Kinshasa: Arrest of Eric Nkuba Shebandu, a Key Figure of The AFC/M23 Rebellion

On April 5, 2024, the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) made an announcement concerning the apprehension of Nkuba, known by his alias Malembe. As an important figure within the AFC (Alliance for Change)/M23, Eric Nkuba Shebanduserved as the political and strategic advisor to Corneille Nangaa. General Sylvain Ekenge, during a press conference held at the Military Intelligence Headquarters, detailed Nkuba’s capture by specialized services.

During his interrogation, Nkuba disclosed critical information regarding individuals supporting the AFC/M23. Notably, he named former Republic President Joseph Kabila, John Numbi, Joseph Olenghankoy, and Patient Sayiba among others, shedding light on their roles within the network.

The circumstances surrounding Nkuba’s arrest on January 3, 2024, at Dar Es Salaam International Airport by Tanzanian immigration officials, have been a point of contention. His family issued a statement condemning the rapid procedure as a disregard for international law and human rights, highlighting Tanzania’s reputation as a democratic nation.

Nkuba has implicated former Congolese President Joseph Kabila in supporting the M23  , with military contacts for the AFC/M23 allegedly established through John Numbi and Kabila himself. Further interrogations revealed the involvement of several individuals as internal supporters of the AFC/M23, including Joseph Olengakoy, Bob Kabamba, and Adam Chalwe.

In reaction to these accusations, Claudel Lubaya, among others named by Nkuba, fervently denied any association with the AFC/M23. Lubaya emphasized his commitment to democratic principles and non-violent opposition, distancing himself from the allegations that tarnished his reputation.

The Alliance Fleuve Congo (AFC)/M23 has expressed deep concern over what it describes as the kidnapping of one of its key political figures, Eric NKUBA SHEBANDU, calling for attention to this matter in a letter addressed to the Tanzanian presidency.

Patient Sayiba Tambwe, shortly before the revelations of his involvement with the AFC/M23, shared a powerful message on Twitter, reflecting on the dangers of returning to a dictatorial regime in the DRC. He likened those who support oppressive regimes to collaborators during historical conflicts, emphasizing the responsibility of the Congolese people to stand against tyranny.