Press "Enter" to skip to content

Death toll from new rebel attacks in eastern DRC climbs to 45

The death toll from several attacks this week by rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] has risen to at least 45 people, local officials said, as officials buried the victims of latest massacre in eastern province. 

Dozens of people were killed by rebels using machetes over two days when fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces [ADF], a militia with links to Daesh, killed nearly 30 civilians in several villages in North Kivu province, said Saidi Balikwisha, the province’s deputy on Friday.

“Here, three or four days don’t go by without us recording deaths, the result of barbarity of the ADF terrorists. That is why once again, we repeat, we need a considerable military force to come that can contribute to the restoration of peace,” he said.

Colonel Charles Ehuta Omeonga, military administrator of eastern Beni region said, “As you see, in Mukondi, it is always the same ADF, which is always ill-intentioned against the Congolese. So they showed up here, and did what they did last night, at 8 pm in the village of Mukondi. We lost many of our brothers.”

Little has been done to help others whose homes were burned down by the rebels, he said.

Conflict has been simmering in eastern DRC for decades as more than 120 armed groups fight for power, influence and resources and some to protect their communities.

Truce topples as fighting rages between DRC troops and M23 rebels

ADF insurgency

The ADF has been largely active in North Kivu province but has recently extended its operations into neighboring Ituri province and to areas near the regional capital, Goma.

The ADF rebels are accused by the UN and rights groups of targeting, maiming, raping and abducting civilians, including children.

Earlier this month the United States offered a reward of up to $5 million for information that could lead to the capture of the group’s leader, Seka Musa Baluku.

On Thursday, Associated Press reporters saw bodies lowered into a mass grave in Mukondi where more than 30 people were killed by gunshots, knives and machetes, according to authorities.

The attack began around 7 pm on Wednesday when men with guns and machetes stormed the village and started indiscriminately killing people, witnesses told The Associated Press by phone.

“The rebels came and they first burned houses. Then everyone who came out of his house was either cut up with machetes or shot dead,” said Saddam Patangoli, a resident of Mukondi village who fled the attack and returned to his home the following day.

They also abducted many civilians, he said.

Community members shovelled dirt over the bodies against a backdrop of destroyed houses.

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in DRC condemned the killings and has urged authorities to investigate and bring those responsible to justice.

READ MORE: M23 rebels and govt forces clash despite truce in eastern DRC

More from AfricaMore posts in Africa »

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *