Tag Archives: Militia

Storyline: Militias kill 11 in DR Congo

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Gunmen killed 11 people including military and local officials in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said Sunday, an ambush attributed to a militia accused of a string of massacres.

Two vehicles coming from Bunia, the capital of Ituri province, were attacked Saturday at the village of Matete, Djugu territory administrator Adel Alingi Mokuba said.

“The death toll is 11, including the deputy territorial administrator in charge of economy and finance, three policemen and four soldiers,” he told AFP.

The convoy was carrying “a former provincial deputy, an accountant, police officers and civilians who were savagely massacred”, Ituri governor Jean Bamanisa said in a video posted online.

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The governor warned the killers: “The army has not given up”.

The attack was the latest attributed to an ethnic militia called CODECO, the Cooperative for the Development of the Congo.

On Friday, DR Congo’s army said it had killed seven of the militia’s fighters, which claims to defend the interests of the Lendu ethnic group. The Lendu are predominantly farmers who have historically clashed with the Hema community of traders and herders.

Ituri is one of several provinces gripped by militia violence in eastern DR Congo, a country the size of continental western Europe.

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More than 1,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Ituri since December 2017, including 375 since March, according to the United Nations.

“These acts could constitute crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,” ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda warned on June 4.

– ‘Slaughtering local residents’ –
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has accused CODECO and other Lendu fighters of pursuing “a strategy of slaughtering local residents — mainly the Hema, but also the Alur — since 2017” to control natural resources in the region.

Tens of thousands of people were killed in Hema-Lendu fighting between 1999 and 2003. The fighting resumed in 2017, for reasons that are not clear.

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Just before Saturday’s attack, a delegation of former militia leaders from the 1999-2003 conflict had arrived in Ituri on a peace mission at the request of President Felix Tshisekedi.

Among them was Mathieu Ngudjolo, who was prosecuted but acquitted by the ICC in 2015, Ituri governor Bamanisa told AFP.

Local media reported that Germain Katanga was also present. Katanga was released in March having served nearly 12 years after being convicted by the ICC of war crimes including attacks on civilians.

The European Union ambassador to DR Congo, Jean-Marc Chataigner, condemned attacks in Ituri and neighbouring North Kivu on Twitter, calling for support of the army and the UN mission deployed in DR Congo, MONUSCO, “to prevent (militias) from doing harm”.


#Newsworthy…

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Militias arrested in Nasarawa – Criminals neutralised in Benue. [Nigeria]


The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Whirl Stroke have succeeded in killing two gang members of Gana led criminal elements in Benue arresting members of militia group in Nasarawa state.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operation, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Enenche said the success was recorded when combined troops of Sector 2 deployed in Gbise and Zaki Biam in Benue and Sector 4 from Taraba State raided the hideout of Gana in Mtan village in Utenge Council Ward of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area (LGA) on Saturday.

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He added that while two members of the gang were killed in the encounter, others fled with various degrees of gunshot wounds.

According to him, exploitation operation revealed that Gana narrowly escaped death with gunshot wounds.

“Items recovered include: one locally fabricated machine gun, six locally made rifles, two locally fabricated cartridge guns and one dane gun.

“Other items recovered are two revolver pistols, two cartridge pistols, 27 rounds of 9mm ammunition two motorcycles, one camouflage shirt, one generator set, one bag of gun powder and assorted charms.

“Gana’s personal belongings, other items and thatched houses were destroyed,” he said.

The Coordinator further disclosed that the troops of Sector 3 deployed at Ondori in Doma LGA of Nasarawa State raided the Bassa Militia camp at Kpelebewa village in Rukubi area and arrested seven gang members.
He added that the raid followed a credible information that the militia group were planning to attack a Tiv community over land dispute.

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According to him, the troops apprehended seven members of the militia dressed in red shirts in the camp.

“Items recovered include one locally fabricated machine gun, six locally fabricated rifles, two locally fabricated cartridge guns, one Dane gun, two revolver pistols, two cartridge firing pistols, 57 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 29 rounds of 9mm ammunition, and 22 cartridges of ammunition.

“Other items are one dagger, poisoned bows and arrows, desert camouflage head gears and pouch, six phone handsets and some charms.

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“The suspects are currently undergoing interrogation to be handed over to the police.

“The Military High Command congratulates the Troops and requests the general public to continue to provide the Armed Forces with credible information to facilitate its operations in the Country,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

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