“Corruption in the Congolese Army: Three Lessons for Modern Democracies”, Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka, Koen Vlassenroot (Egmont, Belgium)

During his state visit to Ituri, in June 2021, Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi deplored the high levels of corruption within the Congolese army.  He considered it a major obstacle to existing security provision and pacification efforts. Located in the east of the DRC, Ituri is one of two provinces that have been under a state of siege since 6 May 2021 with the aim of putting an end to the proliferation of armed groups. Such groups have been operating for over twenty years in the area. According to the Congolese President: “In fact, there are many shenanigans that undermine our security forces. The same mafia has developed in the army as well as in our institutions. It’s not just the army and the police. We saw it, look, in the Senate recently. It’s all this law of omerta“.  The Congolese president was referring to the Senate’s refusal to lift the senatorial immunity of a former prime minister of Joseph Kabila, Senator Matata Ponyo, suspected of embezzling several hundred million euros.