Over 60 fighters of the Mai Mai rebel movement invaded Lubumbashi, in Haut-Katanga province, DR Congo on Saturday, September, 26.
The rebels attempted to hoist the flag of its dream Bakata Katanga republic near the Place de la Poste but were quickly routed by soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo army.
In a swift counter-operation, the army rounded off the Mai Mai fighters, arrested them and took them to the military facility at the 22 military region in Lubumbashi.
Residents report that the situation remains tense as gunfire has rent the air in and around the Kasapa quarter and other corners of the city.
Economic activities are right now at a standstill in the city as most commercial locations remain closed.
Military intelligence sources in the city link this invasion by the Mai Mai fighters to an earlier attempt last week at the Kasapa central prison. The attempt resulted in injuries to six persons and the destruction of property.
The rebels, part of the Bakata Batanga militia, wearing red bands on their heads, entered the city through the Kasenga road into the centre of Lubumbashi. Others entered Bel Air quarter in the Kampemba council area.
The incursion and the military response forced people to avoid the streets and public places. Few vehicles were out in the streets.
Following the incident, the soldiers are patrolling and taking positions at strategic public places particularly the Place de la Poste.
“They came through Quartier Hewa Bora from Kasenga. This Mai Mai invasion no doubt has a correlation to the invasion attempt at the Kasapa central prison Friday evening,” stated Timothee Mbuya, an attorney and coordinator of the Justicia ASBL human rights defense association.
A prison break attempt was made on Friday, September 21, 2020 at the Kasapa central prison in Lubumbashi. The attempt was foiled but six persons sustained injuries.
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