AFRICA/CONGO DR - Appeal for peace in Katanga

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The civil society of Katanga, in the south-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has launched a new appeal so that the problems of security in the province resulting from the presence of the group Mai-Mai Bakata Katanga are dealt with.
"For months, we have proposed a peace conference in Katanga to address the various economic, political and social problems of our Province," said Pierre Muteba, president of the civil society of Katanga.
According to Muteba various rebel Mai-Mai Bakata Katanga groups are active near Lubumbashi, the provincial capital, and have been posing a threat to the city for three months. On June 16, in a clash between rebels and the army, a soldier died while several injuries were registered on both sides.
The rebels were responsible for violence against the civilian population and in particular against the minority Pygmy. The Mai-Mai Bakata Katanga seem to advocate secessionist ideas but according to the Congolese press behind this group there is a battle for the succession to President Kabila, when he will have to leave power in 2016, because he will no longer be able to present himself as candidate. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 19/06/2013)