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Six Chinese nationals and two DRC soldiers killed in an attack by militia group

Militia have attacked a Chinese-linked mining site in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, kiling six Chinese nationals and at least two Congolese soldiers, according to local officials.

The attack, according to Reuters, occurred on Wednesday in Djugu territory in the gold-rich Ituri province, has been condemned by China. According to the news agency, Djugu administrator Ruphin Mapela attributed the attack to the Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO) militia, which primarily consists of fighters from the Lendu ethnic group.

Reuters cites Dhekana Ernest, the Red Cross representative for Djugu, who stated that CODECO fighters encountered Chinese miners digging for gold. Ernest told Reuters, “They entered their camp, killed six Chinese nationals and three soldiers. The victims were killed with bullets.”

The news agency reports that an army spokesperson in the region confirmed the death toll and added that a Congolese national and six militia fighters were also killed.

Reuters notes that China’s foreign ministry acknowledged the attack on a Chinese-funded private enterprise, resulting in the death and disappearance of several Chinese citizens. The ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, called for the DRC to pursue and punish the perpetrators and to enhance security measures for Chinese citizens and enterprises in the country.

According to Reuters, the name of the mine and the company involved were not immediately available. The news agency explains that in eastern Congo’s mining concessions, many private Chinese operators partner with local license holders, sometimes providing funding and machinery while also bringing in Chinese workers.

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Reuters reports that this attack is the latest in a series of deadly militia attacks in the region, where violence is linked to long-standing competition for influence and rich mineral resources. The news agency notes that CODECO has previously been accused by the United Nations of attacks against other communities that could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

By The African Mirror