DR Congo: General Lafontaine Suspected of Leading Attack of Kangbayi in Beni, North Kivu

Kangbayi prison in Beni after June 11, 2017 attack

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On Sunday, June 11, 2017 at around 3:30 PM local time, unidentified armed assailants attacked the Central prison of Kangbayi in Beni, North-Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)  (see here)

According to the audio statement by North-Kivu Governor Julien Paluku, received by AfroAmerica Network, the attackers killed 11 people, including 8 guards, and freed 935 prisoners out of 966 housed in the prison.

Meanwhile, AfroAmerica Network sources in the capital Kinshasa said that after the attack, President Kabila called an urgent meeting with his security team to assess the situation. The sources said that Joseph Kabila's security team suspected key opposition leaders of being behind the attack. Names of major opposition leaders were cited by AfroAmerica Network sources in Kinshasa, based on the leaks from Joseph Kabila's inner circle.

Meanwhile, AfroAmerica Network has obtained further information that appear to involve one Congolese warlord. According to the sources, it is alleged that the attacks were conducted by Congolese rebel General Kakule Sikuli Vasaka Lafontaine's UPCP troops.

The sources add that General Kakule may have worked with a certain FARDC Colonel Kakule (similar name, no relation), who had been in the Kangbayi prison for some time, accused of collaborating with insurgents. Colonel Kakule had provided intelligence on the number of guards, the security measures, and the logistics at the newly renovated Kangbayi prison.

During the attack he escaped, along with 350 rebels belonging to General Kakule Sikuli Vasaka Lafontaine's UPCP and had been in the prison under similar accusations.

Fear has been mounting over the fact that the prisoners who escaped, numbering 935, may have joined General Lafontaine's insurgency. Sources contacted in Beni said that General Lafontaine may be tageting other towns in the area, including the North-Kivu province capital of Goma.