Rebels of the Gumino and Twigwaneho militia groups led by a former colonel of the DR Congo national army, Rukundo Makanika, on Monday, Dec. 27, captured the localities of Kamombo, Chakira and Nyamara.
The coalition of two militia groups launched an attack against positions of the DR Congo army, FARDC, early morning in the three localities, and captured them after midday.
Maj. Dieudonne Kasereka,the spokesperson of the military operation Sokola 2 in South Kivu, confirmed that the army had lost the localities to militia fighters but said it was a “strategic retreat”.
“In order to limit collateral damage, the FARDC made a strategic retreat and intend to retake their positions within the next hours,” the army spokesperson declared.
Civil society sources in Itombwe said wounded soldiers have been taken to the General Hospital in Mikenge.
“Since morning, the situation has remained confused. After the attacks in Kamombo, Chakira and Nyamara, the populations of Mikenge and Kipupu have remained in panic,” said Alaka Mikson, secretary of the Itombwe civil society.
“We have six wounded persons in the hospital, all of them elements of the FARDC.”
“The fighting continues this morning of Tuesday, Dec. 28,”Alaka said, adding that the populations of the captured localities have been moving towards Kipupu and Mikenge.
These localities are the former fiefs of Makanika’s men and were recaptured by the FARDC following operations carried out in August this year.
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