From the province of Ituri where he held a major press conference on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, the President of DR Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, clarified some angles from the point of view not only political, but also health and security well heard. This meeting with the national and international press comes three days after his arrival in Ituri. The day before, he was in Djugu where he promised that the Congolese army will remain in this zone until the complete restoration of peace.
He visited the remains of the Djugu central prison where his father had stayed in the 80s. It was also the first official face-to-face meeting of the Head of State with media professionals since his accession to the judiciary. Supreme Court on January 24, 2019.
I understand that the FRPI were oriented towards peace. From the moment they look in the same direction as us, they become valid interlocutors. I send them the following message: return to reason. Surrender your weapons, without conditions beforehand. The hand is extended to you. This is your country, you have a place, provided you indulge in legal activities, “said Felix Tshisekedi on behalf of the militiamen of the armed group Ituri Patriotic Resistance Forces, this Tuesday, July 2 before the press in Bunia, before returning to Kinshasa. He therefore urged them to lay down their arms unconditionally and to be on the road to peace.
Peace, without conditions
According to the Congolese head of state, there is no longer any reason for this militia to organise itself into a group of self-defence, to commit abuses against the local population. For him, in fact, ” there is no longer any reason to continue in your harmful activities for society. Come home. Because today we are fighting for the authority of the state to be active and present throughout our entire territory. There is no reason to organise a self-defence militia.
During his stay in this part of the Republic, he met with provincial and local officials. He held a meeting of the Provincial Security Committee in the presence of the FARDC, PNC and ANR commands. He also addressed the people of Bunia, through a public meeting. He preached the love between Iturians and announced his involvement in the return of peace.
In fact, the armed violence resurfaced last April in the territory of Djugu. The army identified a certain “Ngudjolo” as the leader of the militia whose men operate in several localities of Djugu and in the chiefdom of Mokambo, in the territory of Mahagi.
Bishop Dieudonné Uringi, Bishop of the Diocese of Bunia, denounced the existence of a “mystic-religious sect” called CODECO, which encourages violence that has already killed more than a hundred dead in the territory of Djugu. The army announced on Thursday, June 27, the conquest of the stronghold of the militia, located in the Wago forest, after two days of intense fighting as part of the operation.
The territory of Djugu had already been rocked by deadly violence in 2017 and 2018. More than 200 civilians had been killed, whole villages burned and more than 2,000 people had crossed Lake Albert to live in Uganda. Hundreds of IDPs, arriving in Bunia, were settled around the general hospital. This year, UNHCR has counted more than 300,000 people who have fled the violence, since early June, in the territories of Djugu and Mahagi
The port before the bridge
In another direction, the President of the Republic Felix Tshisekedi does not emit on the same wavelength as his predecessor Joseph Kabila on the construction of the Kinshasa-Brazzaville road-rail bridge. For the head of state, we must first build the port in deep water Banana. “As long as the deep-water port project is not completed, I will not move on the road-rail bridge initiative. I have met some of the companies that are interested. I heard the concerns of my brothers from central Kongo, “he said.
This regional integration project initiated more than 10 years ago, was validated by his predecessor Joseph Kabila, while the latter was dispatching current affairs. The citizens of Central Kongo are opposed to such a project which for them will consecrate the economic death of the port province of the DRC.