KINSHASA Ė At least 89 people have been killed in clashes between a rebel militia and the army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the Fizi area of the eastern province of South Kivu, United Nations media reported on Friday.
Radio Okapi, the station of the UN mission in the country, reported that 83 rebels and six soldiers were killed, while 90 militiamen were captured and a large number of weapons were recovered after the fighting, which had taken place over the previous ten days.
Military operations remained ongoing in the areas of Fizi and Kabambare, located in the neighboring province of Maniema, where government forces are looking for the leader of the Mai-Mai Yakutumba militia, who allegedly fled with members of his militia after being wounded.
Gen. Philemon Yav, who leads the army operations, told Radio Okapi that the army had recovered almost all of the areas formerly under the control of the Mai-Mai Yakutumba, including the coast of Lake Tanganyika, which forms part of the DRCís border with its eastern neighbors Rwanda and Burundi.
The general added that several dozen fighters had fled across the border, but did not specify to which countries.
He also revealed that among those captured were several senior rebel commanders, as well as the head of their marine force, Ekanda Saidi Dragila.
Formed in 2007 by a split in the Mai-Mai guerrilla group, the Mai-Mai Yakutumba is one of the many rebel groups operating in the eastern DRC.
The central African nation has maintained a fragile peace process after the Second Congo War (1998-2003), which involved several African countries.