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Over 70 Rebels With 65 Arms Surrender In Masisi, DR Congo

The rebels surrendered along with arms as the DR Congo government continues to appeal for more surrenders.

At least 70 rebels of the Alliance of Congolese Nationalists for the Defense of Human Rights (ANCDH) Wednesday, July 14, 2021 surrendered in Masisi territory of DR Congo.

The rebels who surrendered along with 65 arms were received by Lt.-Gen. Constant Ndima Kitshanga, the military governor of North Kivu.

The ANCDH fighters said they were responding to the call by the Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi for rebels to lay down their arms and facilitate the pacification of the central zone of the country.

“We listened to the call by the President of the Republic. As the current government is led by patriots who love the Congolese, we wanted to come and accompany and assist in the restoration of peace,” Issa Ntaba Kabanda, the president of ANCDH declared.

“We have brought 65 arms among which are 63 AK47 rifles and two rocket propelled grenades. We came as an indication of what may follow. We are the first group. The second group would be motivated by the way these first children will be taken care of. The process will continue.” 

While receiving them, Lt.-Gen Kitshanga called on the other rebel combatants to dissociate themselves from armed groups to avoid being tracked down by the army.

“The actions you have taken effectively demonstrate that you are patriotic. You have followed the call by the head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces and the police. We have asked him to rapidly put in place the structure that would take care of you who have accepted to lay down your arms,” the Governor said. 

“I can tell you that he has already signed an ordinance on the creation of the disarmament, demobilisation, community reinsertion and stabilisation (DDR-CS) service. All your wishes will be treated by this service. There are some among you who would want to serve under the flag and others who want to be integrated into civilian life.”

“For those who will want to serve under the flag, you will follow the normal process, that is to say, individually subscribe to that and fulfill the necessary requirements. I call on all the others still following foreigners who are enemies of the Republic to follow the road of reasoning because the tracking of rebels which is currently going on will spare nobody.”

All the rebels who surrendered were transported to the Mubambiro transit camp of Masisi where they will be lodged awaiting the DDR-CS process just as those currently being taken care of in Rumangabo.

Civil society organisations have welcomed the surrender of the rebels but have called on the government to rapidly put in place the necessary accompanying measures.

“Since the instauration of the stage of siege, we have felt things moving in Masisi. There is some sort of calm within the agglomerations where the rebels who have just surrendered were based. But we demand that the surrenders be followed by accompanying measures in order to avoid the spectre of these rebels returning to the bush to repeat their dirty games,” said Brigitte Bashali, member of the Masasi active forces.

“This is to say that those who are going to be integrated into civilian life live according to the rules and those who are going to join the army be trained accordingly.”

On July 10, 2021, leaders of the North Kivu Sokola 2 operational sector presented 80 arms and ammunition to the military governor of North Kivu as well as 10 combatants who had surrendered. 

This is an indication that the state of siege declared on June 20, 2021 is yielding the desired results.

The army has just announced the intensification of operations to track down the negative forces in the territories of Rutshuru and Walikale.

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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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