Protests have rocked the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo after a drunk soldier shot and killed 12 civilians and wounded nine others in a drunken rage, in the city of Sange, 12 kilometres from DRC’s border with Burundi.
Angry Congolese blocked the major highway running through the area with sticks, felled trees and burning tires and displayed the bodies of the dead civilians, wrapped in funeral shrouds on major crossroads, blocking traffic for hours.
According to a local leader in the area, Ndaburwa Rukalisa, the rogue soldier who is currently on the run was a member of the 122 Battalion of the FARDC based in the area and was drunk at the time of the shooting.
Congolese authorities say the soldier is currently armed and on the run and a manhunt has been launched in the area where the shooting occurred.
According to a Congolese prosecutor, “The person responsible is a drunken member of the FARDC (DR Congo armed forces) who opened fire on at least 20 civilians who crossed his path.”
According to Army spokesperson, Captain Dieudonne Kasereka, the soldier is still armed and on the run.
“An army delegation and a UN team is in the area to calm the population, which is demonstrating against the army.” He said.
The President of D.R. Congo, Felix Tshisekedi also described the attack as heinous as he offered his condolences to the affected families.
The Congolese Army is notorious for carrying out acts of violence against unarmed civilians in the country and is largely seen as undisciplined.