Four killed, 244 flee in DRC jailbreak

2013-07-02 16:22
The Makala jail in Kinshasa.

The Makala jail in Kinshasa. (Junior D Kannah, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Goma - Four people were killed and 244 prisoners escaped during a jailbreak at Beni, a town in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, officials said on Tuesday.

A military official in the eastern town said that two men in an armed group that attacked the prison at dawn on Monday were killed, along with a soldier and a police officer.

Out of 336 detainees, 244 managed to get away, Daniel Kambale of the Beni prosecutor's office told AFP.

On Sunday, 500 detainees at the Munzenze jail in Goma, the main town in the North Kivu province, staged an uprising, the UN-sponsored Radio Okapi reported.

The detainees, mainly soldiers, broke doors and windows to press home demands that their cases be speeded up. They also protested at what they described as corruption among local judicial figures.

Goma's jail was wrecked last November when members of an armed movement, M23, seized the city for 10 days. All the inmates escaped. Several hundred returned of their own volition and others were captured when police returned to the town.

In the capital Kinshasa, a change of prison governor has led to unrest in the central Makala jail, leading to intervention by the army on Tuesday, a source close to the prisoners said.

Residents close to the prison told AFP that they heard gunfire, but a police officer at the scene said no shots were fired. Police reinforcements could be seen on the premises.

Officials were not immediately available for comment.

A source inside the prison said the unrest was caused when the new chief of the establishment ordered the transfer to another jail of a death row inmate known as "the old man", the oldest detainee.

Prisoners looked up to him in Makala, which was built for 1 500 detainees but holds 6 078, according to the United Nations.

Read more on:    drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.