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Source: Radio Okapi

Fighters from the armed Raïa Mutomboki militia group, headed by leader Mwami Alexander took control of the town of Penekusu in Shabunda territory (South Kivu) on 20 August. Local sources indicate that the militiamen attacked army positions in the town after taking control of surrounding villages. The leaders of the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) in the region said Thursday that the fighting is still ongoing in Penekusu.

Sources report that Alexander, accompanied by thirty fighters he recruited attacked the region last Friday, August 15 and placed mines along the Binzele square.

The group then occupied the village of Kikamba where they looted police weaponry. Earlier this week, the fighters took control of Nyalukungu where they also stole weapons belonging to police.

On Wednesday, the armed group launched an attack against Penekusu which, according to local sources, has thus far staved off full occupation. Administrative sources indicate that the Alexander group has linked up with that of the militia leader Charlequin.

Local residents have taken refuge in the forest and in nearby towns. The death toll surrounding the recent week of fighting is not yet known.

The militia leader Alexander was in jail a few months ago for atrocities against civilians. He was released after promising to provincial authorities to convince other Mai Mai militias to disarm in Shabunda.

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