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Congo president appoints new army chief

Credit: REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has appointed a new head of the army to replace General John Numbi, state television said on Friday.

KINSHASA, July 17 (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has appointed a new head of the army to replace General John Numbi, state television said on Friday.

Both Numbi and his designated successor, General Gabriel Amisi Kumba, are under U.S. and European Union sanctions for repression and abuses directed against opposition figures and protesters under former president Joseph Kabila.

Tshisekedi's office did not give a reason for the reshuffle.

Until now, Kumba was Numbi's number two and head of territorial operations of the Congolese Armed Forces. Both were promoted to their posts by Kabila in mid-2018.

The last month has seen rising tensions in the ruling coalition between supporters of Tshisekedi and those of Kabila, who maintains extensive power through his parliamentary majority, control of most cabinet ministries, and influence in the army.

(Reporting by Stanis Bujakera Writing by Alessandra Prentice Editing by Mark Heinrich)

((alessandra.prentice@thomsonreuters.com; +380 44 244 9150; Reuters Messaging: alessandra.prentice.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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