Fourteen women were last weekend abducted by militiamen of the Malaika terrorist group in the village of Matchapano, Kabambare territory in the south of Maniema Province, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Saidi Lumena, the Chief of Matchapano village, told the president of a local civil society outfit that the women were kidnapped on their way to buy fish from a fish farm.
A witness, Saidi Lumena, said that the spokesperson for the group had since confirmed through a local FM radio station that his group was holding the women.
“I also listened to them on Radio Mkaaji, a local radio station here. The spokesperson for the Malaika movement confirmed that they were holding seven women and seven girls, adding that they would eventually return them to the place where they abducted them. We are still waiting to receive them”, Lumena said.
The reason for the abduction of the females is still unknown. However, this abduction comes after several months of a lull in militia activities of Malaika movement which has been notorious for kidnappings in the region.
The terrorist movement had been notorious for the kidnapping of local authorities and agents of the Canadian mining company, Banro, which had been mining gold in the zone before it sold its subsidiary, Namoya Mining,to Shomka Resources Ltd in June.
The Malaika terrorist movement has been active in the Maniema Province since 2016 under the leadership of the warlord, Cheik Hassan Uzaifa Mitende.
It is made up of members of the local community and accuses Namoya Mining of not respecting the conditions it signed to respect before being granted the mining licence.
The group has since resorted to kidnappings, assassinations and armed incursions before being routed by the national army in January. Since then, the group has not been heard of until this weekend’s abductions.