Friday, November 23, 2012

Fallout from UN Group of Experts Report: Gen. Gabriel Amisi, FARDC Chief of Land Forces, suspended for running a "criminal network"

(Photo: Gen. Gabriel Amisi Kumba aka Tango-Four, suspended FARDC Chief
of Land Forces)


Readers of this blog were among the first to learn about the
devastating content of the Final Report of the UN Group of Experts on
the DRC, especially the part implicating Gen. Gabriel Amisi Kumba in
criminal activities.

(See my post of November 8, 2012, titled "UN Group of Experts Final
Report: FARDC
Chief of Land Forces Gen. Gabriel Amisi
heads a 'criminal network''':

I concluded that post by this warning to the DRC government:

"I don't know how the DRC government would react to this damning part
of the Report. But if it's to defend this kind of rogue senior
officers, then it'd lose whatever shred of credibility it got left."

The Report was finally released on Wednesday, November 21, and the
very next day, Thursday, November 22, President Joseph Kabila swiftly
suspended Gen. Amisi--thus fortunately choosing not to defend this
rogue, imcompetent, and criminal unbecoming senior officer.

But while I applaud this move by Kabila, I also strongly suggest it's
incumbent upon him as Commander-in-Chief to set the course in this
time of peril for the homeland and to strip this criminal and his
associates of all their military ranks and privileges pending the
conclusion of the ongoing criminal investigation.

Radio Okapi reports that Media Minister Lambert Mende, who read the
presidential decree to the state-owned radio and TV channel RTNC,
"bore a serious demeanor" for the occasion, as he went on to repeat
almost verbatim all the charges levelled by the Group against Gen.

Mende added that there were other senior army officers implicated in
these criminal activities, though he didn't name them.

But the Report, as I wrote in my post of November 8, also charges "Orientale's
FARDC 9th Military Region Commander, Gen. Jean-Claude Kifwa, of having
set up a lucrative elephant-poaching operation in
Orientale Province in cahoots with
fiendish Mai-Mai warlord Paul Sadala
aka Morgan.

"Morgan and his militiamen killed 14
okapis at Epulu in June of this year."

The other officers implicated are small fries next to those two criminals.

Gen. Amisi was an officer of the Rwandan-backed RCD military outfit
before being integrated into the FARDC. He was a close companion of
the rogue Gen. Laurent Nkundabatware.

In 2002, Human Rights Watch accused Amisi and Nkunda for masterminding
a 2-day massacre (May 14-15) of civilians in the city of Kisangani
following the mutiny by UN-trained policemen.

In a report titled "War Crimes in Kisangani: The Response of
Rwandan-backed Rebels to the May
2002 Mutiny," Human Rights Watch charged that RCD officers "directly
implicated" in the massacres were the following ones:

"Gabriel Amisi, also known as Tango Fort,
the assistant chief of staff for logistics of
the RCD-Goma army Bernard Biamungu, commander of the Fifth Brigade
headquartered in Goma ; Laurent Nkunda, the commander of the Seventh
Brigade based in Kisangani ; and other senior officers of the Fifth
Seventh Brigades."

The HRW report also stated:

"Biamungu was seen giving commands to
soldiers to go to Mangobo [Commune] soon before civilians began to be
killed there, and was personally at the scene of some of the killings.
Biamungu, Amisi, and Nkunda were all seen at the Tshopo Bridge shortly
before summary executions took place there on the night of the 14th
[May, 2002]."


"'The commanders responsible for these
war crimes should be promptly arrested
and prosecuted,' said Suliman Baldo,
senior researcher in the Africa Division of
Human Rights Watch."

No one has ever been prosecuted for those horrendous crimes.

As one official of the International Criminal Court (ICC) commented on
the recent developments in the North Kivu, such egregious and
widespread impunity is a recipe for conconcting hordes of killers and
pillagers like the M23.

Let's just hope that the suspension of Gen. Amisi marks the last
installment in the biography of this cold-blooded mass murderer.

PHOTO CREDITS: John Bompengo

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