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Congo ethnic militia kills 13 civilians

By on December 26, 2016

An ethnic Nande militia in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo killed at least 13 Hutu civilians on Sunday with guns and machetes in an apparent revenge attack for the deaths of Nande civilians last week, a local activist said.

Relations between the communities have worsened due to population movements and operations by the Congolese army against the largest Hutu militia in the area.

Mai Mai Mazembe, a predominantly Nande militia, attacked the town of Nyanzale early on Sunday morning, Innocent Gasigwa, spokesman for the Civil Society of Rutshuru territory, said, adding that two militiamen were also killed.

At least 40 people died last week in protests against President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate last Tuesday. The government says he will remain in office until an election can be organised in 2018.

Mediators from the country’s Catholic church hope talks between Kabila’s ruling coalition and the main opposition bloc will produce a deal by Friday that would see Kabila step down after an election in late 2017.

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