Congo authorities recapture 179 prisoners after mass escape, mayor says | Reuters

KINSHASA Congolese authorities said on Thursday they had recaptured 179 fugitives who broke out of the capital's main prison, in a mass escape that underscored growing security concerns since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down from power.Police in Kinshasa urged residents in a statement to turn in other fugitives and collaborate with authorities 'to avoid the resurgence of criminality in the coming days'.Democratic Republic of Congo's government initially said about 50 prisoners escaped from Makala prison when it was attacked on Wednesday by supporters of a jailed separatist cult leader.The justice minister later declined to provide a figure, saying that would interfere with the investigation. But current and former prisoners at Makala told Reuters that about 4,000 prisoners had escaped. 'We recovered 179 of the fugitives,' Fidele Mpayi, the mayor of Kinshasa's Selembao district, where the prison is situated, told Reuters

Reuters May 18, 2017 22:03:51 IST
Congo authorities recapture 179 prisoners after mass escape, mayor says
| Reuters

Congo authorities recapture 179 prisoners after mass escape mayor says
 Reuters

KINSHASA Congolese authorities said on Thursday they had recaptured 179 fugitives who broke out of the capital's main prison, in a mass escape that underscored growing security concerns since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down from power.Police in Kinshasa urged residents in a statement to turn in other fugitives and collaborate with authorities "to avoid the resurgence of criminality in the coming days".Democratic Republic of Congo's government initially said about 50 prisoners escaped from Makala prison when it was attacked on Wednesday by supporters of a jailed separatist cult leader.The justice minister later declined to provide a figure, saying that would interfere with the investigation. But current and former prisoners at Makala told Reuters that about 4,000 prisoners had escaped.

"We recovered 179 of the fugitives," Fidele Mpayi, the mayor of Kinshasa's Selembao district, where the prison is situated, told Reuters. He said he did not know how many prisoners had escaped.Kabila's decision to remain in power after his mandate expired in December has fueled deadly street protests and a surge in militia violence.

Ne Muanda Nsemi, the self-styled Congolese prophet and leader of the Bundu dia Kongo movement whose supporters led the attack, remains at large, Mpayi said.Bundu dia Kongo representatives have denied responsibility for the attack.

Nsemi was arrested in March after a series of deadly clashes between police and his supporters, who want to revive the Kongo kingdom, which flourished for centuries around the mouth of the Congo River.Mpayi added that at least two police officers had been killed in Wednesday's attack. The government spokesman previously said that one police officer and five assailants had died.Conflicts in Congo between 1996-2003, mostly in the east, caused the deaths of millions of people, mainly from hunger and disease. Dozens of armed groups continue to fight over natural resources and prey on the civilian population. (Reporting By Aaron Ross; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg, Larry King)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

U.S. data suggest economic recovery may be weakening
Business

U.S. data suggest economic recovery may be weakening

By Howard Schneider WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The explosive surge in U.S. coronavirus cases this fall has left a question hanging: When will the economy take its own turn for the worse

Fed, ECB heads give COVID-19 vaccine cautious welcome
Business

Fed, ECB heads give COVID-19 vaccine cautious welcome

FRANKFURT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The heads of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank welcomed the encouraging results in trials of a vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus but stressed that the economic outlook will remain uncertain. Fed chair Jay Powell and ECB President Christine Lagarde said the economy was still in for a tough time even if the development of a potential vaccine by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE was reason for some optimism further ahead

India's October fuel demand marks first year-on-year gain in 8 months
Business

India's October fuel demand marks first year-on-year gain in 8 months

By Sumita Layek (Reuters) - India's fuel consumption in October registered its first year-on-year increase since February, as slowing coronavirus cases and increased mobility accelerated an economic recovery, data showed on Thursday.