Armed ViolenceNews

Four Dead, Five Wounded As Pygmies, DR Congo Army Clash

Four persons were killed on Sunday during clashes between pygmies and soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Kabamba within the Kabare territory bordering the Kalehe territory in South Kivu.

According to local civil society sources, among the dead were three pygmies and a soldier of the national army.

Trouble started when the indigenous pygmies barricaded the main highway demanding the release of one of them called Douze who was arrested in September this year in the Kahuzi Biega National Park.

“The outcome of this incident is that one element of the Democratic Republic of Congo army (FARDC) was killed by the pygmies using machetes, two elements of the FARDC were wounded and taken to the Fomulac Katana hospital and three pygmies were killed while three others were also wounded and are now admitted in the Kabumbiro hospital in the Kalehe territory,” revealed Delphin Birimbi, president of the civil society network of Kalehe territory.

The three pygmies were buried Tuesday in Kabumbiro.

Following the clashes, Brigadier General Mukalay was dispatched by the army to Kalehe same day to intervene and calm tensions.

Civil society sources indicate that the FARDC delegation took away the bodies of their dead colleagues as they left Kalehe to be buried according to military tradition.

This incident took place in the middle of celebrations marking 50 years of the existence of the Kahuzi Biega National Park.

The main objective of the celebrations was to make sure the park no longer features among the natural sites in peril.

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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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