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UDPS YOUTHS CELEBRATE RUSSIAN FLAG: French Flag Burnt In DRC As Fally Endures Attack For Macron Meeting

Suspected ruling party, UDPS youths flew the Russian flag in celebration of the beating of musician Fally Ipupa. Fally is a popular Congolese artiste who was invited to the Élysée Palace.

The narrative in Congo is that Russia is siding with the current leadership to fight rebels in eastern Congo who are backed by Paul Kagame. The Congolese believe Kagame is fighting a proxy war on behalf of France and other western countries.

Jeune Afrique reports that in the attack on Fally’s home, a first car is completely charred, the second has broken windows. The facade retains the marks of the fire which raged on February 28 in one of the Kinshasa residences of the Congolese artist Fally Ipupa, not far from the Marble Palace. On the heights of Ngaliema, a wealthy district of the capital which is home to luxurious residences, the house and the high-end SUVs of the singer whose last album was released in December were stormed.

“Collaboration”

An access of violence which intervenes the day after the reception of “Fally” at the Élysée. As evidenced by a snapshot published by the singer where we see him in the company of the French president in the Pompadour salon, he was one of the personalities invited by Emmanuel Macron during his speech on African politics, delivered this Monday, December 27. The French president announced his “new” vision of his relations with the continent, just before flying off for a new tour. This Wednesday, he is expected in Libreville then will go to Luanda, Brazzaville and…Kinshasa.

A residence of the famous Congolese artist Fally Ipupa was ransacked and vandalized this morning in Ngaliema, a commune of Kinshasa. According to witnesses on the spot, a group of men broke into the artist’s house around 6 a.m., presenting themselves as members of a political party.

Fally Ipupa, who is currently in France to participate in a ceremony organized by President Emmanuel Macron, was not present during the incident. The motives for this act remain unclear at this time.

The police quickly intervened and managed to arrest five people at the scene. Authorities have yet to release the identity of the suspects and the charges against them.

It should be recalled that Fally Ipupa was strongly criticized by some Congolese for his presence at the ceremony organized at the Élysée Palace by President Emmanuel Macron. Indeed, some criticize the French president for not having condemned Rwanda, with which France is a partner, for its alleged role in the violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This incident recalls the need to preserve the safety of public figures in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to protect their physical integrity and their property. The authorities must conduct a thorough investigation to determine those responsible for this criminal act and bring them to justice.

In the DRC, the more the hours pass, the less the French president seems to be welcome. On social networks, some Congolese Internet users have accused the star of being a “voluntary slave” or a “collaborator”. “They will use you to make the Congolese dance while they loot your wealth,” claims a Twitter user.

Fally Ipupa, who resides mainly in the Paris suburbs, did not comment on the acts of vandalism, and has since shared the date of his next concert in Kinshasa; Internet users who mentioned the incident under his previous publication are now applauding his arrival.

Protests against France

If, in a few hours, the animosity towards the Congolese superstar seems to have almost disappeared, the dispute against France is still very much alive. This Wednesday, in front of the French embassy in Kinshasa, a hundred young people demonstrated, Russian flags in hand, against the arrival of the French president , expected on Friday. The refrains sung leave little room for doubt: “Macron, assassin, Putin, help”, or “the Congolese say no to the policy of France”. “We no longer need France, we want to collaborate with reliable partners like Russia or China,” explains Bruno Mimbenga, one of the activists behind the rally, interviewed by AFP.

Emmanuel Macron’s new African strategy put to the test

Even the Congolese authorities have expressed their mistrust. Rare two days before an official visit by a foreign head of state, Christophe Lutundula, the Congolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, criticized the remarks made by Emmanuel Macron during his speech on February 27. He deeply regretted that Paris did not strongly condemn Rwanda, which he accuses of actively supporting the M23 rebellion since its resurgence in November 2021.

In his speech, Emmanuel Macron declared that the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC “cannot be discussed”. Comments deemed “not at all” sufficient by Christophe Lutundula, interviewed on France 24; but much more measured than those of Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, French Secretary of State for the Francophonie who had declared last December in Kinshasa that “Rwanda, because it must be named, must stop this support for the M23 ” .

Additional Reporting: Jeune Afrique

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