DRC President Félix Tshisekedi has cleaned up the army. He designated one of his followers, sidelining a pro-Kabila.
A few hours ago, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Félix Tshisekedi decided to decapitate the command of his army and his Republican Guard. It must be said that, as in other sectors, several high-ranking army officers had been appointed under Joseph Kabila. General Christian Tshiwewe Songesha has been appointed head of the army, replacing Célestin Mbala. The latter was no longer really well regarded within the presidential entourage, especially since the break between Tshisekedi and Kabila.
Other departures of soldiers appointed by Kabila have been recorded and personalities deemed more loyal to Tshisekedi designated.
A real little revolution. Because if the Congolese president had estimated, several months ago, that there was undeniably "a staffing problem in our army, a lot of shenanigans are undermining our security forces", he had embarked on a time-consuming cleaning. Referring above all to corruption, Tshisekedi knew above all that certain ex-faithful Kabila could play a dirty trick on him.
Corruption, mistrust and terrorism
Lieutenant-General Tshiwewe is therefore undoubtedly the ideal personality to take over the army: he was previously in the Republican Guard and was in charge of the movements of the Head of State. His loyalty will not be questioned by the entourage of the president, who seems to appreciate the soldier.
It is moreover within the Republican Guard that Tshisekedi went to draw other elements to integrate them into the army. His staff therefore seems committed to his cause and the fact of having padlocked the army comforts the president a little more for the future.
But why did the head of state wait so long before launching his reshuffle? First of all, we had to find the right profiles. And then, Tshisekedi knew he was going to make the pro-Kabila bitter. Above all, the President of Congo knows that he is throwing his most loyal men into a difficult battle, namely the conflict with the M23 rebels which never ends.
This sweeping sweep should finally make it possible to clean up the army, which has been largely under fire from critics for several years. We remember, a few days ago, the arrest of a general accused of intelligence with Rwanda. We also know how disparate Tshisekedi's entourage is: after the Beya affair, jailed after what looks like a plot against the president, Tshisekedi needs to rely on followers. And Christian Tshiwewe Songesha has quite the profile.