Several Chinese nationals killed in DR Congo gold mine attacks

A militia attack on a mining site in the gold-rich Ituri province has killed at least four Chinese nationals in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to local sources.

Several Congolese were also killed or injured in the attack, which some of the local sources attribute to a militia group, Codeco, claiming to defend the interests of the Lendu tribe against the rival Hema tribe.

Attacks on mining sites and convoys are common in Ituri and further south in the other gold-rich province of South Kivu, where there are many Chinese miners. Conflicts over gold between Congolese residents and Chinese miners are also common.

“There has been an incursion by the Codeco into the Chinese mining site” not far from the town of Abombi, in the Djugu territory of Ituri, provincial deputy Jean-Pierre Bikilisende said.

“We have a first provisional toll of four Chinese killed and two FARDC (Congolese army) members wounded,” he added.



China-funded infrastructure across Africa force difficult decisions for its leaders

China-funded infrastructure across Africa force difficult decisions for its leaders

Other local sources put the toll at six Chinese nationals, as well as their bodyguards, two Congolese soldiers and two civilians killed.

“Others have been kidnapped, we don’t know if they are still alive,” said Dieudonne Mombiani, head of a neighbouring administrative unit.

The Chinese embassy in the DRC was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday.

Dozens of civilians have been killed in Codeco attacks on villages in the province since the beginning of this year.

Inter-communal violence killed thousands in Ituri from 1999-2003 until an intervention by European forces restored calm. The conflict erupted again in 2017, resulting in thousands more deaths and the mass displacement of residents.

The southern part of Ituri has also suffered from the inter-communal violence spilling over from neighbouring North Kivu province, which has been ravaged by attacks blamed on rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces group, affiliated with Islamic State.

The ADF, originally mainly Muslim Ugandan rebels, have established a presence over the past three decades in eastern DR Congo, killing thousands of civilians.



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