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In the Democratic Republic of Congo, authorities have arrested six soldiers following accusations of their involvement in the killing of four civilians during militia clashes in the eastern region.

The incident occurred in the rural district of Mangina, near Beni, as reported by the army in a statement released on Tuesday. According to the military, the area’s security had worsened since last month, attributed to the formation of a militia by local youth, allegedly incited by a member of the regional government.

Drc Militia Patrol 900x600

Spokesman Antony Mwalushayi suggested that the formation of the militia was a response to a call to arms by parliamentarian Alain Siwako. However, Siwako has denied these allegations, stating in a phone interview with Reuters that the militia members did not originate from Mangina and that the army’s accusation was personally motivated. The escalation resulted in an ambush on patrolling soldiers by the militia, leading to the soldiers opening fire and resulting in civilian casualties.

A reporter in Mangina counted seven civilian bodies on Tuesday. At the same time, a local resident recounted the death of his neighbor, who was shot while attempting to secure his house. “He was the father of two children and he died with the padlock in his hand.”

This comes as eastern Congo, plagued by numerous militia groups stemming from the 1998-2003 civil war, continues to experience heightened tensions, especially following President Felix Tshisekedi’s contentious re-election last month.


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