Major General Christian Ndaywell, head of military intelligence Congoleseinvolved in the assassination of political opponent Chérubin Okende, on July 13?
The military intelligence service in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Demiap) has been in the hot seat since the end of spring. At issue: two files which target two opponents of the political party Ensemble pour la République of Moïse Katumbi.
DRC: Chérubin Okende file, who really wants to know the truth about this assassination?
Act I. On May 30, the services led since October 3, 2022 by Major General Christian Ndaywell, violently arrested on the tarmac of Ndjili international airport, in Kinshasa, Salomon Kalonda, the main advisor to Moïse Katumbi for illegal detention of weapon, collusion with Rwanda and the M23 rebels. On June 5, military intelligence assured, at a press conference, that Salomon Kalonda was “in permanent contact” with the latter, explaining in the process, that “one of the objectives was to overthrow the power in place in the DRC by all means, and to install a Katangese national”.
More than 5 months later, the Congolese services have not provided any evidence against them but refuse any conditional release of the detainee, hospitalized for more than a month, and whose state of health is deteriorating, according to several doctors.
DR Congo: RSF debunks accusations against Stanis Bujakera
Act II. On July 13, the lifeless body of Chérubin Okende was discovered at the wheel of his jeep in Kinshasa. Former Minister of Transport, spokesperson for the Ensemble pour la République party and national deputy, Mr. Okende was kidnapped the day before while he was in his vehicle in the parking lot of the Constitutional Court.
(The total silence of the Congolese authorities)Edit information
A kidnapping documented at the end of August by a report from the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) which explains: “a military intelligence pick-up with six soldiers on board arrived on the scene. Two soldiers entered the jeep and forced the victim to drive away. According to the account of the ANR internal security department, Chérubin Okende was then exfiltrated and taken aboard the pick-up directly to the premises of military intelligence, the ex-Demiap, the service headed by General- Major Christian Ndaywell. The body of Chérubin Okende was found lifeless a few hours later.
(Belgium promises its assistance to the DRC in the context of the assassination of Chérubin Okende)Edit information
Nearly four months after this assassination, the family of Chérubin Okende has still not been able to recover the remains of the former minister. The investigation seems to be at a standstill and no element of the autopsy, carried out on August 3 in the presence, notably, of a Belgian expert dispatched by Brussels at the express request of the Congolese presidency, has ever been communicated.
The family of Chérubin Okende has taken numerous steps in Congo to have the remains returned to them and to find out the progress of the investigation… without result.
Complaint in Belgium
”It appears from the first medico-legal findings carried out on the remains, that the victim received, during his kidnapping and his detention or sequestration, injuries, blows, and suffered physical violence voluntarily exercised by public officials. at the instigation of the Chief of Military Intelligence or with his express or tacit consent, with the aim of obtaining information or confessions, or of inflicting reprisals, or of carrying out acts of intimidation, in such a way that “he was found dead on July 13, 2023”, we can read in the complaint filed on November 7 before the Belgian courts by lawyer Alexis Deswaef. His complaint, on behalf of several members of Chérubin Okende’s family, directly targets the leader of the ex-Demiap. The competence of Belgian justice is beyond doubt: Christian Ndaywell is of Belgian nationality.
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Born in France, son of a great Congolese historian, Christian Ndaywell lived for several years in Saint-Gilles. Those who knew him at the time remember his fascination with the army. “As soon as a high-ranking official was passing through Brussels, he did everything he could to meet him,” explains one of his friends at the time.
No dual nationality
On May 19, 2005, the man obtained Belgian nationality, which he never renounced. Article 10 of the Congolese Constitution, in its first paragraph, provides “Nationality is one and exclusive. It cannot be held concurrently with any other.” The head of Congolese military intelligence, Christian Ndaywell, is therefore still Belgian.
The complaint for “war crimes, including intentional homicide and torture” filed before the Belgian justice system requests in particular that the report of the Belgian expert who participated in the autopsy be attached to the investigation of the case.
DRC: Four weeks after the assassination of the Congolese opponent, the total silence of the authorities
A man of the president
Christian Ndaywell arrived at the head of the military intelligence service during a vast military reshuffle desired in October 2022 by the President of the Republic Félix Tshisekedi who intended to strengthen his military system and place trusted men in key positions…