DRC army to chase down mutinous troops

“We are military men. When the time is up, if the mutineers don’t surrender, we are going to pursue operations against them,” Colonel Sylvain Ekenge, the military spokesperson in the unstable Nord-Kivu and Sud-Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Monday.

The five-day ultimatum was issued on Saturday.

Overnight on Friday, the armed forces (FARDC) suspended their attacks in the eastern Nord-Kivu province, stating that the situation in the volatile Masisi and Rutshuru territories was under control.

Heavy fighting broke out on April 29 between the army and renegade troops, held to be part of a former militia led by General Jean Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted for war crimes.

The army said it stopped the attacks after retaking Mushaki, a town in Masisi near a farm where Ntaganda, former chief of staff of the rebel National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), said he was based.

<strong>Reinforcements</strong>
The governor of Nord-Kivu on Wednesday accused Ntaganda of being behind the fighting, a charge which he denied.

His CNDP forces joined the regular army under a peace deal in 2009, but mutineers broke the pact last month, citing unpaid salaries among other grievances.

According to the mutineers, Ntaganda was trying to reach the Rutshuru region on the border with Rwanda and Uganda, where some of his men have reportedly fallen back, including Colonel Sultani Makenga, who was his deputy in the CNDP militia.

“There are troops who have been sent as reinforcements in Rutshuru since yesterday [Sunday], awaiting orders from the hierarchy for the next operations,” an FARDC colonel told AFP.

“There is a large number of soldiers at Bunagana and we can see heavy weapons installed in the hills overlooking Bunagana,” a resident of the area told AFP.


Like many other Bunagana residents, this man leaves the town every nightfall for neighbouring Uganda for fear of violence, returning home the next morning.

Also known by the nickname Terminator, Ntaganda was in 2006 indicted by the International Criminal Court for using child soldiers.

The Kinshasa government has declined to arrest him, arguing that his cooperation is crucial to stabilising a country devastated by two successive wars between 1996 and 2003. &mdash; AFP

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Two dead in new ANC KwaZulu-Natal killings

A Mtubatuba councillor and a Hammarsdale ANC Youth League leader were shot yesterday near their homes

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Engineering slips out of gear at varsity

Walter Sisulu University wants to reprioritise R178-million that it stands to give back to treasury after failing to spend it
Advertising

Press Releases

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations