Head of State Félix Tshisekedi pays tribute to Congolese soldiers

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Kinshasa, May 18th 2022 (CPA).- The Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC), Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo laid a wreath of flowers on Tuesday at the foot of the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier in the round -point Forescom in the commune of Gombe in Kinshasa, in tribute to Congolese soldiers, on the occasion of the commemoration of the day of the Armed Forces of the DRC. The Chief of General Staff of the FARDC, Army General Célestin Mbala Munsense, in his remarks, in front of an audience of senior FARDC officers and officials, praised the closeness of the President of the Republic with the army of which he is the commander-in-chief, to honor the troops and celebrate together this day placed under the theme: « Link-Army-Nation », which means the army at the service of the people. While praising the feats of arms of May 17th, Army General Célestin Mbala Munsense recalled the sacred duty of the soldier, that of self-forgetfulness and sacrifice for the nation as well as the soldier’s motto: «Never betray the Congo”.

 “There is no greater love than giving your life for your loved ones,” added the Deputy Minister of National Defense and Veterans Affairs, Séraphine Kilubu Kutuna. On the banner of this ceremony, it is written: « Every Congolese has the sacred right to defend the country and its territorial integrity against a threat or foreign aggression ». Formerly celebrated as a liberation day in reference to the entry into Kinshasa of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDL), a rebel coalition that brought down Marshal Mobutu, the Congolese have celebrated, since 2019, every May 17th « the revolution and the Armed Forces of the DRC ». On May 17th, 1997, we recall, AFDL soldiers made a triumphant entry into Kinshasa after seven months of war in eastern DRC. This event thus put an end to 32 years of reign of Marshal Mobutu. Laurent-Désiré Kabila then became President of the Republic. He will be assassinated on January 16, 2001 in his office at the Marble Palace in Kinshasa. His son Joseph Kabila, who succeeded him from January 26, 2001, will remain in power until January 24, 2019, the date of the installation of the current President, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo.