“Kabila has left Congo and supports M23 rebels”

“Kabila has left Congo and supports M23 rebels”
“Kabila has left Congo and supports M23 rebels”
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“Former president Kabila has fled the country,” Augustin Kabuya, secretary general of Tshisekedi’s UDPS party, said during a meeting at party headquarters. “Kabila was determined to wage war against us and therefore did not report that he had left Congolese territory. Check with the migration service DGM, there is no trace that he crossed the borders of Congo.”

According to Kabuya, at least three high-ranking members of Kabila’s party have joined the political-military movement Alliance Fleuve Congo (AFC), which is linked to the M23 rebels. After eight years of ceasefire, that group took up arms again at the end of 2021 and, with the support of the Rwandan army, conquered large parts of North Kivu, in eastern Congo.

Kabila’s party denies all accusations and says those people acted “completely freely and without the party.” A communications advisor to Kabila described the statements as “serious, irresponsible, incoherent and bordering on madness.” Relatives of the former president are considering filing a defamation lawsuit.

Resource war

The war in Eastern Congo is linked to the many raw materials that can be found there.

The Rwandan government has presented strong export figures in recent weeks. In 2023, raw material exports increased from 706 million to 1 billion euros. In 2019, the country exported ‘only’ 365 million euros worth of raw materials. Gold remains Rwanda’s top export product. But coltan and tungsten are also on the rise: critical raw materials that are important for the defense industry and for the transition to a green economy. The price of these raw materials is expected to increase several times in the future.

Congo says that almost all raw materials that end up on the world market from Rwanda come from Eastern Congo. There, the Rwandan army, with the help of M23 rebels, is fighting a bloody war with the Congolese government army. As a result, 800,000 civilians fled.

A recent United Nations research report also mentions “increasing” commodity smuggling from Eastern Congo to Rwanda. The UN expert report describes how tin, tantalum and tungsten are smuggled from the large Rubaya mining site to Rwanda.

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