Youths Demand Withdrawal Of Malawian Soldiers From DR Congo

The youths alleged that the Malawian soldiers have been exploiting the country’s resources rather than focusing on their primary duty of peace keeping.

Members of the Malawian contingent with the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) have begun withdrawing from their positions in Mambasa, about 180 km to Bunia at the borders with Uganda and South Sudan in Ituri province, following demonstrations by youths calling for their departure.

During the demonstrations which started on Thursday, May 12 and extended to Saturday, May 14, several persons were wounded.

“People have to calm down. Let everyone go about his occupation. We continue to call on the population to be vigilant and to block the way to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) enemies who are here only to destabilise us,” said Lawyer John Vuleveryo, a lawyer and coordinator of the new civil society in the area.

HumAngle understands that most soldiers attached to MONUSCO sometimes concentrate on exploiting mineral resources instead of carrying out their peacekeeping duties. In this case, the youths as in most cases were protesting the presence of Malawian troops in their region and wanted them out.

But authorities are blaming the development on those they called “enemies”.

Jean Tobi Okala, Public Information Officer of MONUSCO, said “these manifestations resemble the handiwork of the enemy”.

The zone affected has recently seen a resurgence of violence and the most recent incident of violence took place last Tuesday when three persons were killed and nine vehicles burnt during an ADF attack on Kundala Kundala, a village situated six kilometres from Lolwa on the national highway number four between Komanda and Mambassa centre.

Relative calm has now returned to the area.

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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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