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Sunday, January 17, 2021

At Least 22 Civilians Killed in Militia Attack in Eastern Congo

A group of rebels raided overnight a village in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), killing at least 22 civilians in the attack.

A group of rebels raided overnight a village in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), killing at least 22 civilians in the attack, local officials said on Tuesday.

Beni territory administrator Donat Kibwana said the violent attack that occurred in the Mwenda village was perpetrated by the Ugandan Islamist group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), adding that 10 of the 22 perished individuals were women.

“Ten other people have been injured, and others are unaccounted for,” said Kibwana. “The army intervened after the crime was committed.”

Local leaders Ruwenzori Bozy Sindiwako and Iteni Muvunga Kimwele said the assailants used machetes and bladed weapons to carry out the slaughter and systematically plunder the village.

“These repeated killings … are causing massive displacements of the population of this sector towards secure [areas], including, in particular, the city of Beni,” Bozy Sindiwako said.

Fulbert Kasairo, a local official, said nearly a dozen other residents from the village of Mwenda were also kidnapped by the rebels to transport stolen goods to other locations.

“Our region is a powder keg, a cemetery. We live in a dying house while the authorities are disinterested,” Kasairo said.

The ADF, which originated in the northeast part of Uganda in the 1990s, has been carrying out violent attacks, killing both civilians and UN personnel, in the eastern region of DRC for several decades.

The U.N. said one of the main reasons behind the attacks of the rebels was the unlawful exploitation of natural resources in the eastern region of the country. 

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