Armed ViolenceDevelopmentNews

DR Congo Army Officer Disappears With Military Personnel’s Salaries

An officer of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo has allegedly disappeared with money meant for the payment of the salaries of soldiers fighting rebels of the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the Mbau-Kamango axis within the Beni territory in North Kivu.

Sources at the army high command on Wednesday gave the name of the officer as Major Sukami Willy Willy, who is in charge of the administration of the 2103 regiment based in Beni.

In a release on Wednesday,  Lt.-Col. Joseph Ngibilicho Bulombo, the officer-in-charge of intelligence operations Sokola 1 in the Grand North, said the officer had been declared missing since Tuesday, October 26, 2020, with the October 2020 salaries of his unit. The amount involved is put at 172,287,127 Congolese francs (about 85,000 dollars).

Bulombo said Willy should be arrested if seen and brought to the Grand North sector of Operations Sokola 1 or handed over to the nearest military prosecutor.

A senior military officer in Beni who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak for the army, told HumAngle on Wednesday evening that this was not the first time an army officer had been accused of embezzling the salaries of soldiers in the war front.

The officer, however, explained that this was the first time an army officer attempted to disappear with money intended to pay soldiers in an operational zone.

For several months now, soldiers have been deployed on the Mbau-Kamango highway to ensure the security of travellers on the road which has only recently been reopened for civilian traffic after it was closed three years ago following attacks by combatants of the rebel ADF movement.

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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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