Democratic Republic of the Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has confirmed “large-scale” military operations in Ituri (north-east) after massacres of civilians, as well as an “eradication plan” of foreign armed groups.
“I have just ordered our armed forces to conduct large-scale operations in the Djugu and Mahagi territories,” said the president for his first message on the occasion of Independence Day on June 30, 1960.
Dozens of civilians were massacred in these two territories according to local authorities who point the responsibility of a militia whose army claims to have recovered the stronghold.
“I decided to commemorate June 30th in Ituri province,” said the expected president this Sunday in provincial capital Bunia.
“These operations will extend to Minembwe in South Kivu to put an end to the adventures of all the outlaws,” the president added.
He also announced a “plan for total eradication” of foreign armed groups under discussion “with Monusco (United Nations Mission in Congo) and neighboring countries concerned” (mainly Uganda and Rwanda).
He praised the “political relaxation” he has been following since his inauguration: “The political exiles are back, the meetings and demonstrations are held without any hindrance”.
“I refuse that some malicious leaders can confuse democracy and anarchy,” he repeated. The head of state on Saturday used the same argument the day before to endorse the ban on a demonstration by his former opposition allies this Sunday in Kinshasa.