DRC’s Foreign Minister accuses former president of collusion with armed group and Kenya

By Esther Muhozi
On 3 April 2024 at 12:16

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Christophe Lutundula, has leveled serious allegations against Joseph Kabila, the nation’s former president. Lutundula claims Kabila is in collusion with the armed faction AFC/M23 and the government of Kenya.

The controversy ignited after three associates from Kabila’s political faction, the PPRD, integrated into the political and military frameworks of the AFC. This move was seen as a direct challenge to the authority of the current President, Tshisekedi, and the Secretary-General of the ruling UDPS party, Augustin Kabuya. Reports emerged suggesting Kabila’s defection from the PPRD to join forces with adversaries of the state.

In a statement, Kabuya expressed, "Joseph Kabila has undoubtedly betrayed our nation. His whereabouts and actions remain unaccounted for. His disappearance coincides with the resurgence of conflict in the eastern regions of our country, a development I am deeply familiar with."

In a discussion with France 24’s Marc Perelman on January 1, 2024, Minister Lutundula revealed that the AFC receives support from several countries, including Kenya. "AFC emerged from East Africa, specifically Kenya. It represents a significant concern," Lutundula stated.

Lutundula criticized the Kenyan government for not denying the presence and operations of AFC within Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. He highlighted the implications of such actions on regional stability and democracy.

Concerning the PPRD, Lutundula disclosed, "Leaders from the former president’s party have succumbed to the armed group. While not all are complicit, some leaders have openly confirmed their allegiance."

Lutundula noted ongoing investigations by security agencies into the potential collaboration between the PPRD and AFC, indicating that revelations would be made public once verified.

He further warned of legal repercussions for anyone, including Kabila, found collaborating with AFC and M23, stating, "Aligning with groups such as AFC and M23 constitutes treason under DRC law. This applies to all, irrespective of past positions."

Barbara Nzimbi, speaking for Kabila, refuted the accusations. She argued that the attacks on Kabila’s integrity lacked foundation, emphasizing his commitment to his studies in South Africa and his enduring legacy in the DRC.

The article also names Adam Chalwe, Yannick Tshisola, and Henry Maggie Walifetu as PPRD members who have aligned with AFC. Additionally, it mentions Jean Jacques Mamba of the MLC party, highlighting the broader political implications of these alignments within the DRC’s ruling "Sacred Union."

Lutundula challenged Joseph Kabila for engaging with the AFC is an act of betrayal.