At least ten civilians were killed overnight Monday through Tuesday in a new massacre in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The authorities accuse the fighters of the Allied Democratic Forces armed group.
The territory of Beni again bereaved. According to local authorities, at least 10 civilians were killed on the night of Monday 15 to Tuesday 16 February in an attack in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“At least 10 civilians were killed in Kalembo (Beni / North Kivu territory) in the night from yesterday (Monday) to today (Tuesday). The ADF are suspected,” wrote on Twitter the Security Barometer of Kivu (KST, in English).
“These ADF enemies [Forces démocratiques alliées] looted pharmacies and shops after killing civilians. The death toll of ten is provisional, ”Donat Kibuana, administrator of the territory of Beni, in the troubled province of North Kivu, told AFP.
The victims “were killed with knives and some by bullets”, he explained.
ADF fighters are currently considered the most violent in the territory of Beni and its surroundings where their killings have killed at least 50 people since early February, according to an AFP count.
The ADF are at the origin of the Ugandan Muslim rebels installed in eastern DR Congo since 1995. They have not attacked neighboring Uganda for years, but have regularly committed massacres in the Beni region, which more than a thousand deaths since October 2014.
Renewal of attacks despite army operations
After a month of relative calm, suspected members of the ADF have been killing more civilians, almost every day, since February 5, in the territories of Beni and Irumu (Ituri, north-east).
In the territory of Beni, the army had launched, at the end of October 2019, “large-scale” operations with the aim of putting an end to ADF activism in the region. Government forces then claimed to have dislodged the ADF from all their sanctuaries.
The success of the military offensives in the Rwenzori sector is “mixed,” Major General Peter Cirimwami, commander of operations in this area, said to the press on Tuesday.
Dispersed by the army, the fighters of this armed group now operate in small mobile groups, UN experts said in a report to the Security Council in December.