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DRC: Senior Army Officer Disappears With Salaries of 900 Soldiers

A senior army officer in the Democratic Republic of Congo has disappeared with more than $ 85,000 that was meant to pay hundreds of government soldiers at the frontline battling Islamist group ADF

Major Sukumi Willy, commander of the 2103 regiment reportedly disappeared with an equivalent 172,287,127Congolese Francs (FC).

The money was salary for over 900 soldiers who are fighting the ADF rebels in the Beni region, along the Mbau-Kamango axis in North Kivu.

According to local media, Major Sukumi disappeared on 26th October and so far more than three people have been arrested.

“He disappeared with the October Salary for around 900 soldiers which was 172,287,127 FC or $85000. So far we have arrested his wife and three of his bodyguards to help in Investigations,” a source was quoted by the local media.

His disappearance with the money has caused discomfort among the soldiers with some threatening mutiny if they money is not paid. Several soldiers reportedly fired rounds of bullets in the air in protest.

Last year in October, the DRC army launched an offensive to uproot all rebel and militia groups operating in Eastern Congo.

In the operation, more than 300 civilians have been killed in what is seen as retaliatory attacks, according to local NGO the Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights

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The ADF, blamed for the deaths of more than a thousand civilians in Beni since October 2014, began as a rebel group in Uganda that opposed Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

It fell back into eastern DRC in 1995 during the Congo Wars and appears to have halted raids inside Uganda. Its recruits today are people of various nationalities.

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