Are we witnessing a passing of arms between the Congolese Prime Minister and his Deputy Prime Minister on the responsibility of Monusco in the ongoing attacks in Beni? It would seem so, if we refer to their latest reactions on their respective Twitter accounts.
« We can not succeed in protecting the population if we become a target ourselves ». These remarks by Leïla Zerrougui, the representative in the DRC of the UN Secretary General, are included in an article by Radio Okapi, the UN mission station in the DRC, on the media’s Twitter account in the early morning of Tuesday, November 26.
Among the dozens of reactions, there is one and not the least. That of the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ilunkamba Ilunga Sylvestre. « No madam @SRSG_Monusco, you have managed to become a target because you do not protect the population, » writes the head of the Congolese government on his behalf.
In this barely veiled pike, Ilunga holds indeed responsible Monusco in the attacks suffered by the people of Beni, in the east of the country, for months, even years. On Monday, these attacks gave rise to scenes of revolt among the people who attacked Monusco facilities in the city. Outcome of the demonstrations, at least 6 dead whose responsibility is not yet clearly established.
On Monday, the Congolese Prime Minister was already blaming the UN mission, accused of attacking the people. « It is unacceptable that MONUSCO, which is hard-pressed for the maintenance of peace and stability, fires live ammunition at RDC civilians! But when, ADFs operate in Beni, we do not see them, nor hear them! This is unacceptable !
Charges denied by posts interposed by Kankonde Nkashama Malamba Gilbert, who is none other than the Deputy Prime Minister of the DRC. « Let’s avoid amalgamation and do not follow manipulative messages that would suggest that MONUSCO would be part of the problem when it’s international support, » the minister writes. « (…) The maintenance of order and the security of the population is first and foremost one of the sovereign responsibilities of the state and we assume our full responsibility, » he added.
If Mr. Malamba avoids confronting his boss by naming him, the Net users did not take long to understand the pass of arms between the two Congolese government officials. And all the more so as these personalities have diametrically opposite views on the issue of maintaining or not Monusco in the DRC. Fervent ally of Joseph Kabila, Sylvestre Ilunga is fiercely opposed, like the former Congolese president, to the renewal of the mandate of Monusco, which must also be decided at the end of the year by the UN Security Council.
Position measured for Deputy Prime Minister Kankonde Nkashama Malamba Gilbert, a faithful of President Felix Tshisekedi. The latter considers that the withdrawal of the UN mission must be done gradually in order to help clean up the last pockets of insecurity in the country.
The display of the points of view of MM. Ilunga and Malamba on social networks, however, is especially revealing dissensions and tensions that spur the coalition in power, formed by Joseph Kabila and his successor Felix Tshisekedi.