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DR Congo rebels surrender in welcome for new President Tshisekedi

January 26, 2019

Six hundred Congolese rebels whose conflict killed several thousand people in the restive Kasai region, have ended their war and surrendered their weapons in a sign of support for new President Felix Tshisekedi, local authorities said on Saturday.

Tshisekedi was sworn in on Thursday as president of Democratic Republic of Congo, marking the country’s first peaceful handover of power after chaotic and bitterly disputed elections.

Wearing red bandanas, the militiamen surrendered AK47 rifles, hunting shotguns, machetes, knives, arrows and various amulets to the Kasai-Central provincial authorities, an AFP correspondent said.

“These 600 militiamen responded to our appeal for peace. We have a new president and we should all support him. We call on those who are still in the bush to also hand over their weapons,” said local governor Denis Kambayi.

Authorities estimate around 1,700 militia fighters were operating in the area.
Around 50 rebel recruiters from Kasai region surrendered to authorities earlier this month after welcoming Tshisekedi’s presidential election win.

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