Congo: May 25, 2005

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The curious Congo town of Mbuji-Mayi is back in the news. The town has a reputation as an "outlaw town," At the height of the Congo's war Mbuji-Mayi was a meeting place for rebels, rogue military officers, unscrupulous mineral traders, and spies. The town is located in a diamond-producing area. The UN reported on May 23 that violent demonstrations broke out May 17-18 in Mbuji-Mayi. At least 12 people were wounded and two killed The violence involved members of the Democracy and Social Progress Party (UPDS), the national People's Party for Reconstruction and Development (Congo president Joseph Kabila heads this party), and the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC). The UN said that it was "mediating" among the three parties but that security would be increased in the area. Several analysts have suggested the violence is connected to the upcoming Congo election.

 

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