Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Former Kabila General Launches Another (Soldierless?) Rebellion

Gen. Faustin Munene, who disappeared several weeks ago from Kinshasa in mysterious circumstances, has resurfaced on diaspora radio stations, saying he will fight to free Congo from oppressors and foreigners.

There had been some speculations about Munene, a retired, former vice-minister of the interior from Bandundu province, since his family went on Radio Okapi on October 7, saying that their houses had been ransacked and they didn't know where Munene was. On October 12, minister of the interior Lambert Mende said the general had been arrested, only to add two days later that the general had fled. Now, Munene (or someone who sounds an awful lot like him) has appeared on Radio TV Bendele, an internet radio broadcasting from the diaspora, saying that he will fight to liberate the Congo.

The interview is in Lingala and very long. The old commander, who fought first in the Mulelist uprising in the 1960s (rebel commander Pierre Mulele was his uncle), then for the Angolan army, then for Laurent Kabila's AFDL, says: "I haven't changed, I am fighting against dictatorship since I was small child...we want to clean the plate so Congolese can eat from a clean plate. You can't go to election in these conditions. "

Strange, as TV Radio Bendele is owned/closely allied to Honoré Ngbanda, the former national security chief of Mobutu, who was known as "Terminator" for his repressive policies. Munene even praises Ngbanda as a patriot.

There is also a press statement that has appeared on the internet, claiming that Munene is the leader of the Army of Popular Resistance (ARP). Strangely, the press statement says the ARP began its rebellion on January 4th, 2010, when Munene was still to be seen in Kinshasa. They claim the attack on Mbandaka, as well, which at the time was claimed by Congolese Patriots Resistant Fighters (PRC), another group linked to Ngbanda. It is probable that both the Kikwit and Mbandaka attacks were local problems that people like Ngbanda claimed as their own to inflate their importance.

But Ngbanda and Munene have an audience among Congolese, especially those in the diaspora, who are increasingly upset with Joseph Kabila. The death of human rights activist Floribert Chebeya and Armand Tungulu has incensed Kinois in particular as much as the violence in the eastern Congo and has made the blogosphere explode with vitriolic diatribes against Kabila. Munene, incidentally, says that he met with Tungulu in Kinshasa and the latter was upset as his squalid conditions.

Is this important? Probably not militarily - some people have linked the recent unrest in Kikwit, 500km East of Kinshasa, to Munene, but the situation there is relatively calm now and the killing of 3 Congolese soldiers on November 2 may have just been due to banditry. But it is a good indicator of how upset the radical (often western) fringes of Congolese society are with their president - when even the former AFDL commanders start praising Honoré Ngbanda as a true patriot and several thousand people tune it to listen to the program.

10 comments:

Rich said...

Faustin Munene may be just another Congolese leader who became unhappy because his current position was not good enough to maintain certain privileges.

Let remind us that Faustin Munene was Commander Region West in AFDL, deputy minister in charge of public order and Commander Chief of Staff for the FAC then commander Chief of staff for the Forces Aeriennes Congolaises he held some other high functions under L D Kabila.

J Kabila made him Chancelier des ordres nationaux near the elections Munene was tempted by politic and resigned from the function of Chancelier des ordres nationaux to stand as an MP in one of the circumscription in Kinshasa. He failed to be elected only to find himself jobless since 2006 when the elections took place. I guess things started to get tough from this point!

Other close allies to L D Kabila seem to be with Munene in his so far, cyber or mediatic rebellion! This is the case of Dr Fweley Diangitukwa who has now declared that he has joined Munene (where? Probably in the cybernetic world) to say that him, Munene and many others have chosen the voice of “legitimate defense”.

What is sure is that the so-called movement will never struggle to recruit virtually but I cannot see them produce something tangible unless J Kabila helps them by remaining reactive rather than proactive. Here I don't mean help them by confronting them with force but by providing genuine answers to the various and legitimate complaints voiced by ordinary Congolese; especially stopping impunity by punishing any abuse perpetrated by some of his unprofessional security operatives. I may be wrong but only time will tell.

jack said...

The"so called movement" will NEVER struggle to recruit: TRUE. It is no longer a so called movement, many ordinary congolese has jointed.
It is too late for your protege (HYPPOLITE KANAMBE aka JOSEPH KABILA) to provide any genuine answers to the various and LEGITIMATES complaints voiced by ORDINARY CONGOLESE, more than 10 years too late. For HYPPOLITE KANAMBE aka JOSEPH KABILA can not stop impunity now, by punishing any abuse perpetrated by (some) all of his unprofessional security operatives. To do so, He has to punish 90% of his people including his family members and himself.
You think you may be wrong but only the time will tell. I would tell you that, you are wrong, because the time is telling you now. Mbandaka, Chebeya, Tungulu,Mapping report,cndp, Kikwit, butembo,Angola,...signe de temps. Qui vivra vera

LIBERTE said...

Like any cruel dictator, Joseph Kabila has hit the wall. He is relaying on corruption and torture, but his end is likely to be tragic and bloody.His power is both useless and aimless. Just log onto any free and independent site like www.libertedopinion.org to read about the extent of killings and misery that J. Kabila is doing day after day under impunity.The secret about his Rwandan nationality is now well known among the majority of Congolese people. If UN does not intervene to take the regimes of Kinshasa and Kigali into the International Court of Justice, the whole country and region will become ungovernable like Somalia and many war leaders will arise. However, unlikely Somalia where brothers kill each others, in RD Congo all the regions of this country may come together to fight against Joseph Kabila (His real name is H. Kanambe)and immigrants from Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, etc. That war may be the tsunami that will allow a kind of French revolution in the heart of Africa. But to avoid another big war, the United Nations should arrest as soon as possible Paul Kagame and Joseph Kabila for genocide and war crimes. All the evidence is within the latest UN report.

James said...

Jason,

When should we we expect this year final report from the UN Panel of Experts on the DRC?
Can we expect anything new or "earth shattering"? What are your expectations?
I hope this year we will have a more professional report, unlike last year Dinesh's piece of $#*&, that targeted the very same refugees and congolese the UN is trying to defend.

Didier said...

We need to play a clean politics, when you are unhappy. you need to encourage the elections not stupid army with no understanding the role of democratie even general munene is only avide of power. Shup up General if you are a strong man wait for election who does not Horone Nganda the way he destroyed the country under Mobutu regime. Nganda is a terminator. Thank you

Didier said...

We need to play a clean politics, when you are unhappy. you need to encourage the elections not stupid army with no understanding the role of democratie even general munene is only avide of power. Shup up General if you are a strong man wait for election who does not Honore Nganda the way he destroyed the country under Mobutu regime. Nganda is a terminator. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Great posting, but I have to say that characterising support for Ngbanda as radical in the context of Kinshasa is I think a Problematic. He, or at least his kind of ideology now represents the majority of Congolese who fall within the orbit of Kinshasa. This for me is the trajedy of the elections etc. - the UDPS has been trumped from the phony radical/fascist fringes Ngbanda et al represent. I don't even think that the diaspora is especially more radical than the kinois (though perhaps the London ones are a little bit fruitier than the rest) just freer to say what they want.

Anonymous said...

Nganda is an imbecile, he represent the reign of incapacity and the auto destructive negro that wants to command by sacrificing the happiness of the multitudes. His agenda is tribalism, he will never be happy until the 'old boys" from Mobutu era go back to power. Munene did a big mistake by associating himself with this criminal...

Anonymous said...

millions of Congolese have already died for the greedy politicians. They must stop with the stupidity of coup attempts. A real man, politician or whatever, MUST TALK when there is a problem, but not planing to kill.

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