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Mai-Mai Kata Katanga, also called Mai-Mai Bakata Katanga,[1] was a mai-mai rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which supports the independence of the Congo's Katanga Province.[2] It was formed shortly after the group's leader, Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga, escaped from prison in September 2011.[2] Kata Katanga means "secede Katanga" in Swahili.[2] It has been estimated that, at its height in 2013, the Kata Katanga rebels numbered approximately 3,000 of whom most were based in Mitwaba Territory.

Mai-Mai Kata Katanga
Maï-Maï Kata Katanga (in French)
Leader(s)Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga
Dates of operation2011 (2011)–2016 (2016)
MotivesKatangese independence
Active region(s)Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Size3,000 men (2013 est.)

Kata Katanga was a participant in the Katanga insurgency.[3] Its most significant operation occurred on 23 March 2013 when 200 rebels entered Lubumbashi, the provincial capital of Katanga and the Congo's second city, carrying the flag of the former secessionist state of Katanga (1960–63).[4][5] At least 35 people died before the rebels surrendered to United Nations (UN) peacekeepers.[5] As a result of the conflict, nearly 400,000 people from Katanga live in camps as internally displaced persons.[2]

In August 2013, the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO, rescued 82 children, some as young as eight, who had been forcibly recruited by the militia as child soldiers.[6] MONUSCO claimed that a total of 163, including 22 girls, had been freed since the beginning of the year.[6] The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that the effects of the Kata Katanga's insurgency had spread to half of Katanga's 22 territories by March 2013.[5]

Kata Katanga violence declined after 2013 and, in 2015, Kyungu announced that he would create a political party to stand in the anticipated elections in 2017.[7] In October 2016, Kyungu himself and several hundred rebels surrendered their weapons in a ceremony in Lubumbashi.[8]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "82 child soldiers rescued in southeastern Congo, UN says". presstv.com. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Katanga: Fighting for DR Congo's cash cow to secede". bbcnews.com. 11 August 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  3. ^ Rigaud, Christophe. "RDC : les Kata Katanga " en veilleuse " ?". Afrikarabia. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  4. ^ Kennes & Larmer 2016, p. 203.
  5. ^ a b c "Congo Rebel Attack in Katanga Province Leaves 35 Dead, UN Says". bloomberg.com. 24 March 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  6. ^ a b "DR Congo unrest: Children freed from militia, says UN". bbcnews.com. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  7. ^ Kennes & Larmer 2016, p. 187.
  8. ^ "Haut Katanga : le chef de guerre Kyungu Gédéon se rend aux autorités provinciales". Radio Okapi. 11 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.

BibliographyEdit

  • Kennes, Eric; Larmer, Miles (2016). The Katangese Gendarmes and War in Central Africa: Fighting Their Way Home. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253021304.