The Kamwina Nsapu rebellion is an ongoing rebellion instigated by the Kamwina Nsapu militia against state security forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The militia are named after Kamwina Nsapu [translating black ant], the tribal chief in the region. The rebellion takes place in the provinces of Kasaï-Central, Kasaï, Kasai-Oriental and Lomami. This region supported the opposition in the last presidential election against the current President Joseph Kabila who refused to step down at the end of his final term in office in December 2016, Tensions flared when the government appointed those close to them rather than tribal chiefs into powerful positions in the local government. In June 2016, Kamwina Nsapu contested the central government’s power and began calling for an insurrection and attacked local police. On 12 August 2016, he was killed alongside eight other militiamen and 11 policemen in Tshimbulu. Upon his death, the Congolese Observatory for Human Rights condemned his killing and suggested he should have been arrested instead. There is an ethnic nature to the conflict with the militia mostly made up of Luba people and they have selectively killed non-Luba people.
On 9 February 2017, fighting erupted in Tshimbulu between 300 militiamen and the armed forces in a reprisal attack by the militia…On 14 February, the United Nations human rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell announced that at least 101 people had been killed by government forces between 9 and 13 February, with 39 women confirmed to be among them. A few days later, a video showing members of the Congolese military killing civilians in the village of Mwanza Lomba was leaked.’
Investigators working for the United Nations have discovered 17 mass graves in the Central Democratic Republic of Congo, adding to the 23 graves that were recently discovered in the area.
“The discovery of yet more mass graves and the reports of continued violations and abuses highlight the horror that has been unfolding in the Kasais over the last nine months,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said. The discovery of the graves warrants an investigation by an international body, such as the International Criminal court (ICC). It has also been reported that at least two women and three girls were raped by government soldiers during the operation.
The Kamuina Nsapu militia group has also been accused of carrying out a series of criminal activities against locals in Central DRC, including killings, abductions, and the recruitment of child soldiers.
Excerpts from Wikipedia and UN Discovers 17 Mass Graves in Central Congo, FacetoFace Africa, Apr. 20, 2017 https://face2faceafrica.com/article/mass-grave-d.