo, which has been plagued by unrest for more than a decade.
The M23 rebels say they want to “liberate” DR Congo. They say they will take their fight thousands of miles westward to the capital Kinshasa if necessary. The M23 want to overthrow Kabila? Nonsense. It could be argued that Rwanda and Uganda have never had, and will likely never have, a better friend in power in Kinshasa than Mr. Kabila.
Protests against the M23 spread to South Kivu province on Wednesday as thousands of residents took to the streets in Bukavu to vent their fury after the fall of Goma to the rebels on Tuesday.
Thousands of students protested in Kisangani, Bunia and Kinshasa on Tuesday after M23 rebels seized the eastern Congo city of Goma.
DR Congo’s President Joseph Kabila and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame have endorsed a pact seeking the creation of a new military force comprised of soldiers from “neutral” countries to fight and “eradicate” the armed groups operating in eastern Congo, including the M23 rebels led by warlord Bosco Ntaganda and the Rwandan rebels of the FDLR.
President Joseph Kabila named the members of the new government led by Prime Minister Matata Ponyo on Saturday. The new cabinet will have thirty six members, including two deputy prime ministers, twenty five ministers, one minister-delegate and eight deputy ministers.
President Joseph Kabila named former finance minister Matata Ponyo as the new prime minister on Wednesday. Known as a technocrat, Mr. Ponyo oversaw a 7 percent economic growth in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010 and a $12.3 billion debt cancellation. The World Bank said last week it expects the same growth rate in DR Congo for the next two years.
Contrary to wire reports widely circulated in the international media, President Joseph Kabila did not call for the immediate arrest of renegade General Bosco Ntaganda during a meeting with civil society leaders in North Kivu Province on Wednesday.
President Joseph Kabila held a two-hour meeting with army officers based in North and South Kivu provinces on Tuesday to insist on military discipline and cohesion.
President Joseph Kabila and the Congolese Army Chief of Staff, General Didier Etumba, arrived in Goma on Monday to deal with the security threat posed by the defections of former rebels integrated in the army under a peace deal.