Armed ViolenceNews

Eleven Prisoners Escape After A Prison Break In Beni

Eleven prisoners broke their way out of the Beni prison in North Kivu of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday.

According to Colonel Francois Kabeya, Commandant of the Beni police, “…there is not much security here,”

As it was raining heavily around 2 am, some detainees broke the ceiling and used the trouser of one of the prisoners to descend from the upper floor of the building and disappear into thin air,” Kabeya disclosed.

He said there were altogether 41 prisoners detained in the facility, and about 20 among those who tried to escape were arrested by a police patrol. 

Twenty-seven prisoners in all were eventually taken to the Kangbayi prison and four others who were in the cells were taken to the national police headquarters, Colonel Kabeya revealed.

It should be recalled that because of the very precarious situations in various prisons in the Democratic Republic of Congo where lives are lost because of the overcrowding and unhealthy environment, prison escapes are very rampant in the country.

In one of such spectacular prison breakouts, 1300 prisoners escaped from the Kangbayi central prison in Beni, North Kivu on October 20, 2020, following an attack on the prison by combatants of the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

The rebels launched two simultaneous attacks: one against the prison and the other against an army emplacement intended to ensure the security of the prison.

Sunday’s prison break was the umpteenth time the Beni prison has seen the escape of several prisoners. 

On June 11, 2017, armed men suspected by the local authorities to be combatants of the Mai-Mai rebel movement in coalition with the ADF rebels attacked the prison, leading to the escape of 930 prisoners and the death of 11 others.

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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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