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

Germain Katanga, former Congolese militiaman. AFP PHOTO / ANP / POOL

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


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With our correspondent in Kinshasa,  Patient Ligodi

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 leaders arrived in Bunia (capital of the province) with a mission order signed by the interim cabinet director of Félix Tshisekedi.

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 as the order came 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. In early 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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