Democratic Republic of Congo: At least 19 people killed in clashes between army and Mai Mai fighters in North Kivu
Soldiers of the Democratic Republic of Congo army and rebels have clashed at an army base in the country’s east, killing at least 19 people in the latest outbreak of violence that has forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.
DRC officials said on Wednesday that the attack had been carried out by Mai Mai fighters, linked to former rebels who were at one point integrated into the army but deserted in recent weeks over the government’s decision to arrest a renegade general, Bosco Ntaganda.
Their uprising is believed to have dragged in armed fighters from neighbouring Rwanda, complicating fragile relations between the two neighbours. Clashes in the last two months have forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes.
The attack by Mai Mai fighters loyal to General Kakule Sikula Lafontaine on Tuesday morning targeted an army base in
the Lubero territory of North Kivu province, Lambert Mende, a DRC government spokesman, said.
“They attacked our barracks and killed some of our military personnel,” he said, adding that 11 Congolese soldiers and 8 rebels were killed.