Former war load Thomas Lubanga is still held hostage by notorious militiamen in DRCongo’s Ituri province since February 16 but his party members announced they are negotiating with the rebels.
On Tuesday last week, former warlords Thomas Lubanga, Germain Katanga and Floribert Ndjabu and six accompanying persons were “held” on Wednesday by members of an armed group in Ituri, in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as they negotiated their surrender.
President Félix Tshisekedi commissioned Thomas Lubanga to negotiate a ceasefire and the demobilization of militiamen in Ituri, prey to violence considered by the United Nations as crimes against humanity.
Since then, the telephones of all the members of the delegation (the three warlords, two colonels of the Congolese army and three escorts) no longer go through.
“There was shelling by the army during the meeting with the authorities’ negotiators. So we decided to keep them,” Basa Zukpa Gerson, spokesman for the URDPC faction (Union of Revolutionaries) told media.
“If President Tshisekedi wants to negotiate, he should ask his soldiers to withdraw from the area and we will discuss,” said Codeco (Coopérative pour le développement du Congo) rebel group.
The spokesman for the Task Force for Peace, Pitchou Iribi negotiations with the support of the partners to obtain the liberation of the coordinator of the Task Force for Peace, Thomas Lubanga and five of his companions taken hostage by a faction of the codeco militia went well.
The Codeco militia is a mystical-military organization that claims to defend members of the Lendu community. According to the UN and Congolese authorities, his militiamen are behind much of the current violence in Ituri.
Ituri and the neighboring province of North Kivu have been placed under a state of siege since May, without this having so far made it possible to put an end to the abuses of the armed groups.