Suspected Militants Kill 16 Civilians In East DR Congo

The attack is said to be in revenge for the killing of a teacher from Lendu community.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 18, 2020 An Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) soldier takes part in a foot patrol in the village of Manzalaho near Beni, 2020, following an attack allegedly perpetrated by members of the rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Thirteen civilians were killed in the evening of May 25, 2021 in an attack attributed to the armed group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the Beni region of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, sources said. The attack took place at around 19:00 (18:00 GMT) in the village of Kisima-Vutotolia, 30 km from the town of Beni, on the road leading to the Ugandan border. Alexis Huguet / AFP


Suspected CODECO militants killed at least 16 civilians over the weekend in eastern DR Congo’s troubled Ituri province, local sources said Monday.

The attack occurred early Sunday afternoon in Djugu territory, according to Charite Banza, a civil society leader in the area.

He added that CODECO fighters torched houses in three separate villages and killed 16 people, noting that the death toll was provisional.

A humanitarian worker in the area, who declined to be named, also said 16 bodies had been discovered in the wake of the attack.

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However, the Congolese army spokesman in Ituri, Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, said four civilians had been killed in Sunday’s clashes, as well as one soldier and two militants.

AFP was unable to independently confirm the death toll.

Local human rights activist Desire Mbutchu told AFP that CODECO fighters launched the attack on the rival Zaire militia on Sunday allegedly in revenge for the killing of a teacher from the Lendu community.

The Lendu and Hema communities have a long-standing feud that led to thousands of deaths between 1999 and 2003 before an intervention by a European peacekeeping force.

Violence resumed in 2017, blamed on the emergence of the CODECO militia, which claims to represent the Lendu.

The Zaire militia says it represents the Hema.

Representatives of CODECO (Cooperative for the Development of the Congo) attended recent peace talks in Kenya with several dozen armed groups operating in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Zaire militia members declined an invitation to participate.