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Vol 58 No 20

Published 6th October 2017


Congo-Kinshasa

Mayhem among the militias

The loyalty of government forces is under strain as new militia challenges spring up, especially in the benighted Kivus

President Joseph Kabila's Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) are struggling to cope with a series of attacks by Mai Mai militia groups on army positions across North and South Kivu and northern Tanganyika. The latest attacks, which add to general insecurity but are distinct from the sanguinary chaos in the Kasai provinces, are the responsibility of William Amuri Yakutumba, a Babembe warlord from South Kivu. On 28 September, Yakutumba's men routed the FARDC from their positions at the lakeside city of Uvira as they advanced rapidly up the coast of Lake Tanganyika from their stronghold in Fizi territory. Pakistani United Nations troops were left alone to defend the province's second largest city but they repelled the Mai Mai ground advance while attack helicopters sank some of Yakutumba's boats, which were armed with heavy machine guns.

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