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The Attack at Kipupu, a Stronghold of Mai Mai Militia (Version Française)

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

While South Kivu politicians have been silent for nearly three years when members of the Banyamulenge have been killed, now it is time to raise their voices. Why now?

Eastern Congo (Photo: The Guardian)

Although the self proclaimed "groupe d'autodéfense," which means the self-defense group, one of the Mai Mai groups that has actively been on the battlefield to exterminate the Banyamulenge community and their properties in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo calls itself Biloze bishambuke. This is a Kifuliru word, which means, "Who cares if things are completely destroyed" in the Congo? This group name is exactly the opposite of what these fighters claim to be -- a self-defense group. In other words, they want to completely destroy what has already been destroyed, which is the security sector of the country, although they brag themselves to be the only indigenous inhabitants or autochthonous.

Bafuliru, Babembe, Banyindu, and other local ethnic groups, as well as foreign armed groups from Burundi and Rwanda, have been killing Banyamulenge and destroying their properties. Kipupu was one of the main strategical strongholds of Mai Mai. The center was known for planning attacks against Banyamulenge and keeping most of the looted properties, mostly cattle. Recently, after attacking Banyamulenge in the Kalingi area, these militias killed Banyamulenge civilians and looted hundreds of their cattle. As usual, the stolen cows were taken to Kipupu. Then Twirwaneho, a group of Banyamulenge fighters, attacked Kipupu and retrieved some of their cows. Twirwaneho is a Kinyamulenge word, which means, "Let's defend ourselves."

After more than three consecutive years of killing hundreds of Banyamulenge, destroying hundreds of their villages, and stealing hundreds of thousands of their cattle, the sole counterattack against Mai Mai groups so far at Kipupu has made local politicians from the above ethnic groups (Bafuliru, Babembe, Banyindu, and others), who have been willingly and purposely silent, to speak up. Why now? What if this counterattack did not happen?

This attack has enormously been elaborated by Me Oscar Niyongabo Buzi. Two versions of the article are provided here: Français and English.

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