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DR Congo: Romanian Mercenaries Killed – Media Reports

Romanian Mercenaries Killed In DR Congo – Media Reports

At least two Romanian nationals were killed and four injured during battle in eastern DR Congo where a government-led coalition is fighting the M23 rebel group.

Their death was confirmed by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to Romanian media.

The former Romanian soldiers were mercenaries paid $5,000 per month, each, according to Romania Journal. There were 20 Romanians in the location where they were reportedly ambushed in the eastern DR Congo town of Sake, on February 7, the Romanian publication said.

The publication said hundreds of Romanians went to DR Congo in 2022 to train the country’s armed forces in the fight against the M23 rebels. Reports say there could be up to 2,000 mercenaries from Eastern Europe.

They are part of a coalition of the Congolese armed forces. This includes troops from militias the FDLR, as well as troops from Burundi and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The Congolese government has been called out for recruiting mercenaries in an armed conflict, something that is prohibited by international law. Eastern DR Congo has been volatile for nearly 30 years.

The provinces of South Kivu, North Kivu and Ituri are home to more than 130 armed groups. These are accused of atrocities and human rights violations. Multiple regional and international interventions have failed to end decades of insecurity.

According to reports, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) lost two of its soldiers. These were killed, and three others injured, on February 14, in eastern DR Congo.

Earlier, on February 12, President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered the deployment of 2,900 soldiers to eastern DR Congo. This is despite objections by his country’s main opposition party.

Ramaphosa’s office said the deployment would fulfill his country’s “international obligation” to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional force in the volatile eastern DR Congo.

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