Militia fighters in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo attacked a U.N. peacekeeping base on Friday, triggering clashes that left two of the fighters dead and two peacekeepers slightly wounded, the U.N. mission said.
Thirty-four rebels from a Mai-Mai militia have been killed in fighting with Congo’s army in the past week, local army spokesman Jules Ngongo said, a spike in violence he attributed to an army crackdown on the militia’s harassment of local residents.
Friday’s attack, in which two rebels were also wounded, was a rare frontal assault on U.N. forces charged with protecting civilians in Congo’s east, where dozens of armed groups exploit mineral resources and prey on local residents.
“Very early this morning, about 30 Mai-Mai attacked,” mission spokeswoman Florence Marchal told Reuters, adding that U.N. forces drove off the assailants. It was not immediately clear which Mai-Mai group attacked nor what their objective was.
The Mai-Mai comprise a number of armed bands that originally formed to resist Rwandan invasions in the 1990s. They have since morphed into a wide variety of ethnic-based militia, smuggling networks and protection rackets.
Congo’s mineral-rich eastern borderlands are a tinderbox of ethnic tensions and for more than two decades have been racked by violence that has often spilled across the country’s borders.
President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate last December has fuelled further unrest in the country’s east, where wars between 1996-2003 killed millions, and center, where an insurgency against the central government has killed thousands since last August.
Last week, U.N. forces in east Congo’s South Kivu province intervened with helicopters and heavy machine guns to help beat back an advance by a separate rebel group on the strategic city of Uvira.
The U.N. mission in Congo, known as MONUSCO, is the world’s largest with some 18,000 uniformed personnel and a more than $1 billion annual budget.
Ghana: video of police assault on nursing mother goes viral
Ghana’s social media space – Facebook and Twitter – has been buzzing with a call for the arrest of a police officer for assaulting a nursing mother.
A viral video shows the said officer in what starts like a tussle with the woman in a banking hall. Subsequently, he is seen hitting the woman with an umbrella, punching and slapping her on the face.
Reports indicated that the woman, a client of the savings and loans company, where the incident occured had arrived when the company had closed.
She ostensibly got in despite the close of business and refused to leave till she could withdraw a sum of 250 cedis ($50). Social media users are calling for the immediate arrest of the police officer.
Local media portals also report that the police heirachy has confirmed that a probe had been opened into the alleged incident and that due process was going to be pursued.
The video continues to be widely shared on Facebook with some prominent media personalities joining the calls for justice for the woman.
This is the video! This woman’s family and husband needs to track this barbaric being down! @GhPoliceService after shooting, now this? When will we see action? When will u stop this bureaucratic gimmick and take action against irresponsible officers disgracing the uniform? When? pic.twitter.com/9Fmkys80BI
— Bridge-it O2 (@Bridget_Otoo) July 20, 2018
Trump extends Somali immigrants’ stay in US
Somalis living in the United States under protected status have been given permission by the Trump administration to remain in the country for at least another 18 months, because of ongoing violence in the North African nation.
At least 500 Somalis in the United States with Temporary Protected Status will be able to re-register for an extension of their status through March 17, 2020, according to a Thursday statement from the Department of Homeland Security. The status grants beneficiaries the ability to legally work while they are in the United States.
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