Kinshasa - An armed tribal movement burned 16 people alive
in a house during a June 1 attack on a village in the Katanga province of the
Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN sources said on Thursday.
The victims were targeted by elements of the Mai Mai
Bakata-Katanga militia in a raid on Lwela village, near Manono town in the
centre of the province, according to the latest weekly report of the UN mission
in the DRC (Monusco).
A local self-defence group known as Simba Moto
counter-attacked and killed seven of the Mai Mai while driving them back, the
Katanga province, in the southeast of the vast DRC, is the
richest part of the country, with various mineral resources including copper,
which is the mainstay of foreign exports.
The Bakata-Katanga, or Kata Katanga, attacked the province's
chief town Lubumbashi on March 23, marching through city streets and then
fighting with the army close to the governor's offices. The official casualty
toll was 23 dead.
After the clashes, the Mai Mai entered a barracks for the UN
peacekeeping troops, who disarmed them and turned them over to Congolese
security forces, to be transferred to the capital Kinshasa.
After the incident, the Kinshasa authorities suspended the
commander of the Katanga military region, the provincial police commissioner
and senior intelligence and immigration officials from their posts.
Katanga, the native province of President Joseph Kabila, has
regularly been shaken by separatist uprisings and militia activity since the
DRC's independence from Belgium in 1960.
The UN reported in February that more than 300 000 people in
the region had fled their homes because of attacks by militia groups.