Ugandan militants killed at least 22 civilians in eastern DRC

A woman carrying goods in a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo A woman carrying goods in a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo Photo by Andreas on Pexels

06 January 2021

Local authorities blame the Ugandan rebel group Allied Democratic Forces

On Monday night, Ugandan militants of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) perpetrated a brutal attack killing at least 22 civilians in the Mwende village of the Beni Territory in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The armed men invaded the village, massacring its inhabitants and sacking their houses with machetes and bladed weapons. Fulbert Kasairo, a local official, stated  that “a dozen more civilians were kidnapped by attackers in order to transport stolen goods to other localities”. This was the second massacre against civilians hitting the country a week after an estimated 25 persons were killed in the village Tingwe on New Year’s Eve. The local leader  Mr. Bozy Sindiwako declared that the repeated episodes of violence against civilians “are causing massive displacements of the population of this sector towards secure areas”.

Further to  these attacks, authorities  had discovered 21 bodies in a state of decomposition in the localities of Loselose and Loulo, located in the same region, which are also blamed on  the ADF rebels. This militant group, formed in northeast Uganda in the 1990s, has its base in Eastern DRC since 1995. Since 2014, it has been regularly committing  massacres in the Beni region. The level of, violence intensified in 2019 and 2020, when more than 1,000 civilians were  killed by its militants making this armed group the deadliest among the dozens of insurgents still active in the region. The modus operandi of ADF is marked by its unprecedented level of ruthlessness as its rebels use knives to attack peasants while returning from the fields or at nightfall in the villages themselves.

Inhabitants in the region criticise  the government for its inability to protect civilians against the recurring  attacks. Indeed, despite deploying large-scale military operations, authorities failed to stop the killings of civilians, who fear for their lives and lack  confidence in  their future. The United Nations’ Secretary General Mr. António Guterres strongly condemned the violence against the population and called for bringing the perpetrators of these atrocities to justice. He also emphasized that  the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (MONUSCO) would  continue ensuring protecting civilians in the short-term and supporting national efforts to bring peace and stability to the country in the medium and long-term.


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Author: Michele Pitta

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