Eight killed in attack on Kinshasa barracks

Wednesday July 23 2014

Soldiers of the Congolese Republican Guard stand guard at the entrance of the Tshatshi military camp in Kinshasa on July 22, 2014, following an attack by an unknown armed group against the camp. PHOTO | JUNIOR D. KANNAH

Soldiers of the Congolese Republican Guard stand guard at the entrance of the Tshatshi military camp in Kinshasa on July 22, 2014, following an attack by an unknown armed group against the camp. PHOTO | JUNIOR D. KANNAH AFP

KINSHASA

An attack by rebels on the DR Congo presidential guards barracks on Wednesday left at least eight people dead, an official said.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende Omalanga gave the breakdown of the dead as seven of the attackers and one government soldier.

The attack targeted the Tshatshi military camp in the capital, Kinshasa.

The identity of the attackers was yet to be confirmed, although some military sources claimed they were members of the Enyele group that were blamed for attacking President Joseph Kabila’s residence in February 2010.

A soldier, talking on condition of anonymity, told Daily Nation that the group that attacked the barracks came from Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

He said their aim was to free members of the group who were arrested following the 2010 assault.

Other military sources claimed the attackers belonged to the Joseph Mukungubila group, which simultaneously attacked the same Tshatshi military barracks, the public radio and TV station and the Ndjili International Airport in December 2013.

The Government Spokesman appealed to the people to remain calm while investigations were undertaken to identify the attackers.

Kinshasa town was calm on Wednesday with near normal traffic flow, although many people remained anxious.

SUFFERED A LOT
A civil servant, Mr David Musaka, did not go to work, awaiting the restoration of total order in the city said:

“I suffered a lot yesterday. I left my office at 2pm but arrived home at around 8pm. There was a heavy traffic jam and I decided to walk to my house.”

Many shops and filling stations reopened on Wednesday, but the operators maintained studious caution. They were on Tuesday forced to close suddenly because of the unrest. Troops patrolled the streets.

Civil society organisations have recently expressed their concerns about the mass expulsion of Congolese from Brazzaville and Pointe Noire. Around 150,000 people, among them about 1,000 children, were expelled from the Republic of Congo.

According to the civil society groups, some Enyele rebels could have infiltrate the expelled groups.