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2 Rebel Leaders, 90 Fighters Surrender To DR Congo Army

While citizens berate the success of the state of siege in parts of DR Congo, the army is recording rebel surrenders.

Two self-proclaimed colonels of the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo (APCLS), a militia group led by self-proclaimed General Janvier Karairi on Monday July 26, surrendered to soldiers of the national army of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The ceremony to officially welcome the two former rebel leaders, ‘Colonels’ Padiri and Ngume was presided over by Mwehu Lumbu Evariste, a Brigadier General and the Commander of the North Kivu Sokola 2 operational sector.

The ceremony took place in Lushebere, over  80 kilometres from Goma in the Masisi territory of North Kivu. The two close collaborators of “General” Karairi surrendered along with  90 of their combatants and f40 arms.

The massive surrender of rebel fighters within the past several weeks, according to Njike Kaiko, a Major and the army spokesperson of the North Kivu Sokola 2 operational sector,was as a result of the state of siege that was declared in North Kivu and Ituri provinces on May 22, 2021 by President Felix Tshisekedi.

“The method we have used is a state of siege. The Supreme Commander wanted the Eastern DR Congo to be pacified. He has put the means both material and human as well as the will at our disposal, which is why, today, 18 years after, the APCLS has started leaving the bushes and I promise you that with the pressure we are going to relentlessly put on them, we are going to take Janvier Karairi right here where we are in Masisi territory,” Major Njike declared.

On Wednesday, July 22, 2021, Paul Meheshe, a self-proclaimed General and leader of the 3rd division of the APCLS equally surrendered to the national army still in Masasi bringing along 101 of his combatants and 40 arms and three machetes.

Colonel Chinabu Christophe, military administrator of Masisi territory affirmed that besides the military pressure, the sensitisation of militia men to leave the bushes also contributed to the current situation.

“When I arrived here, I spoke to the population on the instructions of the Supreme Commander who demanded that we first sensitize the population, the traditional rulers and all the natives to lay down their arms,” Colonel Chinabu said.

“We can now see the positive results which are on the horizon. Last time it was Paul Maheshe who came out of the bush. Today, it is the time for the self-proclaimed colonels Padiri and Ngume who have left the bushes. The two of them are sector commanders of the APCLS.” 

Several hundred combatants of the negative forces wreaking havoc in Eastern DR Congo have in the past two months surrendered to the national army in Masisi territory.

They are currently assembled in the Mubambiro and Rumangabo centres situated in Masisi and Rutshuru territories respectively, while waiting for the formal beginning of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reinsertion process.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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