On September 4th, 2023, the Congolese government announced the arrest of “military officials” in the wake of a crackdown on a demonstration that resulted in around forty casualties on August 30th in Goma, in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The inter-ministerial delegation dispatched to investigate the violent suppression of protesters in the capital of North Kivu province, Goma, has swiftly taken punitive measures against certain members of the security forces.
Last night, the Minister of the Interior, Peter Kazadi, addressed the press alongside Defense Minister Jean-Pierre Bemba. The head of the Republican Guard brigade and the regiment commander in Goma were arrested and detained on the evening of September 3rd.
“Several military officials have been immediately referred to the court,” explained Peter Kazadi. “This includes the commander of the Republican Guard brigade and the regiment commander. They are in custody, and a trial will be conducted in the coming hours to establish accountability.”
The Minister of the Interior added, “We urge the population to remain calm, to trust the government, and have faith in our justice system, which will soon render a verdict. We encourage every family that has noted the disappearance of one of its members to report to the higher court, with the possibility of becoming a ‘civil party’ in the forthcoming trial.”
This development comes in response to the tragic events that unfolded during the protest in Goma, marking a significant step in addressing the consequences of the crackdown on demonstrators. The government’s commitment to transparency and accountability in this matter is pivotal in rebuilding trust and maintaining stability in the region. As the legal proceedings unfold, the nation and the international community will closely monitor the pursuit of justice in this challenging context.