DR Congo Soldiers, Rebels Die In South And North Kivu Clashes

Violence continues in DR Congo’s Kivu regions, despite a state of siege being enforced to curb rebel activities.

Three soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Congo national army, FARDC, including a Major and a Captain were killed during clashes with rebels on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 in the Kavimvira council area of Uvira in South Kivu. 

Several civilians were also wounded by stray bullets during the clashes.

According to the army authorities, the clashes involved the Mai-Mai rebels supported by Burundian combatants of the National Liberation Front (NLF).

“Three FARDC soldiers fell on the field of honour, including two officers and one soldier. One soldier was also wounded and two civilians were hit by stray bullets,” a spokesperson for the army’s Operation South Sokola 2 in South Kivu revealed. 

The army spokesperson said the rebels were searching for the means to replenish their food supplies in Uvira town, noting that they fled towards the Mushule forest where troops have been on their trail.

Andre Byadunia, Coordinator of the new civil society of Uvira said: “In the town of Uvira, Kavimvira Council, there are the Mai-Mai Makanaki and Mai-Mai Gadi who clashed with the FARDC.”

Byadunia said three civilians were injured during the attack and are receiving medical attention at the Uvira reference hospital. 

“We have also heard that two officers of the army were killed. At our level, we call on the civilian population to collaborate with the security forces by denouncing the enemies of peace.”

In the last month, the Operation South Sokola 2 has lost at least four officers including a Major who was lynched and burnt alive in Lweba, a Colonel who was butchered in Kamombo as well as two others killed in Uvira.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the FARDC announced its forces killed two Mai-Mai rebels of the Dido group on Tuesday, Jan. 18, evening during an attack on their position situated in Rugetsi, Ruwenzori sector of Beni territory in North Kivu.

According to the spokesperson of Operation Sokola 1, the assailants were the first to launch an attack against the army position and during the fighting that ensued, two of the assailants were killed. There were no casualties on the side of the FARDC.

Paul Kiserume, President of the Rugetsi civil society confirmed the attack but explained that the two persons killed were not members of the Mai-Mai but civilians from whom the FARDC soldiers had stolen a television set belonging to one of them.

“One of the dead persons was killed in a beer parlour while the other was taken away by force by the soldiers to their base where he was eventually killed,” the civil society President revealed.

As of Thursday, Jan. 20, morning, gunfire can still be heard in the area, precisely in the villages of Murambi, Mbakirya and Vuhumirya, according to local sources.

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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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