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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, 21:53 GMT 22:53 UK
Arrest warrant for rebel DR Congo officers
Arnaud Zajtman
BBC, Kinshasa, DR Congo

Former DR Congo rebel leaders
To who do some of the former rebel commanders owe their loyalty?
The leadership of the new unified armed forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has issued an arrest warrant against three high-ranking soldiers of the former Rwandan-backed rebel movement, now part of the united armed forces.

General Laurent Nkunda and his colleagues boycotted a swearing-in ceremony during which they were supposed to take up their positions in the new national army.

The DR Congo Chief-of Staff said the three high-ranking soldiers are accused of ignoring military orders.

Mr Nkunda's nomination to a senior post in the new army was surrounded with controversy following claims by human rights groups that he was responsible for the massacre of about 200 people in the eastern town of Kisangani in May 2002.


It is suspected that this is the reason why he did not show up at the ceremony but instead stayed in his eastern DR Congo stronghold of Goma.

Nobody in the hierarchy of the former rebel movement has been available for comment.

However, this is the first public show of dissent within the united army since it was sworn-in on Friday.

Whether these former high ranking rebels will be arrested or not will be an indicator of whether the military personnel take orders from they new single military hierarchy in Kinshasa or from the different armed groups that they belonged to during the five years of civil war.

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