Three soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Congo national army, FARDC, were killed on Wednesday, Nov. 17, and several hundred cattle stolen when rebels of the Mai-Mai ‘Biloze Bishambuke’ attacked a grazing site in Baraka within the Fizi territory, the army authorities said.
Captain Dieudonne Kasereka, the army spokesperson in the region said the rebels launched the attack in Baraka in the evening of Tuesday.
“In the evening of Tuesday, in Baraka within the Fizi territory, militiamen of Mai-Mai ‘Biloze Bishambuke’ attacked a grazing site, carting away several hundreds of cattle belonging to Banyamulenge herdsmen who are Congolese Tutsis of Rwandan origins,” Captain Kasereka said.
According to him, Congolese soldiers who got wind of the attack and cattle rustling were in pursuit of the Mai-Mai rebels when they fell in an ambush resulting in the death of three FARDC fighters while two others were seriously wounded.
But 64 cows were retrieved and returned to their owners, according to the army spokesperson, who added that several soldiers have during this year lost their lives in similar operations to rescue rustled cattle from thieves in the territories of Fizi, Uvira, and Mwenga.
A Banyamulenge militia was accused of killing six persons last Sunday and razing down 12 houses in a reprisal raid.
The Mai-Mai is a generic term used to designate militia constituted on communal bases. The “Biloze Bishambuke” are members of three communities opposed to the Banyamulenge namely the Babembe, Banyindu and Bafuliru.
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