Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


DRC general 'sold arms to rebel groups'

22 November 2012, 08:00

Goma - One of Democratic Republic of Congo's most senior army commanders has been selling weapons to rebel groups accused of carrying out widespread massacres, according to a UN report published on Wednesday.

General Gabriel Amisi commands DRC’s land forces, which suffered a humiliating defeat after being driven out of the eastern city of Goma by rebel fighters on Tuesday, despite support from thousands of United Nations peacekeepers.

The report, written for the UN by a group of independent experts, says that Amisi oversees a network providing arms and ammunition to criminal groups and rebels who roam in the hills and forests of DRC’s resource-rich but troubled east.

The M23 rebel group that seized Goma, however, was not among the armed bands named in the UN report as receiving weapons through the network.

"General Gabriel Amisi oversees a network distributing hunting ammunition for poachers and armed groups, including Raïa Mutomboki," the report says in reference to a local militia accused of widespread atrocities.

The report also says that Amisi ordered that 300 AK 47 assault rifles be given to another armed group operating in eastern DRC, known as Nyatura.

Earlier this month a separate UN investigation said Raia Mutomboki and Nyatura, along with the Rwandan FDLR rebel group, had been responsible for the deaths of more than 260 civilians in a wave of tit-for-tat ethnic massacres in remote parts of North Kivu province.

According to the report by the so-called Group of Experts, ammunition is bought in neighbouring Congo Brazzaville, before being smuggled through the Congolese capital Kinshasa to the east by a close network of Amisi's associates, including members of his family.

Colourful figure

Former rebel Amisi is a colourful figure and president of a top Congolese soccer team, as well as being one of the most influential people in the government of President Joseph Kabila.

"Between the demands of Amisi's command responsibilities and those of his racketeering and business dealings, the latter have always won out," Group of Experts head Steve Hege told Reuters.

Neither Amisi nor a spokesperson for DRC’s army - known as FARDC - were immediately available to respond to the allegations in the report, which already caused controversy by alleging that neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda are backing the M23 rebel movement, charges strongly denied by both governments.

DRC’s army is famously ill-disciplined, and these allegations, coupled with M23's seizure of Goma, are likely to heap pressure on Kabila to push through military reforms.

On Tuesday, the army was driven out of Goma by M23 fighters, leaving a trail of corpses, burnt-out cars and abandoned equipment. M23, named after the March 23 rebel peace deal struck in 2009 and which it claims the government has broken, vowed to "liberate" all of DRC.

Previous UN reports have implicated Congolese soldiers in running lucrative mineral smuggling rackets and carrying out abuses against the civilian population.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...