General Philémon Yav was arrested on Monday before being immediately taken to Makala central prison. This senior officer of the Congolese army nicknamed “the Katangese tiger” was arrested for treason and intelligence with a foreign power, say security sources in Kinshasa.
With our correspondent in Kinshasa, Kamanda wa Kamanda-Muzembe
For the moment, the authorities are careful not to name the foreign power with which General Philémon Yav would have collaborated. But, the Communication Plus site claims that the Congolese officer was in constant communication with Rwandan General James Kabarebe, special security adviser to President Paul Kagame. Also according to this online media, the officer would have broken the SIM card of his mobile phone to scramble any traceability.
Philémon Yav is also suspected in the death on August 16, 2022 in Goma of another officer, General Ghislain Tshinkobo Mulamba. The latter would have been poisoned, according to the result of the autopsy performed on his body.
This arrest raises questions because General Philémon Yav is a key figure in the military apparatus of the power in place. He was seen on all the battlefields. North Katanga, South Kivu, in the Kahuzi-Biega forest tracking down the FDLR, before being seen in Rutshuru, North Kivu.
The so-called “Katangese tiger” then rose in rank to become commander of the second defense zone, before being assigned to the third zone comprising tshopo, ituri, North Kivu and Maniema, where he assumed the role of coordinator of military operations.