Godefroid Mutombo, a human rights activist member of the non-governmental organisation Libertas based in Katanga, has been ‘brutally’ shot and killed by unknown gunmen, the well-respected Afrikarabia blog reports today.
The gunmen are believed to belong to the rebel group Bakata-Katanga, operating in the mineral-rich but unstable province.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Activists has condemned this odious act, calling on the government of Joseph Kabila to conduct an impartial investigation into the death of Mutombo, and guarantee the physical integrity of other members of Libertas in Katanga, Afrikarabia said.
Human rights activists and critical journalists in DRC continue to be hunted by government security forces, rebel groups and militias for exposing their human rights abuses.
The security and humanitarian situation in the so-called ‘triangle of death’ in northern Katanga, between the towns of Pweto, Mitwaba and Manono, has seriously deteriorated, Afrikarabia said, quoting the United Nations.
Reports said former police boss John Numbi, the man believed to be the ‘mastermind’ of Chebeya’s death, is holed up in this part of the country, and ready to further destabilise Katanga if ever the government gives him up to be tried for Chebeya’s murder.
More than 200 000 people are believed to have fled their homes following regular attacks by Mayi-Mayi fighters and Bakata-Katanga, according to the World Food Progamme (WFP).
Katanga is located in the south-eastern part of the country bordering Zambia.
Several Western and South African mining companies have business interests in this region, where cobalt, copper, diamonds, tin, radium and uranium, among others, are being viciously mined and exported