Glemt konflikt i nordlige DR Congo trækker spor af drab og voldtægt

Forfatter billede

De sidste 10 måneder har en liden kendt konflikt rystet et hjørne af det nordlige DR Congo. Konflikten skyldes kamp om et område med regnskov rig på naturressourcer såsom dyreliv, tømmer og mineraler – og så optræder en lokal “Robin Hood”.

BUNIA, 23. januar, 2013 (IRIN): For the past 10 months, a little-known conflict in a marginalized corner of northeast DR Congo has left a trail of killing, abduction (bortførelser), rape and forced displacement, with few signs of an imminent resolution.

The epicentre of the conflict is a vast forest reserve covering some 13.700 km2 in Orientale Province. Home to and named after a rare giraffid mammal, the Okapi Forest Reserve (RFO), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has long been a source of tension because of its rich wildlife, timber and mineral resources.

The man most frequently associated with the recent violence is Paul Sadala, better known as Morgan.

He is variously portrayed as the head of a gang of poachers (krybskytter), the leader of a militia group known as Mai-Mai Simba, a serial abuser of human rights, and a Robin Hood-type champion of local inhabitants who benefit little from the reserve’s riches and who are rarely consulted about its management.

The national congolese army has engaged Morgan and his men on several occasions since March 2012 – sometimes with the support of troops and air assets of the UN Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO).

But the government troops themselves have also been accused of looting (plyndringer) and abusing the rights of civilians.

One humanitarian worker based in Orientale Province told IRIN that congolese soldiers had arrested and abused women who had escaped abduction by Morgan’s men.

The latest clashes took place when Morgan and his men overran the town of Mambasa for a few hours on 5 January, before being chased out by the army and MONUSCO troops.

A week later, the national army announced that it had also dislodged (fordrevet) Morgan’s men from locations in the mining regions of Pangoy and Elota in Mambasa Territory.

“Horrific” abuse (overgreb)

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