By Our Reporter
A soldier and 12 militants were Saturday killed during an attack on Beni’s central prison by armed assailants who have yet to be known.
The Congolese Army spokesman Lieutenant Jules Tshikudi told www.mknewslink.com reporter that twelve Mai-Mai and an officer from the Armed Forces of Democratic Republic of Congo died in fighting that lasted for three hours in Kabasha area.
The Mai-Mai are vigilante groups that run along ethnic lines. During the brutal Second Congo War between 1998 and 2003, numerous groups were armed by the government to fight against Ugandan or Rwandan forces, and some of them never disarmed.
Saturday’s clashes broke out when Mai-Mai fighters attacked the army’s position in Kabasha, Tshikudi said, without indicating their ethnicity. The army is now in control of the area, which civilians have fled, he added.
Kabasha lies 24 kilometres (15 miles) south of Beni, a city that has suffered a wave of violence since 2014 with nearly 700 civilians killed, many of them hacked to death.
Those killings have been blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces, a shadowy rebel group dominated by hardline Ugandan Muslims who were initially focused on overthrowing Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni.
The eastern DR Congo has been rocked by more than 20 years of armed conflict among both domestic and foreign armed groups, fuelled by struggle for control of lucrative mineral resources as well as ethnic and property disputes.