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DR Congo president appoints former militia leader as defence chief
24/03/2023 23:08 in International News

In a cabinet reshuffle on Friday, DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi nominated former militia commander Jean-Pierre Bemba as minister of defence, as the country grapples with armed strife in its restive east.


Bemba, who was vice president from 2003 to 2006, was imprisoned by the International Criminal Court for atrocities perpetrated by rebels under his command, but his sentence was reversed in 2018.


The Democratic Republic of the Congo is battling an armed revolt led by the M23 insurgency, which Kinshasa and numerous Western governments claim is backed by neighbouring Rwanda.


Vital Kamerhe, Tshisekedi's former chief of staff, was hired as economy minister after being sentenced to 20 years in prison for corruption before being acquitted last year.


Tshisekedi's spokeswoman came on national television early Friday to read out the new government's makeup.


The country will have elections in December.

Tshisekedi, who has been in office since January 2019, has announced his intention to fight for re-election.

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