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Old 05-03-2010, 04:44 PM
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Default New Congo rebel group sparks fears of more unrest

Man the news just isn't getting better from day to day.

New Congo rebel group sparks fears of more unrest....

By MICHELLE FAUL, Associated Press Writer Michelle Faul, Associated Press Writer – 39 mins ago.

MBANDAKA, Congo – Eric Nkumu Bunita went to war armed only with some water and herbs he believed would protect him from gunfire. The skinny 27-year-old's career as a fighter for Congo's newest rebel movement lasted a mere four weeks.

Captured after the group launched an attack on northwest Equateur's provincial capital, Nkumu can now only point to two gunshot wounds that mark his upper arm.

Congo's latest rebel movement, which Nkumu said is taking its orders from an exiled witchdoctor, is opening a new front in what was a relatively peaceful corner of this enormous Central African nation long brutalized by violent rebel groups.

An estimated 100 people have been killed and some 200,000 others have been displaced from their homes in more than six months of fighting in which the rebels have defeated Congolese army troops several times, according to the United Nations.

Geez we are just hearing abut this, thanks UN...

Experts say the country's new rebellion is gaining support from armed militants loyal to Jean-Pierre Bemba, a warlord originally from Equateur province who is now facing trial at the International Criminal Court, as well as from disgruntled soldiers demobilized without benefits.

The unrest in Congo's poorest region began as a localized intertribal conflict in a decades-old dispute over fishing rights. Now a poisonous cocktail of local grievances in Equateur bodes ill for Congo as President Joseph Kabila demands that U.N. troops withdraw before the September 2011 presidential election.

John Holmes, the U.N. chief for humanitarian affairs, visited Mbandaka over the weekend and warned in an interview with The Associated Press that the premature withdrawal of the U.N. peacekeeping force known as MONUC could worsen the situation in Congo.

"If you withdraw that element of stability that is MONUC then other conflicts contained by the presence of MONUC may get out of control and you could find yourself in a much more dangerous situation," Holmes said.

Congo's military says the situation in Equateur province is "under control," downplaying the implications of attacks that have stretched the resources of the largest and most expensive U.N. peacekeeping mission in the world and embarrassed the president.

It is the latest unrest to roil Congo, whose people suffered through back-to-back civil wars from 1996-2002 that devastated the mineral-rich nation and dragged in the armies of half a dozen African countries.

Adding to the misery, civilians in eastern Congo still face regular attacks from militia groups including Rwandan Hutus who perpetrated that country's 1994 genocide. The U.N. reports at least 8,300 rapes were committed against women in eastern Congo last year, averaging 160 rapes a week.

And in Congo's northeast, the brutal Lord's Resistance Army's more than 20-year insurgency in Uganda has spilled across the border spreading terror. Human rights groups blame the LRA for massacres during which victims were hacked to death with machetes and children were forced to kill other children.

The new group, which calls itself Nzobo Yalobo according to Nkumu, has fed off of grievances about Equateur province being marginalized since its most famous son, former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, was ousted in 1997 by a rebellion that splintered the country among various warlords.
.....................MUCH MORE AT THE SITE.......................................
New Congo rebel group sparks fears of more unrest - Yahoo! News

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Old 03-27-2017, 09:23 AM
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Angry Re: New Congo rebel group sparks fears of more unrest

40 police officers beheaded in the Congo...

DR Congo unrest: Why are police in Kasai being decapitated?
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 - Up to 400 people have reportedly been killed in the central DR Congo province of Kasai - what is going on?
Militia fighters in the Democratic Republic of Congo have decapitated about 40 police officers in an ambush in the central province of Kasai, local officials say. The attack on a police convoy last Friday is thought to be one of the deadliest single episodes of violence in Kasai since unrest broke out in August 2016. Reports say up to 400 people have been killed in total. Six policemen who spoke the local Tshiluba language were freed in Friday's incident, but the rest were killed, Kasai Assembly President Francois Kalamba said. The Kamwina Nsapu group was believed to be behind the attack. It has been fighting DR Congo forces since its leader was killed by the security forces last year.

Anti-government protests in the capital have received extensive media coverage

The attack came days after the UN Human Rights Council said 10 mass graves had been found in Kasai, with limbs sticking out of the soil at some of the sites. At least 99 people, including 18 children, were killed between 1 January and 23 February this year, the UN body said after a visit to the area by a team of investigators. In one attack on 10 February, government troops killed at least 40 alleged militiamen and buried them in two mass graves that its investigators had seen, the UN body added in a report. The militia is also alleged to have committed atrocities, including killing about 30 people, among them children, following an incursion into the neighbouring Lomami region on 9 March. In another instance, the militia allegedly "decapitated two policemen and took away their heads", the UN report said.

What is the fighting about?

Followers of Kamwina Nsapu, a traditional chief whose real name was Jean-Pierre Pandi, wanted his chiefdom to be officially recognised by the authorities. There were communal clashes after Kamwina Nsapu called for a popular uprising in June 2016 with the aim of removing all state institutions and security forces from the region. He was killed two months later when the police raided his house. His followers vowed to avenge his killing. They also demanded the exhumation of the late leader's body, saying he had not been buried in accordance with traditional rites.

The conflict has since escalated, tapping into long-held grievances over marginalisation in this opposition bastion blighted by poor infrastructure. The Kamwina Nsapu fighters - largely made up of child soldiers - have targeted state institutions, looting and burning local and national government offices. However, the UN has condemned the army for using disproportionate force against fighters equipped with traditional weapons such as machetes, homemade rifles or even just sticks.

Why is it so serious?
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