Goma: Visit of The Minister of Defense Jean Pierre Bemba

On Friday, February 9, 2024, the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Jean-Pierre Bemba, arrived in Goma in the afternoon. Accompanied by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), General Christian Tshiwewe, Bemba was welcomed at the foot of the plane by the Military Governor, Peter Chirimwami, Major General Fall Sikabwe, Coordinator of Operations, and other officers.

The visit of Jean-Pierre Bemba to Goma comes at a critical time when security concerns are escalating, with intensified confrontations occurring within twenty kilometers of the city from the north to the west. According to his entourage, Bemba’s mission aims to reassure the population about the Congolese government’s commitment, under the supreme command of President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, to address the security situation in the eastern part of the DRC robustly.

During his time at the front line in Sake, a territory within Masisi and a strategic security lock for Goma, Minister Bemba assured that the armed forces remain determined to liberate areas under the control of the M23. He reiterated the government’s commitment to protecting Goma, stating, “Everything is being done to ensure that the city of Goma does not fall. The army is also making every effort to recover all localities occupied by the Rwandan Forces.”

In Sake, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Jean-Pierre Bemba, reassured the population of North Kivu about the efforts being made towards peace restoration. He called for calm among the residents of North Kivu, emphasizing that the state’s leader is doing everything possible for peace to return and for all zones occupied by the Rwandan army to be reclaimed. “The city of Goma and the town of Sake will never fall,” he declared to the press.

Furthermore, Bemba and General Tshiwewe visited wounded soldiers and young Wazalendo warriors receiving treatment at the CBCA NDOSHO hospital, showcasing their support for the troops engaged in the ongoing conflict.

Currently, confrontations continue in the hills overlooking Sake, with battles between the army and M23 rebels, who are reportedly supported by Rwanda, according to United Nations experts.