A new rebel army of 20 000 men claiming to regroup 12 rebel groups has emerged in Bukavu, in the South Kivu province of eastern DRC, and has declared to be ready to do battle to overthrow the regime of Joseph Kabila, the Afrikarabia Blog reported on Sunday.
The coalition calls itself UFRC, which stands for Union des Forces Revolutionaires du Congo or Union of Revolutionary Forces of Congo.
Armed groups such as Raïa Mutomboki and Maï-Maï de Bunyakiri are said to be part of the coalition. UFRC spokesperson Colonel Maké Silubwe told Afrikarabia that his organisation is also allied to Gédéon, an armed group currently operating in mineral-rich Katanga province. “We are in contact with Gédéon even though they don’t belong to our coalition,” he explained.
The armed coalition wants new ‘free, fair and democratic’ elections to be held in the mineral-rich nation, the resignation of President Kabila, the creation of national transitional bodies and the implementation of reforms in the defence and security apparatus, which it claims is infiltrated by foreigners.
UFRC is a movement supported by civil society, Silubwe said. Silubwe, who claimed that there are too many Rwandan high-ranking officers currently serving in the Congolese army, said serious reforms were needed to eradicate these foreign elements.
He told Afrikarabia that UFRC was against the balkanisation of the country, and was not in any way linked to M23. “We are anti-Kabila, so is M23, and the comparison stops there,” he said, adding that there are no foreigners in UFRC ranks.
Afrikarabia also reported that UFRC is being led by Gustave Bagayamukwe Taji, an unsuccessful candidate at the 2011 parliamentary elections.
The UN estimates that there are over 50 armed groups currently operating in eastern DRC. The UN is reportedly planning to deploy drones over the skies of the eastern DRC to watch over these rebel groups. The suggestion has been met with resistance by the Rwandan government which is said to be concerned by the safety of its populations.