International

DR Congo : Rebels Killed in Ituri

They attempted to block traffic and invade cities in the North East of the country.

Heavy clashes have been reported between government forces (FARDC) and armed groups known as the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO). The fighting that took place in the gold rich town of Ituri, North East of the country, left over 40 rebels and four soldiers killed. The information was made public on Monday, April 13, 2020 by the military spokesperson (FARDC), Lieutenant Jules Ngongo. The attacks that took place in several localities in Ituri, began when CODECO militiamen attempted to block traffic on the road that links Bunia to Mahagi and invade cities.
During the fighting, the military seized several militia weapons, including five AK-47s and two heavy PKM-branded weapons, the spokesperson told journalists. On the part of the civil society, the figures are more than 130 dead among which a dozen soldiers. According to the governor of the Province Jean Bamanisa, the militiamen adopted the strategy of guerrilla warfare. He said they operate in small groups with the hope of countering the operations carried out by the government for forces (FARDC). 
On Saturday, a group of soldiers fell in a CODECO ambush in Nyapala village, sources said. The soldiers had been dispatched as reinforcements after a deadly attack carried out by militiamen against a convoy of vehicles in the territory of Djugu. The soldiers were deployed after a visit by the President of the Republic to the Province to restore, peace and order and security. 
More than 200 CODECO militiamen accused of atrocities were returned to government forces in January during a crackdown on armed groups in the east of the country. Several armed groups had agreed to lay down their arms, with the exception of CODECO, whose management was beheaded at the end of March, 2020. The movement quickly reorganized with 30-year-old Ngabu Songambele at the command.

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