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Vol 51 No 24

Published 3rd December 2010


The case against Kabila's army

A new report by United Nations experts implicates Congo’s soldiers in murderous criminality, leaving Kinshasa some tough choices

The findings by a United Nations' investigation that extensive criminal networks inside Congo's army are raping and killing people and stealing minerals challenge President Joseph Kabila's position following his call for UN peacekeepers to leave by the end of next year. If Kabila claims to be in charge of the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo, he will have to take responsibility for their depredations and purge the FARDC accordingly. Another complicating factor is that presidential and parliamentary elections are due in late 2011, amid a sharp decline in Kabila's national popularity. This leaves the rump of his support base in the vast, mineral-rich south-western province of Katanga.

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