Militia chief turns himself in to Kasai authorities in DR Congo
A militia chief accused of waging a weeks-long terror campaign in DR Congo's Kasai region has surrendered to the authorities, a local official said Tuesday.
"Chief Kalamba Dilondo came to Kakenge of his own accord (on Monday)," Jacopo Pembe Longo, administrator of Mweka territory in Kasai, told AFP.
"He was received by the governor of the province, who handed him over to the regional sector commander" of the Congolese army, Pembe Longo said.
The vast Kasai region plunged into violence in September 2016, a month after government troops killed an influential local chieftain, Kamwina Nsapu, who was opposed to the government in Kinshasa.
On January 30, nine people were killed by suspected Kamwina Nsapu militia forces who came to support Kalamba's men in an operation. They burned down a village hospital and some houses.
Soon after turning himself in, Kalamba was transferred with a rival, Nkumu Shakobe, to the major regional town of Kananga, "for inquiries", provincial governor Marc Manyanga told AFP.
Kalamba's militia is accused of causing havoc and spreading fear since November last year.
Violence in the Kasai region involving militias, the army and police has claimed more than 3,000 lives, according to a tally kept by the Roman Catholic church, while the United Nations says 1.4 million people have been displaced.
The bloodshed there is one of several crises gripping Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), alongside political deadlock over the succession of President Joseph Kabila and violence in the east of the country, where militias are fighting for control of valuable resources.