Congolese Justice Minister Alexis Tambwe Mwamba visited Kinshasa’s Makala prison on Thursday (May 18) as authorities said they had recaptured 179 fugitives after a mass escape from the capital’s main prison.
The justice minister later declined to provide a figure on how many prisoners had escaped, saying that would interfere with the investigation. But current and former prisoners at Makala told Reuters about 4,000 prisoners had escaped, including separatist cult leader.
He said it was clear that supporters of the jailed Christian sect leader, Ne Muanda Nsemi, on Wednesday (May 17) attacked the prison in the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo where he was being held.
Nsemi, the self-styled Congolese prophet and leader of the Bundu dia Kongo movement whose supporters led the attack, remains at large. Bundu dia Kongo representatives have denied responsibility for the attack.
The prison break underscored security concerns that have been on the rise since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down when his mandate expired in December.