Around 60 inmates escape from DRC prison in second jail break in two days

Elsa Buchanan
Jail break DRC

Just 24 hours after over 4,600 inmates are said to have escaped from the Makala maximum security prison in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), around 60 prisoners have escaped from Kasangulu prison, some 45km (28mi) away, according to reports.

The mass jail break in the Makala maximum prison on 17 May has generated tension and violence amid ongoing security operations to capture the escapees.

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Some 60 prisoners on 18 May escaped from the central prison of Kasangulu on the Nationale 1 road in the province of Kongo Central, according to news publication.

This accounts for almost the entire inmate population of this dilapidated brick-walled prison. Consistent reports show that, of a total of 69 detainees, only six remained in the Kasangulu facility following the jail break. Police confirmed it had recaptured 10 escapees during the night (18-19 May).

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These mass evasions come amid a surge in violence across a third of the territory of already-fragile nation, bolstered by a political crisis stemming from a delay in elections and President Joseph Kabila's alleged attempts at clawing to power.

Commentators have warned that these jail breaks, and free circulation of often dangerous escapees, could create a psychosis across the country, leading the government to declare a state of emergency. Holding timely elections before the end of the year may be rendered impossible by this potential, or perceived insecurity.

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