An opposition armed group is accusing
DRC President Joseph Kabila's government of giving preferential treatment to National Congress
for People's Defense (CNDP) rebels in the implementation of
Congo's recently signed peace agreement.
The Mai Mai rebel group said it is
frustrated with the government and has threatened to take up arms, a move which
would undermine the peace process. The Mai Mai claims the government gave lofty
positions in the national army to the CNDP, relegating the Mai Mai fighters to
But President Kabila sidestepped the allegation, promising to
look into their grievances. Didier Bitaki is a leader of the Mai Mai rebel
group. He told VOA that Kinshasa has so far failed to treat them as equals to
other rebel groups.
are very frustrated because the treatment reserved to ourselves and our former
troops or combatants is not so good," Bitaki said.
criticized the CNDP's preferentially treatment after both groups were
integrated into the national army in accordance to the recently signed peace
deal with Kinshasa.
are mistreating our combatants because they are living under the CNDP
commanders now in the army," he objected.
complained that his combatants have been left to fend for themselves.
government is now paying attention to the CNDP reintegration instead of
collecting all things so that we find solutions to all the problems. So we are
not happy (about) the way we are treated," Bitaki said.
said ongoing negotiations with the government have so far failed to address
May we have been in Kinshasa for the same purpose we came here to discuss about
how we can make implementation of the Goma agreement which we signed between us
and the government. We are still waiting
for the response from the other side," he said.
said the rebels are expressing anger and would take up arms if Kinshasa refuses
to address their concerns,
are very disappointed and if such things continue, I don't know if we are going
to maintain peace, which is very bad on the ground," Bitaki said.
said although President Kabila promised to address their concerns, nothing has
so far been done.
just been discussing with the president today and we told him our concerns, but
the president gave a good response and we were a little satisfied with what he
said. But the problem is that those who are sent to execute the agreement we don't
have faith in them," he said.
said that with growing Mai Mai discontent about their treatment, the rebels
could be forced to take up arms.
former combatants are saying they are being mistreated and they are even
thinking of returning to the bush," Bitaki said.
urged Kinshasa to take action to prevent another round of insurgency in North
Kivu province and surrounding areas by not favoring one group at the other's
government should bring response to the problem of the combatants and the
problem of the political leaders instead of giving the responsibility to people
who don't need peace," he said.