Felix Tshisekedi

Uganda and DR Congo to build cross-border roads

President Yoweri Museveni and President Felix Tshisekedi
State House, Uganda
President Félix Tshisekedi (L) is on a three-day visit to Uganda where he is met his Ugandan counterpart (R)

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Congolese counterpart Félix Tshisekedi have agreed to boost trade between the two countries.

President Tshisekedi, who is on a three-day visit to Uganda, during which he will attend the first ever Uganda-Congo Trade Forum, said he was backing President Museveni’s vision to have an integrated Africa.

The two leaders jointly addressed a press conference in Kampala over the weekend where they revealed plans to construct roads linking the two countries to enable the transportation of goods across the border.

“One road we want to work on is from Goli to Mahagi, Bunia - that’s one road. Then the other road would be from Mpondwe to Beni and the other from Bunagana to Rutshuru to Goma,” said President Museveni.

Ministers from the two countries also signed memorandums of understanding on security, infrastructure, transport and tourism.

The border region between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo has seen years of violence, with militia groups from both countries based in the area.

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Map of the Uganda DR Congo border

Kabila's choices dominate DR Congo's new cabinet

Ex- DR Congo President Joseph Kabila (R) next to his successor Felix Tshisekedi during an inauguration ceremony in Kinshasa - 24 January 2019
Mr Kabila (R) was expected to have big say in the new government of Mr Tshisekedi (L) as his coalition has a parliamentary majority

The new cabinet in the Democratic Republic of Congo, announced on Monday morning seven months after the inauguration of President Félix Tshisekedi, reflects the continued influence of former leader Joseph Kabila, reports the BBC's Gaius Kowene from the capital, Kinshasa.

Forty two of the 65 members of the cabinet come from the FCC, his coalition which holds the majority in both houses of parliament.

This leaves President Tshisekedi's side holding just one-third of ministerial posts.

Key ministries like defence, interior and finance have been split 50/50 between the two coalitions:

  • Interior and security - Gilbert Malaba, a member of Mr Tshisekedi's party
  • Defence - Ngoy Mukena, a close ally of Mr Kabila
  • Mining - Willy Samsoni, a member of Mr Kabila's coalition and an ex-mines minister in Haut Katanga province
  • Finance - Sele Yalaghuli, also a Kabila stalwart, and an ex-director general of taxes
  • Budget - Jean-Baudouin Mayo Mambeke, an ally of Mr Tshisekedi, takes a more junior role.

Just 17% of the ministerial appointees are women, including the ministers of foreign affairs and planning. One of the five vice prime ministers is also a woman.

For the first time there is a person living with a disability in the government - part of efforts by Mr Tshisekedi to show that everybody is being represented in his cabinet, our reporter says.

Around three-quarters of the ministers are serving in government for the first time.

The new cabinet must be confirmed by parliament and is set to be inaugurated before the end of next week.

Mr Kabila stood down after 18 years in office following disputed elections last December.

He was barred from running for another term under the constitution.

DR Congo gets new cabinet after seven months

DR Congo's ex-President Joseph Kabila (L) and his successor Félix Tshisekedi
After his inauguration, President Félix Tshisekedi (R) agreed to work predecessor Joseph Kabila (L)

The Democratic Republic of Congo has announced a coalition government, seven months after the inauguration President Félix Tshisekedi.

Mr Tshisekedi, son of the late veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, won a bitterly contested election in December, marking the first peaceful transition of power since DR Congo gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

Since coming to power, President Tshisekedi has agreed to work with the party of former President Joseph Kabila.

"The government is finally here. The president has signed the decree and we will begin work soon," the AFP news agency quotes Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga as saying.

Read: Felix Tshisekedi steps out of his father's shadow to lead DR Congo

Prominent political prisoners freed in DRC

DR Congo's new president Félix Tshisekedi approved the release
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 700 prisoners have been freed by the new president Félix Tshisekedi.  

Among their number are three prominent political prisoners - Franck Diongo, Diomi Ndongala and Firmin Yangambi - who were arrested on various charges, including insurrection, under the former president, Joseph Kabila. 

They were supposed to be released in 2015 as part of a deal struck after negotiations led by catholic church bishops preparing delayed elections. Chief of Staff to the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Vital Kamerhe, broke the news to the nation.

And watching it all unfold was the BBC's Gaius Kowene...