At Least 40 Killed in Eastern DR Congo Attacks

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Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 40 civilians in a string of attacks on several villages in east Democratic Republic of Congo between Thursday and Monday.

A local human rights group and a hospital worker reported disclosed this  on Tuesday.

Assailants believed to be members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) first targeted a group of villagers from North-Kivu province that had crossed into neighboring Ituri province to look for arable land near the Ituri River on Aug. 25.

Christophe Munyanderu, the coordinator of the local group Convention for the Respect of Human Rights (CRDH), said ADF fighters had executed more than 40 men, women, and children in five villages since Thursday.

“All this under the eyes of the authorities,” said Munyanderu. “We are dying here but nothing is being done.”

Mathe Mupanda Salomon, a nurse at a hospital in one of the villages, mentioned that he saw the bodies of 26 villagers who were killed and 76 kidnapped in one of the attacks.

Head of the surrounding Babila-Bakaiko locality Charles Kisubi Endukadi, confirmed that the rebels had attacked several villages and that most of the bodies had not been recovered yet.

The Congolese army did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The ADF, a Uganda militia with ties to Islamic State, is one of several armed groups wrangling over resources and attacking civilians in eastern Congo, which is rich in minerals such as tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold.

The escalation of attacks prompted the government to declare a state of siege in Ituri and North Kivu in April 2021. However, UN experts said in June that the security situation continued to deteriorate under military rule.