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Gen. Faustin Munene, a thorn in Brazzaville and Kinshasa relations?

Gen. Faustin Munene

By Robert Mugabe

  • DR Congo and Republic of Congo cut diplomatic ties

Last month, DRC police revealed 126 people to the media, claiming that they were involved in a February 27 coup attempt against President Joseph Kabila who was not at his palace at the time.

After many theories, the police told the media that the February 27 coup attempt was organized and executed by the exiled General Faustin Munene who is in Congo Brazzaville.

DRC has been requesting Congo Brazzaville to extradite Gen. Munene and Mr. Udjan in vain.

Congo-Brazzaville President Dennis Sassou Nguesso told Jeune Afrique earlier last month that his country will not hand over General Munene to Congo-Kinshasa, citing the extradition of Pierre Mulele in 1968 that resulted in his execution.

The DRC has repeatedly asked for the extradition of Mr. Udjani and General Munene. On March 9 and 10, a meeting in Kinshasa of a joint commission on security and defense failed to resolve the issue. Delegates from Congo-Brazzaville reiterated their country’s position not to extradite the two men.

The last two weeks, Democratic Republic of Congo announced the decision to withdrawn its envoy to the Republic of Congo.

The DRC’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, said in a statement that ambassador Esther Kirongozi will leave Brazzaville immediately. He did not give the reason for the recall.

Relations between Kinshasa and Brazzavillle have become strained recently due to Congo-Brazzaville’s refusal to extradite Mr. Udjani and General Faustin Munene, two DR Congo citizens being held after fleeing to the Republic of Congo.

Mr. Udjani was the leader of an insurrection in 2010 in Equateur province by Enyele rebels.

On March 4, General Faustin Munene was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment by a military court for forming a rebellion in Bas-Congo province.

The DRC’s government has said that the armed men who attacked President Joseph Kabila’s residence in February had come from Brazzaville. Sources in the DRC’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have said that the investigation in the attack has linked the assailants to General Munene.

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