Congo-Kinshasa: A March for Peace - Two Women Kidnapped By an Armed Group in the East of the Country

Kinshasa — Two peace-seeking activists in South Kivu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, were abducted by an armed group led by a deserting Congolese army officer (FARDC).

Sarah Atosha and Pamela Jannety Mugisha were brutally arrested in the late morning of November 26 by an armed group that broke into the village of Bigaragara in the hall where a preparatory meeting was being held for the peace march scheduled for December 1. This was reported to Fides by the citizen movement "Jeunesses Conscientes".

Responsible for the action - according to reports from "Jeunesses Conscientes - are the Twigwaneho rebels based in Kabingu less than 15 km southeast of Bigaragara.

"After the attacks against the civilian population on November 10 in several villages in the Fizi territory with the killing of civilians, the destruction of fields, the burning of houses, arbitrary arrests and unlawful detentions, targeted kidnappings, etc., by the coalition of armed groups Gumino, Android and Twigwaneho, the two women undertook an action to mobilize the civilian population for the organization of a large-scale peaceful march to denounce these barbaric acts with tribal connotations due to community divisions", says Jeunesses Conscientes.

The mobilization actions had started on November 12 in several villages of the southern axis with the aim of organizing the peaceful march on December 1.

From November 12 to 14, the two women organized preparatory meetings with women and youth leaders in the villages of Kahila and Rugezi, whose inhabitants are victims of serious atrocities committed by these armed groups, followed by other meetings in other villages.

On November 20, Sarah Atosha and Pamela Jannety Mugisha received a phone call from defecting FARDC Colonel Mitabu Kavuzamigeri from the armed group Twigwaneho, threatening them for their commitment to organizing the peaceful march.

Mitabu Kavuzamigeri is a former FARDC officer commander of the regiment based in Kibumba, who after being convicted of rape, was imprisoned in Goma Central Jail in 2017. In 2018 he fled to Nairobi before returning to the DRC in 2021 to put himself at the head of the many armed groups raging in the east of the Country.

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