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Dozen illegal Codeco checkpoints destroyed by MONUSCO in Djugu

Checkpoints destroyed by MONUSCO Blue Helmets leading the "TIGER PAW" military operation with support from the FARDC. Photo MONUSCO/Force

MONUSCO peacekeepers from Bangadlesh and Nepal launched a reconnaissance and offensive operation in Itur that included combat troops. Supported by intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance drones, the operation waslead by the military commander of the Bangadleshi contingentof the UN and aimed at identyifying and destroying thecheckpoints controlled by militiamen from Codeco.

The operation was conducted in collabortion with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC). Operation ‘Tiger Paw’, launched mid-May, neutralized the armed group members and freed the areas of Bayoo and Drodo, in Djugu, in Ituri, neutralizing at least eight checkpoints and liberating an important axe connecting several villages.

Common FARDC – MONUSCO effort to free the area

The operation ‘Tiger Paw’ was meticulously planned with the involvement of the FARDC, local authorities and affected population. 

On 21 May, FARDC members coordinated efforts with the peacekeepers and extended patrols were planned and carried out in the areas of Ivo Djugu, Lenga, Gali, Plateau Savo, Lida, Jippi and Pimbo. The village of Arr, known as the epicenter of insecurity in the areas, was subject to particular attention by the patrols. The aim was to map out the area before a robust intervention.

The following day, four Congolese soldiers from the Masumbuko FARDC regiment joined the patrol and launched,from the Drodro base, an offensive to secure an axis including Drodro-Masumbuko-Uzi Hill-Tchoru village- and Pitso. The operation cleared the routes part of the axis of any presence of armed groups.

The first illegal checkpoint was identified in the direction of Uzi hill, after a cordon and search operation had been carried out. It was subsequently destroyed.

After clearing more than 1.5 km near Uzi hill, the patrol discovered and destroyed a second checkpoint and a third checkpoint manned by Codeco militiamen, who opened firebefore being shelled by mortar fire from the Blue Helmets.

Having ascertained that there was no threat in the area, the patrol headed for the village of Tchoru, then on to Pitso, where it was joined by a Nepalese patrol.

Between the villages of Tchoru and Pitso, the patrol destroyed five other unmanned Codeco checkpoints.

The peacekeepers also organized a free medical campaign in the village of Tchoru, during which 120 patients, including 45 women and 45 children, received medical treatment.

Medicines and medical kits were also handed over to the doctor in charge of the village health center.