Governor Raises Alarm Over 750 Police Officers, Soldiers AWOL In Haut-Katanga, DR Congo

The soldiers and police officers have been away without permission and pose security threats according to the Governor of Haut-Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Jacques Kyabula Katwe, the governor of Haut-Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, says a total of  750 soldiers and police officers are on irregular absence without leave (AWOL).

Governor Katwe said the affected security operatives have moved from Kasai to Katanga with the possibility of being responsible for insecurity in the province.

“As concerns the question of security, we have discovered that the massive movements which have just taken place in Kasai towards Katanga include armed police and soldiers who have moved along with the civilian population in Haut-Katanga,” he said at a press conference held on Monday, May 2.

“We have more than 750 armed police officers and soldiers who have moved on their own to Katanga. And when they arrive in Katanga, they have nothing to do, they have nothing to eat nor where to sleep. That is how they could naturally create insecurity.”

The press briefing follows a round table on peaceful cohabitation within communities in Kasai and Katanga.

“This is the reason why you see that things linked to insecurity have not been under control up till date. Once things are under control at a given time, there are new arrivals. On the security plan, we have also had to treat this situation,” the governor added.

The inter-provincial conference between the provinces of Kasai and Katanga was summoned by President Felix Tshisekedi who wanted to understand and find solutions to the tensions existing between the two provinces.

At the end of the conference, President Tshisekedi called for humanism and tolerance between the two areas and also for the respect of the laws of the republic.

The roundtable agreed that a roadmap be created  to control the movement of the populations.

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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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