Too much blood and death, to the utter chagrin and trepidation of all, over the loose canon. Eleven people have been killed and more than 900 inmates are on the run after having escaped from Kangwayi prison in Beni, North Kivu province, after an attack on the jail by unidentified gunmen.
Following Sunday afternoon’s attack, an exchange of fire between security forces and the attackers took place leading to the deaths, Julien Paluku, the governor of North Kivu province told the media. “For the moment, out of 966 prisoners, there are only 30 left in the prison,” said Paluku.
Al Jazeera reported that the Beni area and the neighbouring town of Butembo had been put under curfew from 6:30 pm Sunday.
“Only police officers and soldiers should be out from this time,” said Paluku.
North Kivu province has been troubled for years and continued violence since 2014 has left 700 civilians dead, many of them hacked to death, with Kinshasa blaming the killings on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
The ADF rebel group is dominated by Ugandan Muslims whose original raison de etre was overthrowing Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Several dozen suspected ADF members were imprisoned at the Kangwayi jail in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Sunday’s attack followed an earlier attack on Saturday on a police station and a prosecutor’s office in the capital Kinshasa, which killed one policeman and seriously injured four others.
The earlier attack came in the wake of similar attacks over the past three weeks, as well as two other jailbreaks in the DRC over the past month.
Dozens of prisoners escaped from a run-down prison in Kasangulu, approximately 40 kilometres west of Kinshasa, on May 19.
Two days earlier, rebels from secessionist rebel group Bundu Dia Kongo (BDK) – which rejects Kinshasa’s authority and aims to set up a parallel state in the west of the country – attacked Kinshasa’s main prison, freeing their leader and 50 others.
Congo has been mired in a deep political crisis linked to President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to relinquish power.
Tension has been mounting across the nation since December, when Kabila’s second and final term officially ended.
Under a power-sharing agreement brokered by the influential Catholic Church on New Year’s Eve, Kabila is due to remain in office until elections at the end of 2017.
However, earlier in June, he appeared to be backing away from the deal to hold a vote this year.
“I have not promised anything at all,” Kabila told the German weekly Der Spiegel in a rare media interview.
“I wish to organise elections as soon as possible.”
“We want perfect elections, not just elections,” he said.