CODECO militia attacked an artisanal gold mining site on Friday, August 12, 2022, killing four people, including a soldier of the Democratic Republic of Congo national army, FARDC, while abducting two Chinese nationals.
“The attack by the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) rebels targeted a mining site controlled by Chinese nationals in the Mungwalu zone. Three Congolese working in the mine were killed during the attack,” the army spokesperson in Ituri province, Lt. Jules Ngongo, revealed.
“A total of four Chinese were taken hostage, but the army liberated two of them during a counter-attack. We have lost one soldier who succumbed to his wounds,” the army spokesperson added.
Innocent Madukadala, chief of the Banyali-Kilo sector, confirmed that two Chinese were returned alive.
“The incident took place in the night in this mining zone to the northeast of the country where militia sometimes carry out survival operations though they have already signed a unilateral engagement to cease hostilities,” Lt. Jules Ngongo said.
The Mungwalu region in Djugu territory is a zone where the CODECO militia is active.
Several attacks against the Chinese in mining sites are regularly reported in this part of DR Congo. For example, in Nov. 2021, two Chinese were killed in a similar attack on a mining site in Damnable in the same region of Ituri province.
Since Dec. 2017, the mining zones of Ituri have witnessed increased violence following the arrival of CODECO rebels, an armed group structured like a religious sect which claims to defend the interests of the Lendu, a community in the province against the Hema community and the security forces.
CODECO is considered one of the most murderous armed groups in eastern DR Congo. Besides attacking civilians and soldiers, they also attack displaced persons and humanitarian workers.
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