Report on the 13/09/14 Death of Human Rights Defender Mutebwa Kaboko

English translation by community member LightMyWay.


The territory of Fizi is a zone located in South Kivu province in the DRC, in the eastern part of the country. This territory is occupied by armed groups in some parts of the zone, especially in Ngandja Forest, a Yakutumba Mai Mai rebel group stronghold and part of Ubwari Peninsula, where they commit extortion, abduction, pillaging, night massacres, and torture against the civilian population.

Context of the zone

This past 2 June, Mr. Mutebwa Kaboko and his colleagues Yohana and Mrs. Bahati were dropped in on by armed unidentified strangers. Their lives were saved thanks to their neighbours. On 20 June Mutebwa was abducted by elements of the Yakutumba Mai Mai militia group in Katete locality, following the denunciation of the clandestine presence of armed members in Yakutumba. After five days in the forest, he was freed. From 28 to 29 July 2014, he left for a workshop raising awareness about forced marriages, to be held with local leaders in Kibanga locality at Izyombo (on the hill overlooking Misha). On his way to this event, he ran into the same people who had captured him on 20 June.

On 5 September 2014, he was captured by the unidentified people presumed to be part of the Yakutumba ALLELUIA Mai Mai, whose motive remains unknown, and he was found dead on 13 September 2014.

Life of Service in ARVC

Kaboko was a group leader for ARVC (Aide rapide aux victimes des catastrophes—Emergency Aid for Disaster Victims), an organisation protecting human rights (in this program, ARVC fights against the forced marriage of women, young girls and young boys) and environmental rights. He was in this position since 30 December 2010 when he was given the privilege by the organisation’s leaders. Kaboko organized 28 days of reflection during his time at the organisation, 6 appeals sessions and several awareness sessions. As a volunteer in the organisation, Kaboko spread the word about human rights violations by the GA, PNC (Congolese National Police), even the FARDC (DRC Armed Forces). In 2013 he was named a satellite leader in the locality, supervising 13 other localities neighbouring Makama.

Kaboko was abducted on 5 September 2014 and killed by the unknown suspects, presumably Yakutumba Mai Mai. He was found dead in the woods, in the hills overlooking Makama. The victim is survived by a wife and three children, including two boys and a girl aged between 3 and 10 years, all still in primary school. ARVC prays for the repose of his soul.


Given the multiple violations against the civilian population on the Sebele-Kazimia axis, 60% are committed by the GA. Unidentified armed attackers are at the base of several threats regarding human rights defenders in this organisation.

Between January and September 2014, ARVC recorded 5 threats and 1 death, that of Mr. Kaboko on 13 September 2014, of persons in this zone; this is why we are recording and condemning the situation that our people on the ground are experiencing.

Recommendations for the government

1. At the governmental level, launch an in-depth investigation to find and punish those responsible for Kaboko’s death. 2. Reinforce security (military and PNC {Congolese National Police} troops) in rural areas to assure civilian protection.

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