Gold mine trucks attacked in DR Congo


Militiamen in eastern Congo attacked trucks belonging to Banro Corp’s Namoya gold mine, killing two people and kidnapping another four the army said in at least the third attack on mine personnel since last year.

The attack by militiamen from the group Mai Mai Malaika on Thursday in the Tubangoyi forest 35 km from the mine in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Maniema province, local army spokesman Dieudonne Kasereka told Reuters.
“The two people killed are not Banro workers but passengers the drivers picked up. For the moment, the hostages have not been found but the Congolese army has launched operations to recover them,” Kasereka said.

He added the hostages were two drivers and two soldiers who were protecting the trucks.

Banro did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Repeated attacks by the Mai Mai on Namoya and Banro’s Twangiza mine in neighbouring South Kivu province in the past two years put the Canadian company’s survival into question late last year.

It was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange in January but is pursuing recapitalisation to continue operations.

Militias like the Mai Mai, who believe blessed water has magical properties to protecting fighters from bullets, prey on eastern Congo’s population and exploit mineral resources since a regional war that killed millions ended in 2003.

Mai Mai Malaika is one of several groups allied with another militia in the zone called Mai Mai Yakutumba, which briefly threatened to capture the city Uvira last September before being pushed back by Congolese and UN forces.