The Congolese Minister of Justice, Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, held a press conference on Monday in Geneva (Switzerland) where he is staying. During his “selective” press conference, Thambwe Mwamba reportedly declared the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will refuse any independent investigation by United Nations experts into the cruel violence committed in the Kasai area. Unless they cooperate with the Congolese magistrates.
According to Anglo Congo, who is delivering this information on its facebook page, “this position will not improve the brand image – already deteriorated – of the DRC before the UN bodies”.
Before denouncing a possible campaign by the Kinshasa authorities in Geneva against an international fact-finding mission on violence in the Kasaï region.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad al-Hussein, last week called for the launch of international investigations into human rights violations in central and eastern Kasai. “A resolution on the subject will be put to the vote at the Human Rights Council on Thursday or Friday,” said Anglo Congo. The establishment of a one-year international fact-finding mission would pose a “problem” and “would be difficult to apply,” assured the press the Congolese Minister of Justice.
If it accepts the assistance of international experts working under the auspices of Congolese magistrates, the government refuses to give the reins of ongoing investigations to foreign judges. Thambwe Mwamba suggested that the DRC would refuse to welcome members of such a mission. “How do you want experts to go to a foreign country without going through the national authorities? (…) How will they get visas? How will they have access to the provinces? He asked himself.
The result would be the setting up, as in the past in other countries, of independent commissions which have merely gone to border countries and listened to refugees.
The violence in Kasai involves militia, soldiers and policemen. They killed more than 400 people – including two UN investigators killed in March – and caused the displacement of 1.3 million people.
Four murderers arrested!
Mr. Thambwe Mwamba underlined the competence of the Congolese justice system and the progress made on the ongoing investigations. ” The four main murderers of the two UN experts have been identified and arrested,” said the Minister of Justice. Their trial began on June 5th. The other eight people appearing in the video of the decapitations are on the run. Another trial, on the massacre of civilians by soldiers, is taking its course, “he reassured.
However, Thambwe Mwamba did not specify when the two procedures will be completed. When asked about the fate of the main opponent Moses Katumbi, the Minister of Justice said he could return to the DRC when he wants. He will, however, have to appear before the courts.
As a candidate for the next presidential election, Mr. Katumbi was sentenced to 3 years in prison in a real estate case and has yet to appear in a security trial. Exiled in Brussels, he recently lodged a complaint in Geneva against the Congolese authorities to the Human Rights Committee for “continued fury”. He has already won a small victory.
In a letter dated 13 June, the UN agency called on the DRC government to allow it to return and ensure its security.
Instruction in Belgium
The Minister of Justice, on the other hand, is the subject of an investigation in Belgium in a file dating back to his rebel period from the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) in 1998. Then, opposed to Laurent-Désiré Kabila, he Had announced that his movement had blown up a Boeing in full flight. An airplane that welcomed military Kabilists according to him. A version refuted by the complainant in this file which explains that the plane, taking off from Kindu (1200 km east of Kinshasa) was occupied by fifty civilians.