DR Congo party leader declares support for M23 rebels
Posted Wednesday, January 2 2013 at 02:00
Mr Lumbala, leader of a small political party, says he is not a member of the M23 rebellion, but supports them because of the objectives they aim to achieve.
Mr Roger Lumbala, a member of the current National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Sunday declared his “total adhesion” to the M23 rebel movement during an interview with Top Congo FM, a Kinshasa-based private radio.
Mr Lumbala, 54, is the leader of a small political party, the Congolese Rally for Democrats and Nationalists, which has four out of 500 seats in the National Assembly.
He declared that he decided to join the rebellion because he supports some of its main objectives; the truth of the ballot during the presidential election last November 28, 2011.
“I am not really a member of the M23 rebellion, but I support the fact that such a movement is claiming the restoration of the truth during the last presidential election,” Mr Lumbala said.
“Mr Etienne Tshisekedi, the UDPS leader, won the election but Joseph Kabila prevented him from being president. That is why I support the fighting of the M23 rebellion.”
Mr Lumbala joins the rebellion at a time when his wife is still a Senator in the current Parliament. In September last year, he was accused of being in contact with the rebel movement because of his frequent visits to Rwanda.
He was then arrested in Burundi for illegal activities with Rwandans, an allegation he denied. He currently lives in France. During the Kampala talks between the Congo government and the M23 rebels, Mr Lumbala was always seen close to the rebels.
Last week, Uganda’s Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga announced a break in talks between the two sides until January 4. He told journalists that significant progress had been made over the last two weeks but said disagreements remained a key component of the security item on the agenda.