Africa African Security Democracy DRC

Fighting erupts in DRC again

Turmoil rages on on African soil as DRC is back in the fold. Fighting breaks out in  the capital. 
© Photo: AFP

Government troops have regained control of several buildings, including the airport and state TV headquarters, in the DR Congo capital Kinshasa after an assault by gunmen Monday, officials said.

“We have total control of the situation,” government spokesman Lambert Mende told Reuters, adding that 40 attackers had been killed by security forces.

English: President Joseph Kabila of the Democr...

President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a weak leader by all imaginations.

In the latest wave of violence to hit the troubled African nation, armed men had earlier taken over the country’s state broadcaster RTNC, reportedly taking several reporters hostage.

Police spokesman Colonel Mwana Mputu said youths had used guns and machetes to attack the broadcaster’s offices.

“They have taken reporters hostage. An operation is under way to dislodge them,” he told the AFP news agency.

drc minerals 2

 

The mineral wealth under DRC soils has denied the general population some peace

Witnesses earlier reported heavy gunfire coming from the station’s offices. Shortly after, state radio and television channels went off the air, said Reuters.

Before the station’s television feed was cut, two gunmen appeared on camera to deliver what appeared to be a political message against President Joseph Kabila on behalf of Paul Joseph Mukungubila, a religious leader who ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 2006.

“Gideon Mukungubila has come to free you from the slavery of the Rwandan,” said the message, according to a Reuters reporter who saw a tape of the transmission. Gideon is the nickname used for Mukungubila by his followers.

‘Panic in the city’

Mukungubila, who calls himself ‘The prophet of the Eternal’, has been an outspoken critic of a peace deal signed this month with the Tutsi-led M23 rebel group in eastern Congo, accusing Kabila’s government of bowing to Tutsi interests and pressure from neighbouring Rwanda.

drc minerals

 

These rare stones will always attract conflict in DRC

“The attackers presented themselves as supporters of Mukungubila. We are checking because this could be an attempt to fool us,” DR Congo Information Minister Lambert Mende told Reuters.

A local resident told AFP he had seen police and military officers deploy around the RTNC building and the nearby Congolese parliament building.

“There’s panic in the city, people are asking what is happening,” he said.

Heavy gunfire also broke out at Kinshasa’s international airport at around the same time, a customs official told Reuters.

“Shooting has started here,” the official said. “They are shooting everywhere. We are all hiding.”

Witnesses also reported shooting at the Tshatshi military camp in the city, close to the Defence Ministry.

Despite the peace-deal with the M23 rebel group which ended an 18-month insurgency, DR Congo’s government is struggling to maintain security with a number of rebel groups still operating in the country.

Last week, at least 40 civilians were killed in a rebel attack on an eastern village by the ADF-NALU rebel group — a Ugandan opposition group driven out of the country in the mid-2000s but still active in DR Congo.

Source-FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS

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