News / Africa

Curfew Imposed in DRC Mining Hub After Shootout

Nick Long
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have declared a curfew in the town of Lubumbashi, after clashes between insurgents and the army left at least 35 people dead.  
 
The authorities say the curfew will help them track down insurgents who may still be hiding in Lubumbashi.
 
Officials said 245 insurgents from a movement called Bakata Katanga have been rounded up and were flown Monday to Kinshasa, after deadly clashes on Saturday.
 
Local sources say lightly armed warriors, some carrying spears and machetes, had marched from the bush to the provincial capital, raiding several farms on their way.  They were not stopped until they reached the center of Lubumbashi, where they were met by the president’s Republican Guard.
 
Opposition lawmaker Fabien Mutomb Kan-Kato told local media the delayed response to the march on the DRC’s mining center suggests the event was stage managed.
 
It was a set up, he says, orchestrated by people in authority at the national, as well as the local level.
 
Mutomb said it was not the first time the authorities have tolerated disorder in the province.
 
He says they allowed the same group to raise its flag in Lubumbashi three year ago, and in another unexplained incident more than 1,000 insurgents escaped from the city’s main jail in 2011.
 
Interior Minister Richard Muyej has promised an investigation into how the Bakata Katanga militants managed to reach the city center unopposed.
 
A lawmaker with the ruling coalition, Alexandre Kawaya, says the opposition should wait for the result of the investigation before making allegations.
 
Kawaya says when lawmaker Mutomb accuses the provincial authorities of being involved in this affair it is as if he already knows the conclusions of an inquiry that has only just been launched.
 
Analyst Thierry Vircoulon of the International Crisis Group believes the incident shows some politicians in Katanga are not happy with the government’s plan to divide the province into four sub provinces, in line with a decentralization policy nationwide.
 
He tells VOA the re-emergence of these militants in Katanga shows the president’s decentralization policy, and also perhaps his policies in general, are not appreciated by some of Katanga’s political class.
 
Decentralization would create winners and losers in mineral rich Katanga, as most of the minerals are concentrated in the south of the province.
 
Vircoulon says it is a sensitive issue for the government because Katanga is the president’s home region and the one province (out of the DRC’s 11 provinces) in which he has been able to count on support.
 
Vircoulon says the issue could affect the mining industry in Katanga, which drives the whole Congolese economy.  He notes mining companies are taking precautions and are already nervous about the DRC as the government plans to increase its share in joint ventures.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: David from: Washington DC
March 26, 2013 4:24 PM
It's not good idea divided region while we are not able to build a viable city, in addition too many rebellions. In my view we should keep the old map which it consists 11 regions, modernized the mains cities such as Kinshasa, Mbuji-Mayi, Katanga and so on, interconnect buy road and train for trade between region. Build port in deep see that connect to all region by train, roads, river and aerport.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid