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Canada DRC: former militia leaders sent by Kinshasa to calm the violence in Ituri

06:40  05 july  2020
06:40  05 july  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Renewed fighting between ethnic militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed at least 70 people. More than 100,000 have been forced from their homes in the eastern province of Ituri over the past week. The United Nations has deployed troops to three temporary military bases in the area.

The leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo said the violence appeared to be a "plot" and vowed to "find out the truth" about who was behind the deadly unrest. Fighting in Ituri province between militias connected to Lendu farmers and Hema herders has killed at least 160 civilians since June 10

Germain Katanga, ancien milicien congolais. © AFP PHOTO / ANP / POOL Germain Katanga, former Congolese militiaman.

Eleven people, including the administrator of the Djugu deputy territory and the accountant of the Aru territory, were killed Saturday in an ambush by presumed Codeco militiamen in the Djugu territory on Saturday July 4.

With our correspondent in Kinshasa, Patient Ligodi

The authorities take this outbreak of violence seriously . The army has strengthened its presence in several areas. National and local authorities are also involved in raising awareness among militiamen. A delegation made up notably of former militia chiefs arrived in Bunia (capital of the province) with a mission order signed by the interim cabinet director of Félix Tshisekedi.

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of the Democratic Republic of Congo has responded positively to a request by a militia leader in the northeastern district of Ituri to be integrated into and received a response from Kinshasa about their integration," Mbitso Ngedza, the assistant police chief in Ituri , said on local radio on Thursday.

The legitimacy of the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo ( DRC ) in its peripheral In the absence of central authority, traditional leaders have played a vital role throughout the DRC ’s The violence in this vast region stems from feelings of marginalization from Kinshasa (over 1,500 km

Among them is Germain Katanga, former commander of the Ituri Patriotic Resistance Force (FRPI). Sentenced six years ago by the International Criminal Court (ICC). He was released from prison last March. There is also Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, former commander-in-chief of the Front of Nationalist Integrationists (FNI) and former leader of the FRPI.

Objective of the mission: convince the combatants of the Codeco militia to lay down their arms, organize their identification and speed up the process of their possible surrender, put an end to hostilities. The task will not be easy, given that we will first have to convince these militiamen, whose organizational structure and demands are not well known. This mission is all the more important since order has come from the highest hierarchy in the country. Besides Djugu, they will also visit the territories of Mahagi and Irumu.

The situation in this province also worries international jurisdictions. At the beginning of June, the International Criminal Court pointed to "acts of murder, mutilation, systematic looting" perpetrated in this part of the country and added that they "could constitute crimes within its jurisdiction".

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