National
Congo's army battles militia near Lubumbashi
Publish Date: Jan 07, 2014
Congo's army battles militia near Lubumbashi
Congolese soldiers (L) standing guard in Lubumbashis city centre, following the announcement of the provisional results of the Democratic Republic of the Congos presidential election on December 9, 2011. Violent clashes pitted the Congolese army (FARDC) against armed rebels, Mai Mai Bakata Katanga, early on January 7, 2014 near Lubumbashi, the second city of the Democratic Republic of Congo. AFP PHOTO
  • mail
  • img
newvision

KINSHASA - Congo's army fought gun battles on Tuesday with a separatist militia just 30 km (19 miles) from Lubumbashi, capital of the copper-rich Katanga province, the provincial governor told Reuters.

Although Katanga has been spared most of the rebellions that have simmered in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the last decade, the area, home to some of the world's largest copper reserves, has seen sporadic violence.

Hundreds of rebels attacked the Katangan capital last year and then surrendered after battles with security forces. Soon after, the U.N. peacekeeping mission said the situation could deteriorate.

Katanga governor Moise Katumbi told Reuters that clashes erupted overnight with fighters loyal to a militia leader called Kyungu Mutanga, also known as Gedeon.

"The army is hunting them and the fighting will continue until they are permanently driven away," Katumbi said by telephone.

Katumbi said the fighting was focused around Kiziba, southeast of Lubumbashi, but did not give a toll from the clashes.

According to a leaked report by U.N. experts in Congo, Gedeon's fighters are part of a loose network of armed groups known as Kata Katanga that are seeking secession for the province.

The multinational mining companies operating in Katanga include Freeport McMoRan and Glencore.

Violence in the province has not reached the levels seen in areas to the north, near the border with Rwanda and Uganda, where the U.N.-backed army last year defeated M23 rebels who had posed the greatest threat to President Joseph Kabila in a decade.

However, by the end of September last year, some 360,000 people had been displaced by fighting in Katanga, according to the U.N. experts.

Kabila is from Katanga, giving him a degree of local support.

But the province's relationship with the weak Kinshasa government has long been fractious. It failed in a bid for independence in the 1960s and talk of secession has never gone away.

The U.N. experts say that John Numbi, a former police chief and ally of Kabila's from Katanga, has provided military, financial and logistical support to the Kata Katanga. Numbi denies any links with the rebels.

Reuters

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Bahati to street kids: ‘Leave the streets, society needs you’
Ezekiel Waluga lived on the streets for five years. He says routine mistreatment by his stepmother drove him out of home....
Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
A 21-year-old Russian woman is in a “serious condition” after accidentally shooting herself while posing for a selfie with a gun believed to have been left behind by a security guard, the Independent has reported....
Canadian tourist collapses dead in Bwindi Park
a 75-year-old tourist of a Canadian nationality, collapsed dead while on his way to track the mountain gorillas of Bweza family in the South-Western district of Uganda....
Gulu man killed, body dumped in a river
A 25-year-old man was found murdered and his body dumped in Layibi stream channel water by unknown assailants. The area LC1 chairperson of Layibi Go-Down sub ward Techo parish Layibi Division in Gulu Municipality, Denis Acellam, identified the deceased as Jovin Ojok, 25, a resident of Layibi Down S...
My daughter’s friends call me teargas - Kaweesi
Recently, the Director of Police Operations Andrew Felix Kaweesi made an impromptu visit at his daughter''s school....
Hundreds commemorate 49 years since Lubiri siege
Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II has appealed to his subjects and Ugandans at large to learn from the mistakes each side made in the 1966 crisis so that “we move on as a unit”....
Should graduated tax be revived?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter