Shooting in Bunyatenge
NDC Cheka Rebels abducted 64 civilians
Giovanni Salvaggio - Alessandro Callari
Lubero - North Kivu (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Ndc Cheka looted hundred of houses and kidnapped 64 civilians in Bunyatenge
The presence of the rebel group named Cheka Ntabo Ntaberi in the area of Bunyatenge and Muhanga had been reported since last monday. On the 16th Sept the rebels left the area during the night, after several days of tensions and clashes with Mayi Mayi group led by Lafontaine. Before leaving Cheka Ntabo Ntaberi pillaged both villages.
Hundreds of houses and several wharehouses have been looted and more than 50 civilians kidnapped. Among the hostages there are the Director of the local school (Kirimu), three nurses (one of whom is Mdogo), many young boys and some mothers with their children. The exact number of people missing is still to be confirmed.
A civilian eyewitness reported the following
“Yesterday [16th of Sept, ed] around 7:30 am the Mayi Mayi group Nduma arrived in Bunyatenge and from that moment both Bunyatenge and Muhanga villages are paralized since there have been shootings all the time. After that, around midday, they entered in Muhanga as well. In the afternoon they gathered people and said that they were here to defend civilians and their presence was just for our own's sake.
I have been told that they asked 2000 Fr to the population and it seems that people paid for their “protection”.
Around 6pm we heard again rifle gun shootings between Mayi Mayi and an FDLR group [to be confirmed, ed.]. When this fighting stopped there has been a massive looting especially at the pharmacy and the first-aid center in Bunyatenge.”
La Fontaine, along with some of his fighters, is now in the bush around 30 km far away from Muhanga. They keep launching quick attacks to the NDC Cheka group attempting to destabilize the situation but without any real power to impose themselves in the area.
Where are the Bunyatenge hostages
When Cheka rebels fled due to the attacks carried by La Fontaine’s forces, they went probably hiding into the bush bringing all the hostages along. This is not confirmed yet since we are still waiting for confirmation from our local contacts who are monitoring the situation constantly.
The UN-intervantion of MONUSCO to stop clashes in Bunyatenge
Our sources in Lubero have confirmed that MONUSCO forces in the area (none of them being a French speaker) are just patrolling the area without any kind of real intervention to protect civilians.
The local MONUSCO spokesperson has reported the clashes occurred in Bunyatenge to higher rank officers at their Headquarter. After expressing their sorrow for the situation, they did not plan any intervention.
In fact, MONUSCO forces have been sent to reinforce the deployed presence in the area of Kasuo and Luofu leaving the area of Muhanga unprotected and at the mercy of the skirmishes between rebels groups such as Cheka and MayiMayi loyal to Lafontaine. No protection is provided to houses of civilians or to stock houses in the villages which easily became the private reserve of rebels.
A three years old boy dead during the shootings
During the shootings between the two rebel groups on the hills overlooking the village of Bunyatenge a three years old boy has been killed while he was resting on his mom’s legs.
Scontri a Bunyatenge
I ribelli NDC Cheka rapiscono 50 civili
Lubero - Nord Kivu (Repubblica Democratica del Congo)