East Africa

Congo orders 750 Machar militiamen off its soil

Riek Machar’s militia are not welcome in northern Democratic Republic of Congo where locals say they are a security risk.
DRC government, after protests from the locals, has asked the UN mission in the country, MONUSCO, to move the 750 militiamen.
The Congolese government has asked the UN to remove them by October the 10th.
Last week, local officials wrote to the government in the capital Kinshasa warning that the South Sudanese militia are a security risk in the area.
There have been anti-South Sudan militia demonstrations in the areas in and around Goma thus putting pressure on the DRC government.
After fighting in the capital of Juba, forces loyal to rebel leader Riek Machar fled to the DRC where they initially found sanctuary in the Garamba National Park in the country’s far northeast near the border with South Sudan.
Later the UN mission in the country evacuated them on “humanitarian” grounds – many were presumably wounded or sick of malaria or exhaustion from their travels through Western Equatoria en route to Congo.
Machar himself was eventually flown to Sudan, but at least 700 fighters remained in the eastern part of the DRC near Goma.
The UN has now been given one week by the Congolese government to fly the soldiers out of the country, according to the BBC, which added that there had been local protests against their presence.
The eastern part of DRC has seen instability in past decades, and many fear a return to conflict.
President Joseph Kabila has not ruled out running for a third term, which could see instability in the country.
NC/ Tamazuj

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