MEDFLAG 2010, Medical Skills Exchange, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, September 2010

2 Dead Following Disastrous Prison Break

Eight gunmen have sprung notorious Mai Mai Terrorist Commander Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga from death row in a Congolese prison.  At least one thousand inmates exploited the security breach, spilling out into the nearby Lubumbashi, the second largest city in the country.

National authorities are being mobilized  to contain the criminals, police are converging on the prison with close support by military forces.  Fast responses from authorities and local residences have recaptured 152 of the escaped convicts before the search had even begun.   United Nations spokesperson Madnodje Mounabai, from the mission in Congo to defeat roving bands of militants, has expressed great concern for this explosive development and urges national support for the country-wide manhunt.  Prospects are uncertain if the commander of the “triangle of death” will be brought to justice.

How was the Raid Conducted?

A miscellaneous minivan slipped by the security of a high security Congolese prison. Eight armed gunman sprang from the vehicle once it breached the walled perimeter, making a beeline for Gédéon. One guard and one visitor were killed before guards were able to retreat to safer position outside of the occupied jail.  Upon rescuing their leader, saving him from an imminent death sentence, the gunman encouraged all the other prisoners to make a break for freedom.  It is estimated that roughly 1000 escaped before the guards, reinforced by military and police, where able to secure the prison.

Why is Gédéon Dangerous?

During the Second Congo War, which officially ended in 2003, sporadic fighting destabilized Congo and central Africa as various countries vied for power and resources.  Mai Mai terrorists fought against the established government.  Since the war was resolved these militants have remain armed and dangerous throughout western Congo. Child soldiers, militants, and government forces have fought for power throughout the region since the official end of the war.  Mass rapes and firefights are commonplace.

Gédéon is a notorious terrorist; his name is associated with the Congolese “Triangle of Death” where Mai Mai militants wrought anarchy during the war and continued unrest since.  When he was captured it was a blow to their terrorism.  It was a landmark act of justice in Africa when he was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death.  If he was able to retake leadership of the militant organization again it may perpetuate more painful years of civil war.  This threat could cause the deaths and rapes of countless more innocents.

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