The Congolese army announced Thursday that it had killed seven Mai-Mai militiamen who had attacked its positions in two villages in an area plagued by inter-ethnic conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
« A group of Mayi-Mayi militiamen Ngumino attacked on Tuesday, November 19, the positions of the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) in Rusankuku and Kananda villages, more than 50 kilometers north of Minembwe, in the territory of Fizi. » told AFP Captain Dieudonné Kasereka, spokesman for the army in the province of South Kivu.
The generic term Mayi-Mayi refers to militia formed on a community basis and whose actions range from defending community interests to serious criminality.
The attackers were repulsed and « seven bodies of identified militiamen », added the officer, also mentioning a wounded soldier.
Contacted, the mayor of the rural commune of Minembwe, Gadi Mukiza, confirmed this attack without giving further details.
Since May, a resurgence of violence has been recorded in Minembwe between members of the Banyamulenge community (local Rwandophone community, herders) and those of the Bafulero, Babembe and Banyindu communities (farmers).
The origin of this violence lies in land disputes related to the management of pastures and fields.
In October, the UN mission in the DRC recorded « 90 incidents » resulting in the displacement of several hundred people whose homes were burned as a result of the violence.
And the UN’s Office for Human Rights (UNJHRO) has warned all the protagonists of the conflict in Minembwe, recalling that incitement to hatred is a crime that can lead to prosecution national or international.