Tshisekedi’s Militarization Folly: How Many Foreign Troops Does It Take to Realize He’s the Problem?

Congolese ruler Tshisekedi’s misguided policies have transformed Eastern DRC into a ticking time bomb, replete with a dangerous mix of foreign forces, mercenaries, and a staggering number of armed groups.

It is astonishing to witness Tshisekedi’s ability to juggle the extensions of the EAC force and the exorbitant United Nations peacekeeping mission while also inviting the presence of SADC forces. This so-called “strategic maneuvering” seems to serve only one purpose: to foster chaos and instability as a means to consolidate his power, regardless of the severe consequences endured by the Congolese people.

The consequences of the Kinshasa regime’s outsourcing strategy become even more alarming when considering the multitude of foreign military forces present in the region. In addition to SADC, the United Nations peacekeeping force and the Eastern Africa force maintain a strong presence. The overlapping presence of these forces creates a convoluted and potentially volatile situation. Rather than seeking sustainable solutions from within, Tshisekedi has contributed to the entanglement of various military entities, further complicating the already fragile situation on the ground.

Tshisekedi’s policy of militarization has inadvertently empowered the proliferation of armed groups within the Eastern DRC. With over 252 local armed factions and 14 foreign terrorist groups, including the notorious Tropical Nazi from FDLR, the region has become a breeding ground for violence and instability. Instead of addressing the root causes of the conflict, Tshisekedi’s support for armed groups has worsened the security environment. This support not only turns a blind eye to their heinous actions but also makes Tshisekedi complicit in the perpetration of atrocities committed by these groups.

Compounding the already dire situation, Tshisekedi has taken the alarming step of employing mercenaries to further his agenda. The first group consists of soldiers from the notorious Russian private company Wagner, notorious for their involvement in heinous acts against civilians in various conflict zones like the Central African Republic and Mali. The second group comprises veterans from the French Foreign Legion, hailing from Eastern Europe and contracted by the Bulgarian military firm Agemira. One must wonder how many more troops does Tshisekedi think he needs before realizing that he is the root of the problem?

In truth, the price of Tshisekedi’s militarization strategy is borne by the Congolese people. The heavy presence of foreign forces and the outsourcing of security have historically been associated with human rights abuses, civilian casualties, and the perpetuation of violence. By relying on external troops, Tshisekedi risks further destabilizing the region and compromising the safety and well-being of his citizens.

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