Lawmakers in Kinshasa on Monday filed a motion to summon the Defence Minister to parliament to confirm whether a joint military operation is planned with DR Congo neighbors.
For weeks, Congolese media is filled with speculation of an impending military offensive in eastern Congo involving Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and UN peacekeeping forces MONUSCO. The reports have provoked unease in Congo – which is recovering from years of being a war theatre for other countries.
Last week, a document leaked on social media purported to be Congolese military FARDC detailed plan of how, where and when the military offensive will be conducted. The operations are supposed to begin mid next month until May next year, according to the document.
The operations are said to be aimed all foreign militias in north and south Kivu provinces. Those targeted include Ugandan Allied Democratic Force (ADF) rebels, Rwandan FDLR rebels, Burundian RED Tabara and many others.
Government has kept quiet about the reported offensive. A Twitter account of FARDC described the leaked document as “fake news”.
Lawmakers of the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) party of Vital Kamerhe, which is actually in governing coalition with President Felix Tshisekedi, are the ones who filed the motion in parliament.
Juvénal Munubo, a national MP from eastern Congo, is the one who prepared the motion and filed it on Monday. It seeks to require the Minister of Defense Ngoy Mukena to appear in parliament to say if there is a “planning” for the offensive.
Lawmaker Munubo made the announcement around 9pm Monday night on his Twitter account. Kamerhe is the man running President Tshisekedi’s office, making him one of the most powerful people in Congo today.
It is unclear whether Kamerhe is privy to the motion from his party MPs, but it would be unusual if indeed be isn’t.
No date has been set for the tabling of the motion in the Congolese parliament, and the next days will determine if the defense minister’s appearance can come true.