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Military

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

DRC: Positions in military command filled

KINSHASA, 20 January 2004 (IRIN) - Congo filled on Monday the remaining three positions in its unified military high command with the appointment of officers formerly loyal to the rebel movement, the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratie-Goma (RCD-Goma).

Gen Obed Ruhibasira, colonels Jules Mutemuti and Ciro Nsimba were, respectively, handed command of the Goma, Bukavu and Bandundu military regions. They replace Gen Laurent Nkunda, colonels Elie Gichondo and Eric Ruhorimbere who all refused to take an oath of allegiance to President Joseph Kabila in July 2003, along with other appointees.

Nkunda has been accused of responsibility for the mass killing of Kinsangani residents, Orientale Province, in May 2002, after a mutiny by some RCD-Goma troops.

The chief of staff of ground forces, Maj-Gen Sylvain Mbuki, also of the RCD-Goma, was present at the command handover along with one of the four vice-presidents of the republic, Azarias Ruberwa, leader of of RCD-Goma.

Theme(s): (IRIN) Conflict

[ENDS]

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