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DRC: who is François Beya, the "Mister Intelligence" who has just been arrested?

Francois Beya

This Saturday, the arrest by the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) of Félix Tshisekedi's influential "Mister Intelligence", François Beya, gave rise to much speculation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

From Mobutu, passing by Kabila, he knew everything, until becoming a symbol of the Sacred Union. François Beya is a mysterious man. Nicknamed "Mister Security" in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), he has long remained a key man in the national security system. But under current President Félix Tshisekedi, the presidency's special security adviser was arrested by his former agency, the National Intelligence Agency (ANR), this Saturday, February 5.

The President of the DRC, Felix Tshisekedi, then attended the 35th summit of the African Union (AU), where he passed the torch to his successor at the head of the African body, the Senegalese President Macky Sall.

Informed of the arrest of François Beya, followed by that of several senior army officers, Felix Tshisekedi returned urgently to Kinshasa on the night of Saturday to Sunday. No official statement from the presidency has yet been made. A silence that has given way to the craziest theories, in particular that of an aborted coup d'etat.

But if we are to believe the militants of the UDPS, Tshisekedi's party, who are demonstrating today throughout the country, it would not be the case. On the media side, Jeune Afrique puts forward the hypothesis of an internal conflict within the president's circle. François Beya, who had rubbed shoulders with the high spheres of power in the DRC for decades, is often accused of being in the pay of former President Joseph Kabila.

And it must be said that the integration of Beya into the closed circle of advisers to the Congolese presidency was part, according to observers, of the constraints of the Sacred Union between Tshisekedi and Kabila, which has since crumbled with blows of anti operations. -corruption carried out against the ex-faithful of the former president.

A mysterious arrest

But as for Francois Beya, the president's adviser on security issues, in recent weeks the latter had lost authority with national agencies. In particular, the one that finally had him arrested, the powerful National Intelligence Agency (ANR), where the general administrator Jean-Hervé Mbelu Biosha has been director since last December.

And it will finally be Biosha who will have ordered the arrest and the hearing of his ex-superior. During the night, according to several Congolese media, army generals were also arrested by the ANR.

What has fueled the rumors of a coup d'etat are above all statements attributed to "security sources", claiming that François Beya would have been at the center of a "conspiracy" against President Félix Tshisekedi.

However, the ruling party, the UDPS, denies these allegations. According to observers, the general context of alliances within power in the DRC, marked by the recent resignation of the Vice-President of the National Assembly Jean-Marc Kabund, but also by the numerous arrests of dozens of senior pro-Kabila officials these months, would have led to the arrest of François Beya.

Few real or potential explanations are still filtering, the security files for which François Beya was in charge being very sensitive.

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