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DR Congo President Kabila’s Residence Torched, 1 Police Officer Killed

A home belonging to Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila has been attacked and a policeman died in the incident, local lawmakers and U.N. sponsored radio said on Monday.

Photos posted on social media showed the main house on the farm, located near the village of Musienene in North Kivu province in the east of the country, was gutted by fire.

Kabila was not at the property during the attack which took place overnight from Sunday to Monday.

It was not immediately known who was responsible for the raid but according to a military official the so called Mai-Mai armed groups were probably trying to steal goods from the building.

“The residence of the head of state in Musienene has been targeted in an attack from 03:00 and then burned by the Mai-Mai,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“The attackers ransacked everything before setting the house and some vehicles on fire.”

The body of the policeman who died was burned, a local government official said

Congo is embroiled in a political crisis linked to Kabila’s refusal to step down as president when his mandate expired a year ago while militia violence and political unrest are increasing.

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“We firmly condemn this barbarous act and call on the population … to disassociate from any actions likely to compromise peace and development in this part of the country,” lawmakers said in a statement.

Kabila spends most of his time in the capital, Kinshasa, but is believed to have several homes across the country, including a farm.

More than a decade after the end of a 1998-2003 war in which millions of people died, mostly from hunger and disease, rebel fighters and local militias stalk Congo’s mineral-rich eastern borderlands.

The armies of Congo and neighboring Uganda launched a joint operation against the Congo-based, Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) last week.

Musienene regularly sees protests against Kabila’s extended time in power and demonstrations over insecurity.

The Islamist rebel group is suspected of being behind a Dec. 8 attack on a United Nations base in North Kivu that killed 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers and five Congolese soldiers.

The ADF has been blamed for a wave of attacks and massacres in the area. Raids by local Mai Mai militia fighters are also growing increasingly frequent.

Source: africa.cgtn.com

 

 

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