Africa

DR Congo bounty for fugitive Gedeon Kyungu Mutanga

  • 9 September 2011
  • From the section Africa
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Authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo have offered a reward of $100,000 (£63,000) for information leading to the capture of a top militia leader who broke out of jail.

More than 960 inmates were freed on Wednesday when armed men attacked the prison in Lubumbashi, Katanga province.

Gedeon Kyungu Mutanga, a former commander of the Mai Mai militia movement, remains on the loose.

Smaller bounties have been posted for other fugitive inmates.

Two guards were killed when the masked gunmen drove into Kassapa prison in a minibus - apparently unnoticed - and launched their assault.

Of the 967 prisoners who escaped, about 230 have been recaptured, among them Mutanga's wife, provincial interior minister Dikanga Kazadi told Agence France-Presse news agency.

Mutanga was sentenced to death in 2009 for his role in the long-running conflict in eastern DR Congo.

The governor's chief of staff said that the authorities did not regard Mutanga as a direct security threat, but were offering the high reward as a signal that they would not condone impunity.

As well as the bounty offered for his recapture, a reward of $10,000 has been offered for a woman member of the Co-ordination for a Referendum on Self-Determination for Katanga (Corak), a secessionist group said to be behind an attack on Lubumbashi airport in February in which a civilian died, AFP said.

The other fugitives have $500 bounties on their heads.

Escapes and mutinies are common in DR Congo's prisons, analysts say, with the east largely lawless as rival militias battle for power.

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