It was a matter of weeks for some, days for others. The reshuffling of the command of the Congolese army seemed in any case inevitable. Félix Tshisekedi formalized, on the night of October 3 to 4, the promotion of several officers, the reshuffling of the commandment of the Congolese army as well as that of the Republican Guard.
The main lesson of this wave of changes is the appointment as head of the army of General Christian Tshiwewe Songesha. Aged 54, he has until now led the Republican Guard, the unit responsible for protecting the president and his family. Tshiwewe, who had already replaced Gaston Hughes Ilunga Kampete when he was appointed head of the red berets in April 2020, this time succeeds another general appointed by Joseph Kabila, Celestine Mbala.
DRC: government, army, intelligence… Why Félix Tshisekedi is considering a major overhaul
In office since July 2018, Mbala was in trouble with part of the president’s entourage, who remains suspicious of senior officers suspected of having remained loyal to the raïs. Two new deputies have been appointed to the general staff and are also replacing Kabila loyalists: they are Major General Jacques Ishali Gonza, now in charge of operations and intelligence, while Major General Léon- Richard Kasonga Tshibangu, hitherto spokesman for the army, is entrusted with administration and logistics.