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DRC Launches Inquiry Into North Kivu ‘Terrorist’ Attack

DRC Communication minister and government spokesman, Lambert Mende (file photo)
DRC Communication minister and government spokesman, Lambert Mende (file photo)

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) launched an investigation into an attack in the North Kivu province that left at least 26 people dead and many injured, according to information minister Lambert Mende.

The attack is blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) - a rebel group originally from neighboring Uganda.

Mende said the government in Kinshasa is working closely with the administration in Kampala, sharing intelligence in a bid to end the violence carried out by the ADF rebels.

“We are coordinating with our counterpart in Uganda in terms of exchanging information,” he said.

He said it appears the rebels are using guerrilla tactics to attack unarmed civilians after they were defeated by the Congolese national army, the FARDC.

Mende said the FARDC will put military pressure on the armed group.

“We are busy inquiring locally and there is a fact finding operation and of course there is an operation to follow them and to hit them. We have lost even one [soldier] last night,” said Mende. “We have our troops everywhere [but the rebels] came from nowhere, they attacked and they ran, this [how] they operate.”

He said the government‘s program of Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) is ongoing.

The DDR program is aimed at encouraging armed groups including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) to lay down their weapons. The FDLR rebels will be helped to return home while the other armed groups would either be integrated into the national army or be integrated into society, according to Mende.

He said the DDR program will enable the administration to restore law and order in parts of the country where armed groups have often attacked unarmed civilians.

“The ultimatum is running until the end of December and then we will start military or forced disarmament on the 2nd of January and that is the decision that has been taken by our government that has been backed by MONUSCO [UN Mission] as well as all the Great Lake states,” said Mende.

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