In the Democratic Republic of Congo, fears continue to grow about the alleged reappearance of ex-M23 rebels in the eastern part of the country. The DRC again witnessed a lot of armed group activity over the past weeks.
I n North Kivu, one FDLR rebel was killed in Mambu during a confrontation with Mai Mai on January 19. Between January 19 and 21, Mai Mai Nduma elements apprehended three CENI agents in Fatua. Meanwhile in Binza, the local population feels threatened by Mai Mai and FDLR militias. On January 27, two FARDC helicopters crashed in Rutshuru territory. According to a Congolese General, three officers who were on board were killed by ex-M23 Chief Sultani Makenga and his men, while four rebels also died during the confrontation with the army. In South Kivu, two people were killed and three others injured during clashes between two armed groups in Uvira on January 29. Two days later, FARDC soldiers killed two Raia Mutomboki elements in Mulungu. In Ituri, the FARDC launched attacks against FRPI positions in Walendu Bindi on January 29. That same day, an alleged Twa militia perpetrated attacks on Kikango and Marco villages in Tanganyika. Reportedly, about 30 houses of the Bantu communities were burnt. In Kasai Central, at least four people died when about 50 militians associated with Kamwina Nsapu attacked Kananga on January 27, while in Kasai Oriental, a police station in Mwene-Ditu was set on fire by unidentified assailants. Kongo Central saw clashes between police and presumed BDK (Bundu dia Kongo) adherents in Kimpese on January 22. One person was reportedly killed.
Meanwhile in the Central African Republic, tensions are rising due to a heavy armed group presence in and around Bambari, Ouaka prefecture. Over the past few weeks, fighting reportedly took place in Ippy, Bakala, Ndassima and Ngakobo. Along the axis between Bria (Haute-Kotto) and Bakouma (Mbomou prefecture), clashes between FPRC and UPC militias reportedly led to many deaths. On January 27, the UN Security Council extended the arms embargo on the CAR for another year.