Six persons were killed on Saturday, April 30, in clashes between groups representing the Banyamulenge and the Mai-Mai communal militia representing the Force d’Autodefense Biloze Bishambuke (FABB) in Fizi territory of South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to Gady Mukiza, the mayor of the Minembwe rural council, the clashes were triggered by a dispute over hitherto neutral zones.
“On Saturday, elements of FABB reacted to what they considered a provocation by Twirwaneho, Ngumino and Androide groups, which they accused of having occupied two villages which until then were considered as neutral zones between the two camps,” Mukiza said.
He confirmed that clashes resulted in six deaths while several were wounded.
The Twirwaneho and Ngumino groups were among the groups represented at recent consultations between the Democratic Republic of Congo authorities and armed groups active in the eastern DR Congo for several years now.
The Nairobi consultations were expected to lead to a final end of armed conflicts in DR Congo but the latest clashes indicated that the dialogue has not achieved the set goals.
“The Nairobi consultations could unfortunately not put an end to clashes between armed groups in Fizi territory,” said Josephat Musamba, a researcher in the Pedagogic Institute of Bukavu who has been conducting research on armed groups in North Kivu and South Kivu provinces.
“The Congolese state is demanding that armed groups integrate the disarmament and reinsertion programme but in this region, armed groups have been clashing on the questions of territorial occupation,” Musamba added, revealing that FABB was angry because they were not invited to the Nairobi consultations.
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