This weekend the former boss of the Ceni presented his movement from Nairobi: the Congo River Alliance.
An astonishing journey than that of Corneille Nangaa, former president of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni), one of the main linchpins of the agreement between the Kabilist FCC and the Cash of Vital Kamerhe and Félix Tshisekedi (which brought the latter to power despite the real figures of the elections), a time in court with the new president before becoming a fierce opponent of the Tshisekedi clan to finally settle on the eve of the presidential election at the head of a politico-military platform in which we also finds rebel movements such as, in particular, the M23, Pareco, Zaire, the FRPI, Twiraneho but also civil society organizations and, according to Corneille Nangaa, parties and politicians whose names he has kept silent.
A platform called Alliance Fleuve Congo (AFC), which intends “save” the DRC and guarantee “the return of peace”.
From Cash to the AFC
This weekend, a few hours after Corneille Nangaa’s official exit, the Nairobi authorities cautiously distanced themselves from the Congo River Alliance, while explaining that Kenya is a democratic state that respects freedom of expression.
But the images of Corneille Nangaa in Nairobi are inseparable from those of Vital Kamerhe and Félix Tshisekedi announcing the launch of Cap pour le change (Cach), their political movement. Another platform launched in haste just a few days after the nomination in Geneva, on November 11, 2018, of Martin Fayulu as joint candidate of the Congolese opposition. A vote in which the two men participated in the Swiss city before resuming their signatures less than 24 hours later and dissociating themselves from the Lamuka movement.
DRC: MONUSCO will not be able to save the vote
Five years and one month later, in the same city, another Congolese movement was born.
If the presidency of William Rutto, who succeeded Uhuru Kenyatta as president in 2018, issued a statement not to take responsibility for this politico-military movement, no one can think that Nairobi was not aware. Without presaging active support for the Congo River Alliance, it is impossible not to see it at least as a gesture of kindness.
Kinshasa understands this. As of Saturday, the Kenyan ambassador in the Congolese capital was summoned to Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula. A few hours later, we learned of the recall for consultation of the Congolese ambassador stationed in Nairobi (John Nyakeru, brother-in-law of President Tshisekedi) and his colleague in Dar es-Salam, the Tanzanian capital, seat of the East African Community (EAC), a regional alliance that the DRC joined in 2022.
The EAC feels cheated by the DRC
Two years later, the divorce is almost complete between Kinshasa and the capitals of this regional organization, 5 states of which (Burundi, South Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda) had sent troops to the east at the request of President Tshisekedi. from the DRC last January to try to bring peace.
Less than a year later, it’s a complete fiasco. Tshisekedi accuses the EAC troops of not being “offensive” enough against the M23 rebels, whom he presents as an appendage of the Rwandan army. The EAC staffs are hiding behind the ongoing diplomatic and political negotiations.
In this context, the Congolese government demanded that the mandate of the EAC not be renewed after December 8. Kenyan troops, the first to arrive in eastern DRC, were also the first to leave as the M23 continued to advance and gradually suffocated the city of Goma a few days before the presidential election, thus denying the electoral propaganda from candidate Tshisekedi who announces that victory is close.
Nangaa’s announcement of a partnership between his Congo River Alliance and the M23 clearly indicates that Rwanda but also Uganda have lined up behind this movement hostile to Tshisekedi. Add to this the tensions with Tanzania confirmed by the recall of the Congolese ambassador stationed in Dar es-Salam and an almost unanimous front emerges within the East African Community (with the exception of Burundi) which stands facing the power in place in Kinshasa.
”The SADC will not come”
The Congolese authorities are now counting on intervention from another regional bloc, that of Southern Africa (SADC), to fight against the advances of the M23. “But the SADC troops will not come, explains a South African diplomat. Kinshasa has not paid its annual contribution of 10 million dollars to the SADC”. “We know that several countries in this bloc have maintained close ties with Kabila and now consider Tshisekedi as a danger to the stability of the region.”, continues a diplomat from a UN organization. President Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe swears by Kabila, South Africa hides behind its participation in Monusco, Angola takes refuge behind the Luanda agreements to justify its neutrality, Mozambique needs Rwanda to stabilize his province of Cabo Delgado…