Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Claims of army desertion, rebellion in the east denied

KINSHASA, 15 Sep 2005 (IRIN) - Reports that troops are defecting in large numbers to join a dissident former general fermenting a rebellion in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were refuted by an army spokesman in Kinshasa as well as by a letter purportedly written by the ex-general, Laurent Nkunda.

A spokeswomen for the UN Mission in the DRC, MONUC, Jacqueline Chenard, said a letter arrived at the office in Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu that was signed by Nkunda which stated, "We don't plan to revive war in the country except in a situation of self defence."

Chenard said the letter, dated 8 September, was also addressed to government authorities in the province. However, she said MONUC could not confirm the authenticity of the letter whose total contents she would not reveal.

The Congolese army's chief of the general staff, Lt-Gen Kisempia Sungilanga, held a news conference in Kinshasa on Tuesday and said that reports of a massive desertion by Tutsi soldiers in the DRC were "disinformation".

No more than 100 troops deserted, Sungilanga said, contradicting a statement made on Monday by Gen Gabriël Amisi, commander of the 8th Military Region at North Kivu, who said some 350 troops from the 124th Battalion had defected to join Nkunda.

Gen Amisi had said his troops deserted their posts at Katale, 50 km north of the provincial capital Goma, on Saturday and Sunday taking with them arms and ammunitions. He had said the 51st Battalion at Katale, "entrusted with stemming these desertions", had been deployed.

MONUC also said on Wednesday it had met with the troops that "had broken away from their unit in the locality of Katale, to move towards Kichanga" and convince 60 of them to return. In a communiqué issued on Wednesday, MONUC said it told the soldiers to make "a final choice between the military integration process or demobilised and a return to civilian life".

Last week the government in Kinshasa officially dismissed Nkunda and his dissident ally, ex-Col Jules Mutebusi, from the army and issued international warrants for their arrest.

Meanwhile, MONUC also said that a delegation of senior government and MONUC officials visited the North Kivu town of Beni on 9 September to announce that the presence of dissident forces from nearby Uganda - the Allied Democratic Forces and the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda - "would no longer be tolerated".

The government announced on 8 September that all illegal foreign troops must leave the DRC by 30 September or face "serious consequences". The nature of these consequences will be on the agenda of the tripartite meeting - between DRC, Uganda and Rwanda - which will take place in New York on 16 September on the fringes of the UN summit, MONUC said.

South Kivu

In South Kivu, MONUC said the deployment of a company of South African UN troops at Shabunda was completed on 9 September.

"This unit of 150 troops is in a position, as from now, to secure this locality and to conduct actions around the town and on part of the territory," MONUC said on Wednesday.

It said two companies of MONUC's South Kivu Brigade along with 600 government troops had taken part in Operation Destiny Within on 9 September to locate "three groups of foreign combatants in the Kahuzi-Bienga Park and to collect very important information on the activities of these groups".

MONUC said the government troops carried out two missions in the park, with MONUC providing air and ground support as well as transport and communications. One of the missions was near the main road between the town of the Bunyakiri and Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu Province; the other near Lushasha on the main road between Bukavu and Kahele.

The aim of the operation was to "pressure" the foreign troops there to join the voluntary repatriation programme "before it's too late", MONUC said.

Related articles

  1. 'Deadly environment' plus 'political and social' obstacles hinder Ebola fight, Security Council hears (July 24, 2019)
  2. Constitutional Court Declares Tshisekedi Winner of Presidential Election (January 19, 2019)
  3. UN Report Blames Ugandan Islamists for 237 Killings in DR Congo (May 14, 2015)
  4. Violence in North Kivu Kills 21, Mostly Women, Children (October 18, 2014)
  5. Colonel Mamadou Ndala Is Killed in Ambush (January 2, 2014)
  6. DR Congo Asks Rwanda to Turn Over M23 Rebel Leaders (July 26, 2013)
  7. Thousands of Women March Against M23 Rebels in Kinshasa (November 24, 2012)
  8. DR Congo, Rwanda Sign Pact to Fight Rebels in Eastern Congo (July 15, 2012)
  9. Kagame Is A Problem for The U.S. and The U.K. (June 23, 2012)
  10. UN Report Accuses Rwanda of Supporting Bosco Ntaganda Rebels (May 28, 2012)
  11. Kabila, Army Chief of Staff head to eastern Congo to deal with defectors (April 10, 2012)
  12. DR Congo Government Warns Bosco Ntaganda He May Face Justice (April 6, 2012)
  13. Tshisekedi Says He Won, Can He Prove It? (December 17, 2011)
  14. Kabila Confident He Will Win Re-Election (October 18, 2011)
  15. Security Council extends mandate of UN mission in DR Congo (June 28, 2011)
  16. Rights Groups: Strengthen Civilian Protection Before Elections (June 9, 2011)
  17. UN Sanctions FDLR Leaders, CNDP Rebel Commander Integrated into Army (December 2, 2010)
  18. UN launches patrols to head off rebel violence during holiday season (December 1, 2010)
  19. UN Report: CNDP, Congolese Soldiers Involved in Illegal Mining Operations (November 30, 2010)
  20. Congo Defense Minister Rejects UN Allegations against Army (October 17, 2010)
  21. Rebel leader presumed responsible for mass rape arrested (October 5, 2010)
  22. UN DR Congo Report Exposes Grave Crimes (October 1, 2010)
  23. UN says peacekeepers 'failed' DR Congo rape victims (September 7, 2010)
  24. UN Defends Inaction on Mass Rapes in Eastern Congo, Government Missing in Action (August 26, 2010)
  25. Two Suspects Arrested in Attack on MONUSCO Base (August 20, 2010)
  26. Ban Ki-moon deplores deadly attack against blue helmets in North Kivu (August 18, 2010)
  27. Congo Army Killed Ugandan Rebels Commander in North Kivu - Government (August 4, 2010)
  28. 20,000 Flee Fighting with Ugandan Rebels in Eastern Congo (July 14, 2010)
  29. Ban Ki-moon inaugurates new phase of UN mission in DR Congo (July 1, 2010)
  30. Congo Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Independence (June 30, 2010)

Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play

Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© All rights reserved.