News is filtering out that the rebel leader Morgan, responsible for the deadly attack on the Epulu ranger station, has been captured by Mai Mai forces loyal to the government. Paul Sadala – aka Morgan – and 16 of his fighters are reported to have been captured by a combined force from Mai Mai Simba Kasambaza, and forces from 808th Regiment.
Morgan and his group were captured during a clash at Mabuo, a small village in North Kivu. It’s thought that the clash occurred three days ago.
The current situation is still unclear and there are reports that the Mai Mai Simba group who are holding Morgan and his men are asking for a reward of US$10,000 before they will hand over the men to government forces.
In June Morgan led a raid on the Epulu ranger station killing two wildlife rangers and burned to death the wife of another ranger. They als0 killed 4 other local people. The station was looted and destroyed in retaliation for increasingly effective operations against elephant poaching activities by Moran.
The adjoining Okapi station was also raided and 15 of the resident okapi were killed.
Dozens of women and girls were kidnapped to help the raiders carry away valuables from both the wildlife station and local village. While some hostages were later released or escaped the rebel group still have a number of women and underage girls that are being held as sex slaves.
The impact of Morgan on the elephant population in this part of D R Congo should not be underestimated. Local reports in Ituri on 31st July claimed that Morgan had killed 200 elephants in the previous 2 weeks.
Updated 14th August 2012:
It appears that Morgan has bought his own freedom. His captors were asking for $10,000 to hand him over to government forces. Unfortunately Morgan offereed his captors $20,000 to be released and it’s not beleived that he is free agian. However he did not buy the freedom of theose that he was captured with.