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Police: Wanted warlord killed in Congo

11 May 2014, 15:47

Brazzaville - A DRC militia boss who had been hiding in neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville since being sentenced to death three years ago has been killed, police said on Sunday.

Udjani Mangbama was among 11 people killed on Saturday in an area near Owando, 500km north of Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, top police official Jules Monkala said in a statement.

He said the fighting left "three dead and four wounded in police ranks, as well as eight dead among the attackers, including Udjani Mangbama".

The ex-rebel leader and his men had failed to comply with a police check and attacked security personnel with clubs and machetes, killing three, he said.

The government spokesperson in the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose capital Kinshasa sits across the Congo river from Brazzaville, had said late on Saturday it was thought Udjani Mangbama could be among the dead.

Kinshasa had issued a statement saying the authorities "were surprised and concerned to find out that Udjani was roaming freely" in the Republic of Congo.

Udjani, thought to be in his late twenties, and his father Ibrahim were sentenced to death in absentia in 2011 by a military tribunal in Kinshasa for leading an insurgency responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Udjani led an armed movement that erupted in 2009 in DRC's northwestern Equateur province when the Enyele tribe took up arms against the rival Mayanza over access to fishing ponds.

The Enyele were said to have called upon their most famous witchdoctor, Udjani's father, who was said to have performed rites for former president Mobutu Sese Seko.

Ibrahim Mangbama sent his son instead and the local conflict soon developed into an armed insurgency that challenged the government in Kinshasa and received support from demobilised members of Jean-Pierre Bemba's ex-rebel MLC group.

The conflict, which ended in April 2011, killed at least 270 people and displaced an estimated 200 000, half of them to Brazzaville.

In February 2011, dozens of armed men attacked the president's residence and a military base housing large stocks of weapons in Kinshasa.

The DRC authorities had suspected Udjani's involvement in the brazen assault that left at least eight soldiers and 11 attackers dead.

DRC President Joseph Kabila signed an amnesty law in February this year that benefitted several former members of Udjani's group.



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