DRC: Two Killed, eight wounded in Walikale fighting

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By Josephine Lukoya

Two soldiers were killed and eight wounded, Tuesday, July 17, during the attack militiamen Raïa Mutomboki against the Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) in the chief town of Walikale (North Kivu).

Sources close to local civil society indicate that a woman and a Mai Mai militiaman were also killed during the attack in Walikale-center, controlled by Raya Mutomboki.

Several sources on site confirm that these militias now control the capital of the territory in which an apparent calm has reigned for 22 hours on Tuesday, at which time the weapons have continued to crackle.

For attack operations against the Mai-Mai are currently planned by the soldiers of the Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC), which are taken up about 4 km from the city, on the axis Kisangani-Walikale, military officials said.

The military commander in Walikale recognizes that the situation is complex, he said, militiamen took the civilian population as human shields. The 4th sector commander said however that Walikale against offensive is being prepared.

Since this morning, these militias are increasing their presence in Walikale Centre, according to witnesses who feel a hundred militiamen came to reinforce the three hundred who attacked Walikale-center Tuesday.

The community leaders Lega, Nyanga, Tembo and others in civil society propose to negotiate with the militia to make them leave the city.

These fighters are mostly recruited from among young people whose minors. A witness claims to have seen them in civilian clothes and armed mostly with spears, machetes and some firearms.

No act of looting is reported in the city. The people who fled Walikale-center remain in their places of refuge.

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