The regime of Congolese ruler Félix Tshisekedi has once again grabbed international headlines, this time due to the recent genocidal massacres in Goma. While the responsibilities of the Republican Guards in this crime are well-known, the FARDC Intelligence Service (SCIFA) and the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) are working tirelessly to divert attention from Tshisekedi’s involvement in the horrific events.
To begin with, one must possess a truly extraordinary level of naivety to buy into the idea that the recent bloodshed in Goma was not orchestrated under the explicit directive of Lieutenant General Constant Ndima, the Military Governor of North Kivu. The chain of command is clear -with orders ultimately stemming from the very top: the commander-in-chief of the FARDC, none other than President Tshisekedi himself. Tshisekedi, who once publicly acknowledged the involvement of his security apparatus in civilian massacres in the eastern regions of the country, sanctioned the military to open fire on innocent unarmed civilians.
These facts prove two things. Firstly, Tshisekedi has aligned himself with the army in perpetuating brutal acts against innocent Congolese civilians. This alignment is driven by a desire to create disorder and potentially extend the 2023 electoral timeline. Secondly, Tshisekedi’s anti-Rwanda propaganda narrative has fallen flat, as the Congolese people are now well aware that their army, over the years, has been the primary source of what is euphemistically referred to as “insecurity in eastern DRC.”
The Congolese army, which should ideally protect its citizens, has become the perpetrator of violence against its sons and daughters. Senior officers within the army are involved in a myriad of illicit activities, including tax collection, resolving land disputes, occupying camps of Congolese displaced by brutal incursions, orchestrating the smuggling of natural resources, and even colluding with tribal armed groups and genocidal groups like the FDLR, whom they are meant to combat.
The situation has reached a point where some courageous Congolese have begun to speak out, echoing the sentiments of National Deputy Jeannette Kavira Mapera from Lubero, who, in a damning video from last year, accused the FARDC of “merging” with murderous groups (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1ZTYnLQp3k).
With these grim facts established, it becomes evident that President Tshisekedi’s strategy is rooted in short-term gains, neglecting the long-term consequences of his actions. Tshisekedi and his allies may have realized the grim truth, but any immediate reversal of their course seems unlikely given the current political climate in the DRC.
As the governance of the Congolese population falls into the hands of Tshisekedi and an army willing to employ massacres and division as tools of subjugation, the president remains silent. But as the old saying goes, “He who is silent, consents.”