The renegade Rwandan Government backed Congolese Mai-Mai Ntabo Ntaberi Cheka (aka Sheka) and his militias have been launching raids into villages across the Masisi territory in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The attacks, followed by the systematic looting and burning of villages, have sent tens of thousand of people into forests and camps of internally displaced people.
Mai-Mai fighters, known as Sheka or Cheka, form the Ndumba Defense of Congo (NDC), one of the countless militias roaming the Congolese forests. They are funded and armed by the Rwandan government and receive the training from Rwandan Special Forces. On November 20, 2011, with the help of the Rwandan Defense Forces Special Forces, they killed the FDLR commander of the most active battalion in North Kivu, Colonel Jean Marie-Vianney Kanzeguhera, aka Colonel Evariste aka Colonel Sadiki during an ambush and in an apparent assassination (see here: FDLR Commander Colonel Sadiki Killed by Mai-Mai Cheka of November 21, 2011).
Later, the Mai-Mai Cheka ambushed and killed 2 FARDC commanders, in the territories of Walikale and Masisi, Colonel Cyuma and Colonel Pilipili. Colonel Pilipili was the FARDC Division Commander based in Walikale.
According to sources in Eastern DRC, in recent weeks, Mai-Mai Cheka’s NDC has received more advanced weapons, equipment, training and support from Rwandan Defense Forces, using the channels set up by Raia-Mutomboki, another Mai-Mai militia.
A coalition of Mai-Mai Cheka and Raia Mutomboki has been battling the Congolese militia of the Alliance for a Free and Sovereign Congo (APCLS) and the Rwandan rebels of the FDLR. They have managed to occupy the headquarters of FDLR in Nyabiondo in Masisi territory. In the process they burned down the villages occupied by Rwandan Hutu Refugees, in areas controlled by FDLR.
Following the fighting and systematic burning of their villages by Mai-Mai Cheka, Rwandan Hutu refugees have been forced into camps setup by International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Catholic Charities, CARITAS.
In Walikale, the allies of Mai-Mai Cheka, Raia Mutomboki, have occupied swathes of territory previously occupied by Rwandan rebels of FDLR, and cutting the axes between North and South Kivu, and physically isolating FDLR troops in South-Kivu from those in North Kivu.
FDLR commanders contacted by AfroAmerica Network have vowed to retaliate against the Mai-Mai Cheka. “We have been busy reorganizing and reviewing our strategy. Now it is time to teach a lesson to Tcheka,” the commander told AfroAmerica Network by SMS.
The Commander said that the FDLR recently went through a reorganization, in which they replaced their former Second in Command General Stanislas Nzeyimana aka General Deogratias Bigaruka Izabayo, abducted by Rwandan Department of Military Intelligence (DMI) operatives in Tanzania early this year(see How FDLR Top Commander General Stanislas Nzeyimana Was Abducted by Rwandan DMI of April 12, 2013) by another commander Leopold Mujyambere, aka Musenyeri or Frere Petrus Ibrahim. Leopold Mujyambere was, until recently, the Chief of Staff and had replaced Brigadier General Leodomir Mugaragu killed in January 2012 by a Rwandan Defense Forces commando (see here).
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