LUBUMBASHI, 14 February 2021 – Eleven people have been killed in armed attacks reportedly launched by separatist fighters in the southern city of Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

The victims include a civilian, four soldiers and six insurgents, according to news reports on Sunday, citing the mayor of the city.

DR Congo Soldiers in Lubumbashi - Photo Al Jazeera

DR Congo Soldiers in Lubumbashi – Photo Al Jazeera

The insurgents targeted two military camps, trying to loot weapons, in Lubumbashi, the copper capital of DR Congo.

Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga region, is the second largest city of DR Congo after the capital, Kinshasa.

The Bakata-Katanga militia, which is engaged in an armed conflict with the government in Kinshasa, seek the secession from DR Congo of the Katanga region of the country.

Members of the Bakata-Katanga militia and pro-independence campaigners accuse Congolese officials and security forces of being and acting as an occupying force in Katanga.

Lubumbashi A Mining Hub - Photo BBC

Lubumbashi A Mining Hub – Photo BBC

A first effort in the early 1960s to establish a breakaway Republic of Katanga was mercilessly crushed by Kinshasa.

Zaire at the time (renamed DR Congo in 1997) waged all-out war against the secessionists who had come to prominence during the closing months of the country’s former colonial power, Belgium.

Riots across Katanga and South Kasai, notably in the streets of Stanleyville under Belgian colonization in 1959, were met with blind repression.

No fewer than24 people were killed in the riots (official figures); over 100 people (according to pro-Katanga campaigners).

The unsuccessful war of secession that followed in the 1960s left around 100,000 people dead.

DR Congo is a country the size of a continent, coming in at the same size as all of mainland Western Europe.

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