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Central Africa

Mai-Mai Militia Releases South African Mine Worker

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It was a sigh of relief and joy when the Mai-Mai Malaika militia in Democratic Republic of Congo set free a South African man who has been held in captivity for over 40 days.

Philip Botha was released on September 5, with an overgrown beard and looking emaciated – by the time of his kidnap, was working for the BANRO Company.

Mai Mai attacks on on Namoya and Banro’s Twangiza mine in neighbouring South Kivu province at one stage seemed to throw the company’s survival into question, although it has managed to keep running.

He was captured on July 26 with two Congolese and one Mozambican by the Mai-Mai Malaika in Salamabila.

“We are in joy, all of us! He is in good health, although he has melted a little. But we are delighted because he is in our hands,” said the governor of Maniema, Augustin Musafiri.

This Thursday, Botha was released and handed over to the Maniema civil society president who, in turn, handed him over to the provincial authorities in front of a large crowd at Kindu airport.

The governor Musafiri thanked the people of Kabambare territory for negotiations between the authorities and the Mai-Mai for the release of Philip Botha.

Meanwhile, the DRC Army has given the deadline for voluntary surrender to all Mai-Mai groups who scour the region of Lubero and Beni; before the hunt is launched against all the refractories.

The spokesman of the FARDC operational sector North Kivu Sokola 1, Major Mak Hazukay, says the army is aware that these militias are roaming freely in Chabirimu and Chanika hills to the west coast of Lake Edward.

“They (militiamen) are committing a lot of abuses, they kidnap people and extort property and even loot some animals in the fields. Their presence causes terror among the population,” said the governor of this territory.

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Central Africa

Two Congolese Soldiers Killed By Angry Mob

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A Congolese soldier has been killed by an angry mob in the DRC’s Ruwenzori sector, in the territory of Beni (North Kivu).

The DRC military FARDC confirmed that one of its soldiers was killed by the population on Tuesday in the village of Mighende.

According to the military spokesperson in the region, the victim was attached to the 313rd Battalion based in Bulongo. The slain soldier was mistaken for a Ugandan rebel ADF fighter.

The incidence took place ten kilometers east of the commune of Lume, in the Ruwenzori sector, in the territory of Beni (North Kivu).

Details indicate that the soldier was mobbed by young people who threw at him stones and sticks until he was eliminated. This soldier is the second victim of mob justice in the same village in the 24 hour interval.

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Central Africa

Former Seleka Group Leader Says François Bozizé Heads Rebel Coalition CPC

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Noureddine Adam, the Former number two of the Seleka rebel group in Central African Republic has given a hint on what to make of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), whose troops attacked Bangui Capital on January 13.

Noureddine Adam was known as a member of the Emir of Abu Dhabi’s security service, boss of a security company in the United Arab Emirates, leader of the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace or number two of the Séléka and at the head of the Popular Front for the Renaissance of the Central African Republic (FPRC).

Now there is a new Noureddine Adam, son of an Imam and a trained policeman, at the heart of the new Central African rebel organization: the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).

It was partly on his orders that the CPC troops launched a series of attacks on Bangui on January 13, in order to further increase the pressure on President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, whose re-election on the 27th last December is contested.

Did the CPC really aim to conquer the capital? What are his relations with François Bozizé? Does it have the means to hold out against Minusca, the Russians and the Rwandans? And, if so, what would it do with power?

Noureddine Adam, who lives in hiding between Sudan and its strongholds of Birao and Ndele, in the north of the Central African Republic, was interviewed by Jeune Afrique.

What is the current objective of the Coalition of Patriots for Change, which attacked Bangui on January 13?

Noureddine Adam: The objectives of the CPC remain those which were clearly stated in the Kamba-Kota declaration of December 15, 2020: restore security throughout the territory, restore the sovereignty of the State within the borders and on all of its natural and economic resources, guarantee each citizen the freedom to come and go without hindrance, to engage in his economic activities … In a word: develop the country and lift the Central African out of poverty and precariousness.

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Central Africa

MINUSCA Troops Retake Rebel-Held City In Central African Republic

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UN peacekeeping troops say they have retaken control of a city in the Central African Republic captured two weeks ago by armed groups waging an offensive against President Faustin Archange Touadera’s regime.

Rebels abandonded their positions in Bangassou, 750 kilometres east of the capital Bangui, and fled the city following an ultimatum on Friday from the UN peacekeeping force MINUSCA, the force’s spokesman Vladimir Monteiro said late Saturday.

“The city of Bangassou is under the complete control of MINUSCA,” Monteiro added.

Armed groups waging a nationwide offensive captured the city on January 3, forcing many residents to flee to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“It’s a great joy,” Juan Jose Aguirre, the bishop of Bangassou, told media following the UN operation to regain control of the city.

“After thirteen days sleeping outdoors, people will be able to return to their homes,” he added.

Lieutenant Colonel Abdoulaziz Fall, spokesman for MINUSCA’s military component, said the UN force intervened to stop attempts at looting overnight Friday to Saturday.

“The situation is calm and under control and positions that had been occupied by armed groups are no longer,” Fall said.

Six of the most powerful armed groups, who have occupied roughly two-thirds of the country for eight years, united a month ago to wage an offensive.

The coalition announced their offensive ahead of the December 27 presidential and legislative vote, aimed at preventing Touadera’s re-election.

Landlocked CAR is one of the world’s poorest nations and has seen a string of coups and wars since it gained independence from France in 1960.

 

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