DR Congo: Suspected Former M23 Rebels Captured in Walendu, Ituri

Suspected M23 rebels captured in Walendu on April 1, 2018

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On Sunday, April 1, 2018 at around 08:00 PM local time, five unidentified armed fighters, riding in white car of mark Corona were arrested in the town of Kadilo, Walendu Watsi,  Mahagi territory in the Ituri Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

According to the sources in the area contacted by AfroAmerica Network, the 5 individuals, suspected to be from the former Congolese rebel group known as M23, were armed with  3 AK-47 and 58 munitions  and had just crossed the border from Uganda. They were detained at the FARDC military station located in Bunia and were being interrogated.

Sources contacted by AfroAmerica Network said that  many in the area were wondering how these five individuals were able to cross the border, armed with automatic weapons, who provided them with the car, and what was their destination. 

The five individuals (4 on the picture), were identified as:  

  • Kumira Wathum Faustin, the leader, from Ndrele.
  • Tuhimana Jean-Paul, 22, from Rutshuru
  • Muvunyi Benjamin, 38, from Masisi
  • Niyigena Asumani, 20, from Masisi
  • Sirihimana, 31, from Rutshuru

Meanwhile, AfroAmerica Network sources in the Rutshuru say that they suspect the individuals are part of  Rwandan military operatives who have been recently accused of killing Congolese civilians in Ituli to fuel the interethnic tensions between Hema and Lendu and create chaos.

Both Rwandan and DRC governments have been accused of being behind these armed groups killing civilians. Historically, Uganda and Rwanda governments, have fueld conflicts in Ituri, through  active support  of and arming various groups and proxy militias. Joseph Kabila has been accused of promoting and if not welcomong such interventions.