- The Congolese parliament speaker, Vital Kamerhe, has quit his prominent post in the legislative house due to mounting pressure for him to resign after criticising the Rwanda military intervention in January saying it was a security threat.
Mr Kamerhe had said the Democratic Republic of Congo's president, Joseph Kabila should not have allowed the troops to enter the country and chase the dominant Tutsi rebels in eastern DRC.
The speaker whose resignation was welcome by majority of members of parliament said: “I ask you to accept my resignation with neither a vote nor a debate.”
Local reports said parliamentarians from the Alliance of the Presidential Majority (AMP) have pressed Mr Kamerhe to go for his comments in January that the entry of troops from neighbouring Rwanda was very serious and a potential security threat.
Thousands of Rwandan soldiers were invited into eastern DR Congo for several weeks this year to help tackle rival militias plaguing the border between the two neighbours.
Reports have revealed that had the speaker refused to resign, he would have faced an ouster motion by AMP members, which Communications Minister Lambert Mende said was backed by more than 300 of the 500 members of parliament.
The Rwandan troops officially withdrew from the DRC on 26 February, after declaring their operation a success and also after arresting the renegade leader of the Tutsi rebels General Nkunda in a month long operation and a chase against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the Hutu rebel group that allegedly perpetrated 1994 genocide.
The FDLR, though much weakened by the offensive, has begun to retaliate in the long-troubled Nord-Kivu province, where the UN refugee agency on March 20 reported that 30,000 civilians had been displaced by violence within a fortnight.
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