The rural commune of Salamabila in the province of Maniema has been emptied of more than 80% of its inhabitants, following the clashes which recently opposed the Mai Mai Malaika rebels to the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo “FARDC “.
This news was confirmed by Father Célestin Kijana, parish priest of the Catholic parish of Salamabila.
“The situation of the displaced here in Salamabila, I will say that it remains worrying and urgent. It is since the start of the clashes on Saturday January 11 between the Mai Mai Malaika and the FARDC that the population movement began. The number of displaced people from Salamabila is estimated at more than 80% of the population. This locality is almost empty, apart from a few courageous people who decided to stay there, “he said.
He continued: “Several people took refuge in the parish for fear of the Mai Mai’s response. The number of displaced people in the church is increasing from day to day. Today we have 59 families and 241 children. Each family manages and until then there is no help, the displaced sleep one on the benches and the other, on the pavement “.
It should be recalled that these clashes took place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January 2020 in the rural commune of Salamabila. According to the army, 6 rebels were neutralised, 2 others captured and an FARDC element fell on the battlefield.
In addition, the parish priest of Salamabila had drawn up earlier, an assessment of 18 people dead and 10 others injured. On the other hand, local civil society spoke of 11 dead, including a student.