Three possibilities why the Special Presidential Force massacred civilians in North Kivu DRCongo on August 30th 2023

What might have led to the current massacre of the Congolese Civil in Goma by the Special Presidential Force in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Analysis on the possible aim of the current Military Officials in DRC?

The Special Presidential Force believed to be responsible for the massacre in Goma – DRC

In the night of August 30th, 2023 the Special Presidential Force carried military operations against Wazalendo Religious Group in Goma- DRC and killed more than 100 people as believes the Civil Society, more than 200 arrested and others missing up to now. most of the people killed, arrested and missing were just simple civilians who believe in their ancestors spiritual power and were against the presence of UN Mission in DRC, they were not armed people and where found in their church in Nyabushongo Goma for their various activities, the others where people in neighborhoods to the church, those who were passing by and any other who was found. The Wazalendo church was intending to demonstrate against the UN Forces, the East African Community Force and the UN Agencies present in DRC.

Brief History

In 1962 former President Mobutu organized a massacre in a Church in Kasai against religious members which he used in order to justify a Coup d’Etat against the Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, by then Mobutu had been promoted head of Defense Forces. Lumumba pushed for the severe punishment of those involved in the massacre by Mubutu made his coup d’etat and later on killed Mulumba.

Is the situation similar currently?

Constant Ndima the Governor of North Kivu who is believed to the mastermind behind the massacre

The North Kivu region under the state of emergency is government by the former soldier loyal to Mubutu General Constant Ndima the Governor who later joined the MLC rebel movement backed by Uganda before integrating the national army again. The current Defense Minister Jean Pierre Bemba is also a former member of Mobut’s regime and is the leader of MLC which is defined as a politico-military party.

The massacre of the population comes in particular political context of elections in which Jean Pierre seems to context as a Presidential candidate but he seems to have little chance to win the election and then after elections in December 2023 his political career may be uncertain in DRC. In this way the possibility of a Coup d’etat may be the best option for him, let us also remember that the main position parties in DRC have refused to take part in these elections.

This also comes at a time when the Province of North Kivu is facing changes of key leaders. The Mayor of Goma who was viewed as too close the current Felix Tshisekedi regime was transferred and left his post to his deputy who is a product of officers formed and trained by Rwanda during the RDC Goma, the Police Commandant in charge of Goma who was also active in handling well issues connected to demonstrations was transferred, the Governor of North Kivu and his Deputy are both former rebel leaders, the Deputy also belonged to RCR Goma close to Rwanda.

What could have dictated the actions of the soldiers?

Three scenarios are possible:

The first scenario is the possibility of the massacre in order to justify the coup d’etat against President Felix Tshisekedi the same way did Mobutu as earlier mentioned,

The second scenario is to make President Felix Tshisekedi more unpopular in North Kivu which is one among the region which has the second big number of voters after Kinshasa in order to promote Jean Pierre Bemba,

The third scenario is a possible link with Rwanda and other forces which are against the current state of emergency including the United Nations. This is possible by the strategy to bribe the current military regime in North Kivu in order to create reasons for M23 to capture Goma with the aim to force Kinshasa for a direct dialogue,

What happened before the massacre?

A month later before August 30th, 2023 a religious group called Wazalendo (Patriotes) wrote a letter to the current Mayor of Goma to seek for a public demonstration, later one the mayor rejected the demand. The demand was against MONUSCO, EAC Forces and foreign Organizations. The difference in the refusal of the current mayor of Goma is that he did not hold engagement with the Wazalendo Group, yet the former Mayor used to first engage with those intended to demonstrate in dialogue and negotiations in order to reach to a compromise. And as I said earlier the technical person to deal with demonstrations in town had been also transferred leaving apparently a vacuum.

Meanwhile the Wazalendo capacity to mobilize big crowds of people in different activities in Goma attracted the attention of MONUSCO and forced the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to describe the Wazalendo as a dangerous group which the Government should deal with as quick as possible.

But how did the Special Presidential Forces get involved?


This is one among the questions which are difficult to answer as per now, because this particular category of soldiers are among the news ones who are viewed to have finished recently their military trainings in various developed countries in the world, generally they operate directly on orders from the President of the country. Yet the President has claimed not being informed about these operations which led to the massacre.

This group is responsible for the massacre of more than 100 people believed dead now. On whose orders did they operate? No one knows? Which information did they have about this religious group? No one knows? How did they collect their information about this religious group? No one knows.

Events two days before the massacre

The first scenario happened in the night of Monday August 28th, 2023 when a group of this Special Presidential Force attacked residents in Rwasama Ndosho/Goma who were mourning a member of the family who had lost a child. During this attack at night they looted people’s things and shot at one person who later on died in the morning on Tuesday August 29th, 2023.

On the same Tuesday August 29th, 2023 at around 3pm in Bulengo IDPs Camps a scuffle began between Police Officers and young man riding a Motorcycle who failed to stop at the checking point because he did not know there was a checking point for Police Officers. The Police officers tracked the young man in the camps and tortured him until he lost conscience, this annoyed people who used stones and killed one Police Officer, the young man was rushed to the nearby health center according to the testimonies from IDPs in Bulengo, and this agitated some parts of Goma on that day.

Now on Wednesday August 30th,2023 early in the morning at around 3:45 that was the time the Special Presidential Forces started their operations of killing people, in the process the resident managed to kill one Police Officer using the stones.

As per now more than 100 people are believed dead and many families have not yet seen their family members.

Divorce between the United Nations and the people

One thing is simple the United Nations force came since 1999 up to now on a mission to bring peace and yet peace has never been there. People just want UN Forces out, some UN Agencies are also viewed as working closely with countries that are launching wars in DRC mainly Rwanda and Uganda, these agencies include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which are operating closely with the Governor of North Kivu. And as we also know, the East African Force has also failed to restore peace in the country and people want it out of DRC.

Antonio Guterres who is believed to be the man behind the massacre against civilians in Goma

Would the exit of MONUSCO, EAC Forces and UN Agencies bring peace?

Not sure necessary, however the reality is that in most areas where there is no high presence of UN Agencies and where MONUSCO has withdrawn there is calm and peace much as the notion peace may be a debate, as per peace for Congolese is the absence of gunshots. No one in DRC knows the clear reason why do we still have the UN Forces, and why do we need them? For these UN Agencies it is the same, provinces where they do not operate from are doing well. The Eastern African Force is viewed as cohabiting with the M23 terrorist group.

Why attacking the UN, EAC Forces and the UN Agencies than the DRC Government?

People believe that the real power and influence before the inaction of the current regime to attack the M23 rebels are actually the influence of the United Nations which are calling for the negotiations, for people in DRC the real enemies to deal with are the UN, EAC Forces and these UN Agencies, and after that people can turn around against the government once that huge backup from the UN is reduced. Let us reminder that the United Nations and the Eastern African Community Forces are opposed to any idea of war against M23 but they have so far failed to communicate to Congolese what should be negotiated. Congolese want war against M23 in order to finish it once for all.

Joining others in a series of actions


This evening near the fire at Unity Stadium with other mourners in Goma. Today Saturday September 2nd we started a public mourning at the Unity Stadium in Goma, DRC intended to mourn all those who were massacred, this is the very first action as we wait for the Kinshasa Government to take serious actions against the perpetrators of these crimes.

The following are what people do expect

The arrest and trial of the current governor of North Kivu, the Mayor of Goma and the Commandant of the Presidential Special Forces,

The government to speed-up the departure of the MONUSCO and not renew the Mandate of the EAC Forces, and stop operations of these UN Agencies in North Kivu,

Descent burial and compensation to the families of those who were massacred and other victims,

Put in place a special place where these people should be buried and make it place of pilgrimage,

So what has been done?

The remains of the Wazalendo Church in Goma

The President has order delegation to come to Goma to find out what happened, and instructed justice to get involved as quick as possible,

The trial against all those arrested which had started yesterday Saturday September 1st, 2023 has been stopped,

The Central Government has given details and the number of those massacred which is different from the number given by the Governor,

Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos

Human Rights Defender

Goma North Kivu- DRC




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