DRC: M26, A new militia in the making
By Josephine Lukoya
- M26 is function of Nyatura linked FDLR
Local youth, students and teachers are abandoning their villages Mpati in the province of North Kivu, fearing forced recruitment carried out by armed groups active in the region.
Since the beginning of January, the armed group called M26 has launched a campaign to recruit young people in the region. Two other armed groups, FDLR and a faction of the Mayi-Mayi group Pareco, which also operate in this sector are also accused of forced recruitment and mencing their men ready to fight regular army.
Teachers and students fear of being caught by the militia on the way to school or even inside the classroom.
“We are afraid of being recruited by the M26 and even the FDLR, “says a student who goes to school since the announcement by the armed groups that recruit.
M26 officials say they want to hire people whose age varies between seventeen and fifty years.
“The M26 is coming soon we take to integrate into their movement. We are forced to fight, “says a high school teacher.
Local officials fear that these schools close before the end of the school year in July, call for the intervention of the provincial government.
Local sources, however, indicate that Congolese military platoon is based at twenty kilometers Mpati.
The M26 is an armed movement created October 26, 2012 (hence the name: M26) composed of veterans group Nyatura. These fighters had refused integration into the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC).
Movement occupies a large part of the group Basali in Masisi territory. His neighborhood is established Mwesso.