Panic and fear have engulfed the residents of Lubumbashi City in the Democratic Republic of Congo as fierce fighting between government forces and Mai Mai rebels enter the second day since Friday.
Reports from the ground indicate the rebels have infiltrated into Lubumbashi the capital of the province of Haut-Katanga making it very difficult for the government forces to distinguish civilians from the rebels who are all in civilian clothes.
According to witnesses, the militiamen of Bakata Katanga tried to enter the city center through the Bel-Air and Gambela 1 double pole districts. One of the rebels was shot dead by heavily-armed Police. The body of the rebel was left lifeless on the street. Some police officers were seen kicking and beating the dead rebel. Ghislain Lubaba Buluma, mayor of the city of Lubumbashi has confirmed this incursion and promised to give the results in the coming hours because they are still gathering information.
— Pascal Mulegwa (@pascal_mulegwa) September 26, 2020
“Yes, I confirm that there is an incursion, but our services are still in the process of making the cross-checking,” he said. On the spot, bullets rang out until 7 am. Shops, boutiques, and other trading houses are closed apart from a timid circulation of the population. Heavily armed men in uniform are visible in strategic places in the city. According to several sources, it was Mai-Mai Bakata Katanga who made an incursion into the city. These militiamen are accompanied by children.
— (((Eva Tshiaforce Vérité ++)))🇨🇩😷😷😷😷 (@evatntumba) September 26, 2020
Another source in Lubumbashi said the Mai-Mai could have attacked the city with the aim of securing their colleagues currently in prison. Previously, high tension was observed on Friday, September 25 at Kasapa central prison. The detainees set fire to several cells but also the administrative office of this prison house. The police intervened and for the moment the results of these incidents at Kasapa central prison are unknown.
— 🇨🇩ᏟᎬᏁᎢᏒᎪᏞ👑✌🏽 (@central_sage) September 26, 2020