DRC rebels seize Kitchanga, 80 dead

2013-03-04 22:12
The leader of the DRC’s M23 rebel group Colonel Sultani Makenga. (AFP)

The leader of the DRC’s M23 rebel group Colonel Sultani Makenga. (AFP)

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New York - A rebel militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo has seized control of the eastern town of Kitchanga after days of fighting that have left more than 80 people dead, the UN said on Monday.

The Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo, or APCLS, took the town in North Kivu province on Sunday and the situation there remains very tense, said deputy UN spokesperson Eduardo Buey.

Besides the fatalities, approximately 100 people have been wounded in the clashes, he added.

More than 300 displaced persons have sought refuge near a UN peacekeeping base, he added.

The APCLS is a long standing militia in the region which made its name battling the late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in the 1990s when wars in DR Congo and neighboring countries left millions dead.

Kitchanga is in the Masisi region of North Kivu, close to where the army and UN peacekeepers are in a showdown with the M23 group.

The unrest comes a week after the signing of a UN-brokered peace deal signed by 11 African nations, including DR Congo, aimed at bringing security to a mineral-rich region ravaged by fighting for two decades.

Read more on:    un  |  drc  |  central africa
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