KINSHASA, Congo – There has been a resurgence of rebel activity in northeast Congo with gunmen killing nine people and another group kidnapping 47, a U.N. official said Wednesday.
The Maimai-Simba group attacked a remote village in the northeast last week abducting 40 women and seven boys, said Lt. Col. Felix Prosper Basse, spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission.
The rebels pillaged the area causing many to flee the village, which is seven days walk from the regional center of Mambasa, he added, saying that the rebels were seeking to control mining in the area.
Another rebel group, the Allied Defense Forces from Uganda, killed nine people in Oicha in Congo's North Kivu Province, he said.
Congo's northeast is a hotbed of separatist rebel activity as well as for the notorious Lord's Resistance Army, which is known for kidnapping children and using them as child soldiers.
Basse said the army and the U.N. mission were boosting their activity in the region.
The U.N. force has talked about cooperating with the U.S. African command, Africom, to fight the rebels.
Eastern Congo is home to a myriad of armed groups and militias, many vying for control of the region's vast mineral resources. Many of the rebel groups sowing unrest there originate in other countries in the region, including Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda.