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Kinshasa conflict: one soldier and four militiamen killed

Kinshasa conflict: one soldier and four militiamen killed
A Congolese army soldier finishes his food ration before heading up with other...   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

A Congolese army soldier and four militiamen were killed Thursday in an attack on the outskirts of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, military sources said.

Yaka militiamen commonly known as Mobondo attacked" the locality of Nguma, located 75 kilometres from Kinshasa, said General Sylvain Ekenge, army spokesman, interviewed by AFP.

The balance sheet still "provisional" of this attack which took place around 5:00 am (4:00 GMT) is "four militiamen neutralized (killed) and a FARDC soldier (Armed Forces of the DRC) seriously injured with a machete who died from his wounds," he said.

The FARDC soldiers recovered four weapons and ammunition as well as "several edged weapons", added General Ekenge. "Reinforcements from Kinshasa are already on the spot and operations to clear the area are continuing," the officer said.

The "Mobondo" militia, presented as members of the Yaka community, are accused of taking an active part in the community violence that is shaking the territory of Kwamouth in the western province of Maï-Ndombe.

Since June, this land conflict has pitted the Teke, who consider themselves to be the originators and owners of villages located along the Congo River over a distance of about 200 kilometres, against the Yaka who came to settle after them.

After a lull, the violence resumed in early March and since then dozens of people have been killed in attacks on Teke villages. The violence then spread to Kwilu province.

People have fled the conflict zone, notably to the outlying commune of Maluku, some 100 km from Kinshasa.

On Sunday, another attack attributed to the Mobondo militia killed nine people in Yosso, in the same area.

The conflict has claimed at least 300 lives in less than a year, according to a recent report by the US-based NGO Human Rights Watch.

The simmering conflict in western DRC has been largely ignored, with attention focused on the eastern region of the country where the M23 rebellion has conquered large swathes of territory in North Kivu province, while the armed group Codeco (Cooperative for the Development of Congo) is wreaking havoc in Ituri province

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