An exchange of gunfire between peacekeepers and militants took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) northeastern Ituri Province on Thursday, according to a UN spokesman.
There were no casualties reported in the gunfire on Wednesday.
The UN mission in the DRC, known as MONUSCO, on Wednesday despatched a patrol of peacekeepers after receiving reports of gunfire being fired in Pangapanga village in Ituri’s central Djugu area, according to Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The patrol was joined by DRC troops.
When they arrived in the area, peacekeepers and Congolese soldiers engaged CODECO terrorists in a firefight, forcing the latter to flee, according to Dujarric. “Thereafter, a second patrol was sent to the area.”
The Pangapanga skirmish was left unreported, however there are published accounts of rebel CODECO incursions earlier this month in Djugu territory that resulted in the deaths of around 30 persons, including civilians.
The Cooperative Development of the Congo, or CODECO, is a loose confederation of political and religious militias belonging to the Lendu ethnic group. It is recognized as one of the deadliest among the more than 100 militias present in the eastern DRC, which is rich in minerals.