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Democratic Republic of Congo: Armed Conflict

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 17 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of clashes between security forces and the Bundu dia Kongo religious sect in the west of the Democratic Republic of Congo; what assessment he has made of the implications of such events for the political situation in that country; and if he will make a statement. (179486)

On 5 January 2008 the Bundu dia Kongo (BdK) announced that it wished to replace the elected political leader of Seke Banza territory in western Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with one of its members. The police arrested three members of BdK in the territory on the same day. Unrest followed as a group of about three hundred BdK members, some armed with stones and sharpened sticks, confronted the police in the town of Seke Banza. During this incident the BdK attacked the vehicle of a police commander. As the vehicle left the area it ran over and killed four members of the BdK. A police officer was killed during the violence and twenty-two other people were injured and treated in hospital. The area has been calm since 5 January.

The Government are concerned by these events. The UK supports the effective function of legitimately-elected political leaders in DRC. As the anniversary of the violent clashes in 2007 between DRC security forces and the BdK in the same region approaches, it is hoped that further violence can be avoided through a professional and well-planned response.