Tribal militia from the JuJus, who predominate in much of northwest Kammebalango, were driven back from the village of Isiro by government paratroopers. Col. Stefan Verdofamwe explained that a lucrative shipment of United Nations had been dropped off in the village with inadequate protection. "Fortunately, my paratroopers were nearby, and when we heard the JuJus were advancing upon Isiro to seize it, we intercepted them," Verdofamwe said. The colonel explained that his paratrooper regiment will maintain security over the shipment of food and medicine "to ensure its safety."
A spokesman for the JuJu tribe said that the shipment was intended for the people of Kammebalango -- most of whom in the area are from his tribe. The chief had ordered his militia to collect it and distribute it to needy villages in the bush. "Now that the army has it," the spokesman said, "none of the poor people will see a morsel of the food or a drop of the medicine." He vowed that the tribal forces will reorganize quickly and continue to strike back against government corruption.
Observers say that the fight was largely one-sided, as the paratroopers were much better armed and trained. The militia had no answer for the two armored vehicles and their heavy machine guns. The lightly armed militia fighters were cut down in droves by the government troops. Isiro policemen, who had been charged with guarding the shipment, took cover during the firefight, but were unscathed. Neither side fired upon the policemen, who let the two warring factions fight it out. Heavily outgunned, they surrendered the shipment to the paratroopers after the firefight was over.