The Office of the Head of State yesterday, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, released three Orders, respectively, promoting a General-Major and two Brigade Generals within the FARDC; appointment within the Command of the Republican Guard and, finally, appointment of the members of the Management Committee of the National Solidarity Fund Against COVID-19, FNSCC, whose main mission consists in seeking and collecting financial means intended to serve in formation of assistance, assistance or support to natural or legal persons, medical care staff, medical or hospital services. These Orders were read live from Radio Television Nationale Congolaise, (RTNC) by Mr. Kasongo Mwema, spokesperson for President Félix Tshisekedi. Thus, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo was appointed as Coordinator of the FNSCC Management Committee. He will be immediately seconded by the Reverend Doctor André Bokundoa of the Church of Christ in the Congo.
Although he is overseen by Monsignor Ambongo, the latter, in his new FNSCC coordinator cap, will be seconded by Reverend Doctor André Bokundoa from ECC as Deputy Coordinator. And, as announced when it was created, the management and organization of the FNSCC is entrusted to a Management Committee composed of at least 7 members. It is, of course, a coordinator, an assistant coordinator, a delegate from civil society, a delegate from women’s associations, a delegate from public sector companies, a delegate private sector companies as well as the technical secretary of the Covis-19 Multi-sectoral Response Committee.
So, apart from Archbishop Ambongo and the Reverend Pastor Bokundoa, we find Cheik Abdallah Mangala; General Sony Kafuta; the Reverend Elebe; of Mrs. Liliane Vakeyeka; from Mrs. Marie-Madeleine Kalala, Patient Bashombe and Virologist Doctor Muyembe Tamfum.
These appointments come after the meeting held last Monday at the presidential residence of N’sele, between the President of the Republic Félix Tshisekedi and the delegation of religious denominations. During this hearing, the Head of State considered that it was therefore the last moment to associate the religious denominations in this fight against this common and invisible enemy which is the Coronavirus. By placing men of God in the management of the FNSCC and members of civil society, Félix Tshisekedi expects the 80 million Congolese to find satisfaction in the management of those who are supposed to preach by their exemplarity.
The mission of the FNSCC
Created on 06 April last, the National Solidarity Fund against Covid 19, has as main mission to seek and collect financial means intended to serve in the form of aid, assistance or support to natural or legal persons, medical care staff, medical services or hospitable. It also aims to support businesses and other structures engaged in an economic activity that would be particularly affected by the economic, financial and social consequences of the spread of COVID-19 and the measures taken to limit its spread.
Appointments to the Republican Guard
Among the Orders that were read yesterday Wednesday, in the first, there were appointments to the Republican Guard. The elevation of a General-Major and two Brigade Generals within the FARDC. While in the second Ordinance, there was appointment within the Command of the Republican Guard, a general – major commanding the presidential guard; An Assistant Commander in charge of operations, An Assistant Commander in charge of administration and A Brigadier General appointed as Chief of Staff of the Presidential Guard. General-Major Chiwewe Songe Christian was appointed as commander of the Republican Guard.
For his part, Kabi Kiriza Ephraime is appointed chief of staff of the Republican Guard.
Brigadier General Chico Tshitambwe Jérôme is in charge of operations and intelligence while Brigadier General Banza Milambwe is appointed deputy commander in charge of administration and logistics.
This order was read on the radio of Radio Television Nationale Congolaise, (RTNC), by the spokesman for the head of state Kasongo Mwema Yamba Y’amba.
Ilunga Kampete is no longer the Commander of the Republican Guard in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The elite unit of the national army, responsible in particular for the protection of the President of the Republic has a new commander in the person of General Major Christian Songe Tshiwewe. President Félix Tshisekedi’s decision was read on Wednesday April 22 on public television.
This is a veritable “appropriation” of the security apparatus in the DRC, comments of a close friend of the Congolese president. Especially since the man who has just been replaced is very close to former President Joseph Kabila. Ilunga Kampete is a supporter of the former Head of State whom he has known for over twenty years. Together, they experienced the test of fire in Pweto in 2000, when Laurent-Désiré Kabila was still in power and his son was a young general.
General Major Christian Songe, originally from the Kasai region, is no stranger to the presidential guard. “He has climbed all the levels, he is a very great professional,” said a military source in Kinshasa. The Congolese general was noticed by Félix Tshisekedi by directing the military aspects of the funeral of his father, Etienne Tshisekedi, last year. He was notably head of the Legion of Honor.
With this decision, Félix Tshisekedi wants above all to “clean” the image of the Congolese armed forces. Former General Kampete was notably on the European Union’s sanctions list. Last February, the former American Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region, Peter Pham, had notably indicated that the American army could not take part in peacekeeping operations in the Beni region alongside the FARDC , because there are Congolese generals under sanctions from the United States and the European Union.
In May 2019, President Tshisekedi appointed General Major Jean-Claude Yav Kabey to the post of head of the Military House of the President of the Republic. Brigadier General François Kabamba wa Kasanda was elevated to the rank of military adviser to the President of the Republic, while Lieutenant-General Célestin Mbala Munsense, in place since July 2018, was reappointed.
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