Armed ViolenceNews

DR Congo – “Uniformed” Gunmen Burn Down Police Post

A band of armed men, some dressed in uniforms of the national army are believed to be roaming the forest committing acts of violence, worsening the violence in an area riven by intercommunal strife.

A local administrator has asked for help from the Military of the DR Congo after men apparently dressed in uniforms of the national army attacked a police post in Bagata territory in Kwilu province.

Local security sources report that the unidentified men came in from Kwamouth attacked the post in Kipata Kituba village, then headed towards the border between Kwamouth and Bagata. 

It is believed the men are the same group that has been committing acts of violence in the area for the past month, they are also thought to be responsible for atrocities in Kwamouth, Mai-Ndombe province.

According to the assistant administrator of Bagata territory, Matthieu Swari, some of the assailants were dressed in the uniforms of FARDC, the DR Congo national army. They attempted to grab police weapons, he said. 

“Among the thirty assailants, three were dressed in army uniforms and that is why we are asking the question as to where these people got the military outfits. They have arms, where did they get them?” he said on 17 Oct.

“We call on the military hierarchy to take the necessary dispositions that would discourage the accomplices from collaborating with the assailants and to do everything to reinforce security so that the population can also help the police and our army in denouncing all the accomplices”, Mr Swari said.

The assistant commander was attacked, he defended himself and managed to escape injury, Swari added.

Last week, 57 men were arrested by the FARDC after an incursion that resulted in the deaths of thirteen persons in the village of Kisia Kambulu.

On Monday 17 Oct the national parliamentarian for Bagata constituency, Hon. Sylvain Delma Mbo, called for the urgent prosecution of the arrested persons who had earlier been transferred to Kinshasa. He also called for an investigation so as to throw light on the instigators of the inter-ethnic clashes between the Teke and Yaka communities in Kwamouth.

“Today, everybody thinks there are problems between the Tekes and Yakas but to wipe away that assumption, we must make public all what we know,” said Delma Mbo “which is that there are individuals who are at the root of this conflict who have become the main actors. This is not an ethnic problem of being a Teke or a Yaka. It is only justice which would establish those responsible for the clashes.” 

When governors of Greater Bandundu visited Kinshasa recently, after exchanges with the presidents of the Senate and Parliament, they proposed the setting up of security corridors to permit fleeing Yaka who are still in the forest to come out and participate in a meeting aimed at re-establishing peace between the two communities.

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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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