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Rebel Traditional Leader Killed By DR Congo Forces In Nyiragongo, DR Congo

The Bukumu chiefdom has been facing several customary conflicts in recent times, causing a leadership vacuum.

The self-proclaimed leader of the Munigi group in Nyiragongo territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been killed by soldiers of the DR Congo national army, FARDC.

Sikitu Mudeyi Kifende was killed on Friday, Oct. 22, morning during clashes in the Bushara hills where he had built his operation headquarters as FARDC soldiers mounted an operation for his capture. Several of his followers were wounded.

“There have been shootings yesterday following operations carried out by the police who were trying to disperse persons who surrounded the self-proclaimed leader of the Munigi group, Sikitu Mudeyi Kifende. The police did not succeed in dispersing the crowd. This morning, the self-proclaimed chief was killed,” Mambo Kawaya, president of the Nyiragongo civil society revealed.

“There were several reports that his followers put up stiff resistance. The followers were made up of youths wielding batons and machetes. The army came in with a disproportionate force thinking an armed militia was involved.” 


Jean-Marie Malosa, the Assistant Administrator of the Nyiragongo territory, Principal Superior Commissioner, confirmed the death of the self-proclaimed Munigi leader.

He said the Munigi leader was in possession of firearms and put up resistance against the defense and security forces before he was killed.

“We are on the Bushara hill which he considered as the capital of his kingdom. He had put forward a problem and the dossier was being treated at the level of the consultative committee for the settlement of customary conflicts,” Malosa said.

“Unfortunately for him, he was very much in a hurry and went up to the point of taking up arms. He has suffered the result. If he did not put up resistance against the security forces, he would not be dead now.”

“There were even policemen who were lynched by his supporters. There are some who were seriously wounded and are currently in hospital.”

The dead self-proclaimed Munigi group leader was contesting the position with the provincial parliamentarian Olivier Kakoti, son of Munihire Bagore Kakoti, chief of the Munigi group who died some months ago in Goma.

The Bukumu chiefdom has been facing several customary conflicts in recent times. 

For the past few years, it has been headed by interim chiefs and right now, the chiefdom is headed by the administrative secretary of the zone, Bienvenu Bitwayiki after the suspension of the former head, Mwami Jean-Bosco Butsitsi by the former Governor, Julien Paluku.


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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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