Armed ViolenceNews

6 DR Congo Soldiers Accused Of Banditry Arrested

The DR Congo Director of Cabinet has confirmed that six soldiers were arrested on Tuesday in Rutshuru territory.

Six soldiers of the DR Congo national army, FARDC, suspected of highway robbery and racketeering of travelers have been arrested, the military authority announced. 

Lt. Colonel Muhindo Lwanzo, the DR Congo Director of Cabinet said the six soldiers were arrested on Tuesday, Nov.,16, in Rutshuru territory.

“It has been quite sometime now that the military administrator of Rutshuru territory has been receiving complaints of highway banditry and racketeering by some elements of the FARDC from travelers on the Rutshuru-Goma national highway in the eastern oriental province of North Kivu,” Lt. Colonel Lwanzo said.

“Our services have arrested six elements identified as undisciplined FARDC soldiers,” declared the Chief of Cabinet, adding that “investigations were underway to identify their accomplices within the higher rungs of the military. The justice system would do its work.”

He said complainants had said they were regularly faced with demands for money by highway bandits at roadblocks set up by soldiers of the FARDC.

Meanwhile, two soldiers were last weekend condemned to death for attempted rape, according to the military auditor of the Goma garrison, the North Kivu provincial capital.

They were accused on having killed two children of the same family in Sake to the northwest of Goma, during a quarrel over a sex worker.

Prophet Elisha, the father of the children, aged eight and four years, said his kids were hit by stray bullets fired during the altercation and died on the spot.

North Kivu is a neighbouring province to Ituri both of which have been placed under a state of siege since May 6, 2021 with a view to curtailing or putting an end to the activities of multiple armed groups carrying out atrocities in the eastern DR Congo for over twenty-five years now.

Civilian authorities have been replaced by military administrators and police officers since the state of siege was decreed by DR Congo president Felix Tshisekedi in May, 2021.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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