Congolese Minister says FARDC is not at the level of fighting the RDF

By Esther Muhozi
On 12 March 2024 at 01:45

The Minister in charge of Higher and University Education (ESU) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Butondo Muhindo Nzangi, has said that there is no single arm that can help their country’s military (FARDC) defeat Rwanda.

In an interview with Top Congo, Minister Nzangi stated that while people focus on the conflict between the FARDC and the M23 rebel group, they should recognize the historical context of the wars that have occurred in the DRC.

He said, "It’s a war that started in 1996 and has not stopped. It continues to this day. It is also important to note that until now, in terms of historical context, the military and security forces have not been able to protect our territorial integrity."

This leader demonstrated that the FARDC faces challenges due to the reasons for its establishment and the terms of the agreements between the DRC government and the previously rebellious groups, some of whom have become part of the national army.

"We are at a point where our military cannot just focus on security reasons. It’s not just the military, but all security agencies; entry and exit control, intelligence, especially in the eastern border, where people say they collaborate with us but work on the other side."

Minister Nzangi mentioned that while the FARDC is fighting against the M23, considered an "external enemy," on the other hand, it is fighting against another group that it once fought against. He aimed to highlight the complexity involved, beyond what people perceive.

He clarified that another challenge the FARDC faces is the persistence of conflict on the fifth front, which includes areas such as Shasha-Sake-Minova road, the Ngungu area, Mweso, Kishishe-Nyanzale, and Kibumba.

Nzangi stated that the FARDC collaborates with other forces including those from Burundi, the East African Community, Tanzania, Malawi, MONUSCO, and local militias, but emphasized that it should not continue to be embroiled in conflicts.

Regarding Rwanda, he noted that the DRC’s military possesses advanced weapons such as Sukhoi-25 and CH-4 drones but mentioned that they may not be able to match the capabilities of the Rwandan Defense Force (RDF) due to its advanced weaponry.

"We have acquired CH-4 drones, which work very well today on Earth in terms of surveillance and combat, we also have Sukhoi which works very well, but Rwanda has managed to acquire anti-missile defense capabilities that can neutralize them."

The Minister in charge of Higher and University Education (ESU) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Butondo Muhindo Nzangi.