AU welcomes alleged DRC rebels’ arrest

Johannesburg - African Union chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma welcomed the arrest of 19 alleged Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rebels in Limpopo on Tuesday.

“If they are coup-plotters, its good that they are arrested,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

This file photo taken on December 1, 2012 shows M23 rebels sitting in the back of a truck as they wait to withdraw from the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Credit: AFP

“According to the AU principles, we do not tolerate unconstitutional changes of government. We do not tolerate coups. People must get to government through a democratic process of election.”

The group of alleged rebels from the DRC was arrested in Limpopo on Tuesday morning after months of investigation, said national police spokesman Brigadier Lindela Mashigo.

They were allegedly planning to overthrow the DRC's current government, and faced charges under the Foreign Military Assistance Act.

The DRC was recently attacked by militants thought to have the backing of neighbouring Rwanda.

The DRC's mineral-rich east has been unstable, and often engulfed by fighting, since a 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Mashigo said the men could not appear in court on Tuesday because of “outstanding administration processes” of the investigation.

“They are likely to appear in court on Thursday or Friday, but it will be this week,” he said.

The investigations continues. - Sapa