Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have accused the Zambian government of attempting to annex part of the territory belonging to DRC. Tensions brewed between Zambia and the DRC following skirmishes between the armed forces of the two countries at a border last week.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) disclosed the armies’ clashes on the border had resulted in further displacements, particularly in the Moba territory.
The incident is the first sign of cross-border tension between the DRC and Zambia since the meeting in October last year between the authorities of Tanganyika in DRC and Zambia to normalize the situation at the border.
Gilbert Kankonde, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior said tensions exist between Zambia and the DRC towards Mpweto where Zambians are showing signs of wanting to annex part of DRC territory.
This is according to Africa News Correspondent Gaël Mpoyo who reported that Congolese authorities suspect Zambia of wanting to annex a part of the territory belonging to DRC. He said these sentiments were shared during a Council of Ministers meeting chaired by President Félix Tshisekedi on Friday.
And National Deputy Jean Manda confirmed the presence of Zambian forces in Mulilo in Moba territory after his stay in the region.
“Tensions persist on the border from March 13th when Zambian forces occupied several villagers along Lake Tanganyika in Moba territory, this is the case of Villages of Kibanga, Libondwe and Kalibamba in the Molilo area located about 300 Kilometers east of the city of Moba. The Congolese military are entrenched in the Molilo Centre with Headquarters based in Moba Centre to control this part of the south eastern part of Moba,” Mpoya said.
He said Zambian forces are occupying villages in Mulilo from Moba territory on the border since the October meeting.
“Zambian soldiers are now occupying territories that they did not even occupy before like Kapingo, now they have come back in force and they have positioned war machines there.”
He said during the diplomatic sessions, authorities of the two countries have agreed to resolve this border dispute peacefully.
“It should be recalled that similar incidents have occurred in 1996, 2006 and December 2016 around a Congolese town easily accessible from Zambia while on the Congolese side the swamp makes it difficult to access. The tension is still very high,” he said.
Mpoya said the Congolese military is in position just waiting for orders.
“Moreover repeated invasions by Zambian forces have been reported in Old Tanganyika, two Congolese provinces bordering Zambia since the beginning of the year, after clashes between the naval forces of the two counties after fishermen using illegal nets. The situation is astonishing given that the two counties have normal diplomatic relations,” he said.