’262 armed groups in DRC are a product of poor leadership’ - Maj Gen Nzabamwita

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 23 May 2024 at 10:30

Secretary General of National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Major General Joseph Nzabamwita, says poor leadership is to blame for the worrying security situation in parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Speaking during the ongoing National Security Symposium in Kigali, the NISS boss said there are currently 262 militia groups operating in DRC, terming it as a “global record”.

“No single country has got as many armed groups in the world as Congo has. This is a phenomenon whereby if there is lack of governance, poor leadership and ungoverned spaces, the population is going to look for their own ways of survival,” Maj Gen Nzabamwita stated.

Maj Gen Nzabamwita noted that some groups, including the FDLR, a remnant of the perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, have been allowed to radicalize youth groups in DRC. This has become an obstacle to ending conflicts in the eastern part of the country, where the Congolese army is fighting M23 rebel groups who accuse the government of marginalization and persecution.

"In 1994, these youth, radicalized under the Interahamwe and genocidal forces, withdrew to Congo. They were protected there for 30 years. They have spread genocide ideologies, and we have a population that is radicalized and fighting their own colleagues, brothers, and sisters," Maj Gen Nzabamwita noted, adding, "Let’s be very conscious of our own failures, external factors and what we need to do as a continent and own countries to survive global changes taking place today".

The 11th National Security Symposium 2024, jointly organised by Rwanda Defence Force Command and Staff College (RDFCSC) and the University of Rwanda (UR), opened on Wednesday and will close on Friday.

During the three-day meeting, the participants will discuss various issues ranging from youth radicalisation and international violent extremism.

Themed “Contemporary Security Challenges: The African Perspective”, experts will weighing in on the causes of insecurity across the globe and what needs to be done to restore peace.

Other areas listed for discussion include climate change in Africa, global energy crisis and transitions, food security in Africa, the compounding effects of global shocks on trade, supply chain and debt trap and insecurity in Africa.