Democratic Republic of Congo’s Defense Minister has authorized civilians to start using the highway between Mbau and Kamango, situated north of Beni in North Kivu.
Mr. Aime Ngoy Mukena personally reopened the road, which had been closed for over three years, on September 26, 2020 at PK50 on the Semuliki bridge in the presence of some national parliamentarians accompanied by traditional rulers of the region.
It should be recalled that the choice of the Semuliki bridge is symbolic because it was near this bridge that 14 United Nations troops were killed and 53 others wounded in an attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in December 2017 leading to the closure of the road.
In August 2019, more than 20 persons, including soldiers were also killed in ambushes attributed to combatants of the Allied Democratic Forces in the Beni region.
Concerned citizens in Mbau and Kamango fear for the lives of the populations as the Minister of Defense is yet to announce what measures the government intends to take or has put in place to prevent further attacks by ADF combatants on the people.
“Yesterday I was in Semuliki and we cut a ribbon. I cannot tell you the military strategies today but I would tell you the popular strategies: we want peace for all, together against those people.
“I am not saying the killings will stop, it is also an epidemic because they don’t know what reason to give us for the killings”, Defense Minister Aime Ngoy Mukena told the press in Beni.
In October 2017, HumAngle recalls that the army had banned civilians from plying the Mbau-Kamango road following military operations which were ongoing in what is popularly known as the “death triangle”, which includes the localities of Eringeti, Kamango and Mbau.
This decision was taken after massacres which left more than 20 persons dead along the road.
By the end of October the same year, the military launched heavy military operations to liberate the road and conquer the bastions of the Ugandan rebels of the ADF.
In spite of the said military operations, deaths were still reported on the said highway.
The most deadly attack took place on August 28, 2020 against a military convoy between PK2 and PK5 leaving eight soldiers dead.
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