The Democratic Republic of Congo army has killed a suspected combatant of the Mai-Mai militia group.
The militant was killed on Tuesday, Sept. 21, during an attack on a government military position in Butuhe, chief town of the Malio group situated 10 km to the northwest of Butembo, North Kivu.
According to Mbakidi Premice, Vice President of the civil society of Butuhe, “it was around midday when a group of armed assailants attacked a military camp before being quickly pushed back by loyalist forces.”
Premice said “loud gunshots were fired for over 10 minutes forcing the inhabitants to disperse in disarray. Until this evening at 6 p.m., the provisional casualty figure is one militiaman killed and his firearm recovered,” he told HumAngle.
The Butuhe region is noted for having served as a bastion for certain factions of the Mai-Mai rebellion which began in 2000. During the last decade, the region saw a period of some relative peace.
“However, since the past one week, the presence of armed men has been signaled within the Malio group,” a civil society source alerted, saying “the armed individuals cannot for now be positively identified,” a senior military officer who refused divulging his identity because he is not authorised to speak for the army, told HumAngle this morning.
“All we know for now is that a group of Mai-Mai militia of the Union des Patriotes pour la Liberation du Congo (UPLC) – Union of Patriots for the Liberation of Congo – have elected residence in Kilegha, more than ten kilometres to the west of Butuhe, serving as a link between those of Kalunguta on the Butembo-Beni highway and those of Bambimbi in the Bapere sector.”
The military spokesperson of Operations Sokola 1 declined making any comments on the situation in Butuhe.
The outgoing governor of North Kivu, Carly Kasivita, denounced the attack on the army position as “irresponsible” and called on the youths of the area to join the efforts aimed at the pacification of the region.
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