By Marie-France Cros.
Several hundred Republican Guards (GR) who had protected ex-President Joseph Kabila, his family and his properties throughout Congo for several years have been returned to their original unit in recent days. This spectacular movement is a remarkable indicator of the success of President Félix Tshisekedi in his standoff with his predecessor and mentor.
The movement was started a fortnight ago when the barriers – with Republican Guards (GR), armored cars and tanks – were removed from traffic in the street where Joseph Kabila resides in Kinshasa. Only a few GRs still stood guard in front of his villa in the GLM district. This had provoked an influx of curious people who came to see, by taxi or private car, the house of the one who reigned at least 18 years over the Congo.
Hundreds of GR
Last week, the decision was taken to withdraw the hundreds of GRs assigned to guard his property. The law provides that former heads of state have the right to police protection, not military. Joseph Kabila will henceforth have 75 police officers assigned to this task.
The fact that “the Honorary President” had kept the GR – which the law provides to protect the Head of State – in sharing with Félix Tshisekedi clearly told the Congolese that power was shared between the two men. The return to the law in this area is therefore seen by public opinion as a desecration of the former almighty Joseph Kabila.
In the same vein, the barriers blocking access for twenty years to the monument to Laurent Désiré Kabila in Kinshasa, which were only lifted on the anniversary of his death, January 16, to allow access to the public , were deleted last Friday. From this weekend, newlyweds and families came to be photographed.
Influx of fresh troops in Lubumbashi
In Katanga, Lubumbashi roared with rumors all weekend with the departure of the GR assigned to the properties of Joseph Kabila, while Saturday and Sunday arrived some 1,800 other GR intended to strengthen the protection of the city against attacks by “young people. drug addicts ”- understand the Bakata Katanga, a secessionist Mai Mai militia whose leader, Gédéon Kyungu, who joined Joseph Kabila in 2016, is on the run. Such an attack took place again on the weekend of February 13-14 and officially resulted in twelve deaths. These fresh troops have made their mark in town.
Finally, this Sunday evening, the one who is no longer called “the honorary President” but “the senator for life”, left his farm at the entrance of Lubumbashi to fly to Zambia and, from there, the Emirates. United Arabs. According to his advisor Kikaya bin Karubi, this is to respond to a long-standing invitation and Joseph Kabila will only stay in Abu Dhabi for three days.
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