Lubumbashia witnessed an invasion, early this Saturday morning, September 26, of militants from Bakata Katanga. The official report shows three elements from the killed police, 16 dead from the attackers and ten men captured. NGO Justicia ASBL prepares a preliminary toll of 4 dead on the side of the loyalist forces and 5 wounded and a dozen of the dead among the attackers. Bakata Katanga is this militia that is militating for the secession of the mining province of Katanga.
According to several sources, gunfire in the center of Lubumbashi sounds around midnight. Visible unarmed militiamen from Bakata Katanga took over the post office space in the city center. They allegedly claim the flag of the independent state of Katanga.
According to the provincial Interior Ministry, the attackers wanted to take control of the government of Haut Katanga province, Kasapa prison and the antenna for Congo National Radio Television (RTNC).
Interior Minister Fulbert Milundu has an idea of the attackers’ identity. “Those we have identified must be supporters of a well-known warlord in Lubumbashi, who is called Kyungu Mutanga Gedeon. ”
Some Lushois condemn the attitude of the police. A video circulating on social networks shows police officers harassing the body of an alleged attacker under the gaze of jubilant passers-by.
Who is Bakata Katanga?
According to some sources, the Bakata Katanga movement was born in December 2013 from an alliance between Chief Mai Mai Kyungu Mutanga Gédéon and Ntanda Imena, leader of the independence movement called the “Katangese People’s Congress”. Objective: to fight for the secession of the mining province of Katanga
And since then, the city of Lubumbashi, the capital of the former Katanga, has experienced repeated attacks from Bakata Katanga. The latest goes back to March 2020, when Kyungu Gédeon escaped.
Usually, the pillars of young people are armed with sticks, arrows and a pair of firearms that carry the flag of the independent state of Katanga and sing secessionist songs. Their base is Place Moise Tshombe in the heart of Lubumbashi. Moise Tshombe, their idol, demanded Katangese’s secession in 1960.
For Ass Kayumba, spokesman for the Haut Katanga provincial government, it is difficult to enter into discussions with Bakata Katanga because there are several groups of separatists and there is no command unit.