MONUSCO Troops Kill Two FARDC Commanders in An Ambush

MONUSCO Head Martin Kobler and North Kivu Governor Julien Paluku lead burial ceremonies of civilians massacred in Mavivi-Beni

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Two FARDC commanders, Colonel Mungura and Lt Colonel Innocent Binombe, were killed on Monday night, May 11, 2015, by the troops of the  United Nations Peacekeeping forces  in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), known MONUSCO,  in Mavivi area, near the town of Beni, sources with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) government have told AfroAmerica Network.

Their overall commander of the FARDC battalion that fell in MONUSCO ambush,  Colonel Murenzi,  has disappeared. Colonel Murenzi is a former

officer of the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) backed National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), who  was integrated  into FARDC and became a commander.  His brother, Colonel Karahamiheto,  is RDF military intelligence officer based in Gisenyi, Rwanda, as G2. He has been leading FARDC battalion in North-Kivu, charged with fighting the Ugandan rebels, ADF, in an military operation called "Sokola 2", under the commad of General General Muhindo Akili aka Muhindos.  

Troops under General Muhindo have often been accused  of being behind a series of massacres of Congolese civilians in Beni (see here). During just last week, 300 civilians were killed by unidentified gunmans using machetes and small weapons. DRC Government and international organizations were quick to accuse the ADF rebels. However, the civilians in Mavivi-Beni have consistently accused FARDC working with Rwandan Defense forces troops. The civilians also blamed MONUSCO for not doing enough to protect them. During recent massive street protests in Beni targeting MONUSCO, the civilians asked how the latest massacres by ADF could hapen a few yards near a huge MONUSCO military camp in Mavivi, without the complicity of FARDC troops. They also asked the same questions when DRC officials, Vice-Prime  and Interior Minister Evarist Boshab, Defense Minister Ngoy and Overal Commander of the National Police General Bisengimana visited Beni following the recent wave of massacres.

During the recent protests, MONUSCO military leaders promised the population to take action and pursue with all means the attackers. MONUSCO had made similar promises before, without doing much. Both MONUSCO head, Martin Kobler and MONUSCO troops commander General Cruz, said, on May 6, 2015, after an ambush in which 2 UN peacekeepers from Tanzania were killed (see here), that "It is necessary to act immediately and engage a very strong action to neutralize the ADF rebels, considered as a terrorist organization."  and to "use all the effort to pursue the attackers with full force and minimal tolerance.

Over the week-end of May 8,  FARDC informants approached MONUSCO military leaders and told them that Colonel Murenzi and his deputies were planning to conduct another massacre on civilians at about 2 kms from  the MONUSCO military camp near the Mavivi Airport, in order to discredit MONUSCO. MONUSCO laid an ambush and waited in the night of Monday 11, 2014 to Tuesday.  

It is during that ambush that MONUSCO troops killed Colonel Murenzi's deputies, Colonel Mungura and Lt Colonel Innocent Binombe,  the head of security of General Mundos, and more than 20 troops.

After the ambush, and when MONUSCO leaders discovered who the attackers killed were, they informed the DRC government. According to the sources, the DRC Government decided to cover up the story, so that not to embarrass the FARDC and exacerbate the already tense relations with MONUSCO. However, the civilians in Beni had already seen and recognized the dead commanders at the morgue in Beni and started to spread the news around. DRC Government decided to quickly burry the dead junior soldiers in Beni, whereas the body of the two commanders were flown to Goma on Thursday, for official burial. 

According to the official statements read during the burial, Colonel Mungura was allegedly killed by Raia Mutomboki militants in Walikale, whereas Colonel Innocent Binombe was killed by ADF in Mavivi. 

Sources within MONUSCO contacted by AfroAmerica Network said that "MONUSCO is really ambarrassaded. On one side, we want to show to the people that FARDC troops are mostly responsible for the massacres happening in Beni. On the other, we want to maintain good relations with the Kinshasa [DRC government]. For now, we have chosen the latter."