SA peacekeeper among 7 killed in DRC clashes

Five rebels and policemen were killed when police confronted militia attacking a prison.

FILE: Members of the South African National Defence Force. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA – A South African peacekeeper is among seven people killed in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in clashes sparked by President Joseph Kabila staying on after his mandate ends on Tuesday.

Five rebels and policemen were killed when police confronted militia attacking a prison.

The deal clashes, probably involving Mai-Mai fighters took place in Butembo, a city of about one million people in North Kivu province.

The militia attacked a prison and other installations.

Mai-Mai fighters have staged several attacks in Butembo in recent months.

The reasons for their return are unclear, some residents say they have heard some fighters claim they are seeking to oust Kabila.

The president’s mandate ends on Tuesday.

He’s barred from a third mandate under the constitution and the opposition has accused the authorities of delaying an election in the hope of reworking the constitution to extend his tenure.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)