Congo: deadly attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) continue

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15 October 2021

12 people were killed by the ADF during an attack on the village of Mambuo

On October 10th, twelve people lost their lives as a result of an attack by rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the north-eastern Democratic Republic Congo (DRC). According to CGTN Africa, before the DRC armed forces (FARDC) put an end to the attack, the rebels burnt several houses and killed at least 12 people in the village Mambuo, in North Kivu province. According to military sources, the military handed over the bodies of the victims to their families after first transferring them to the local morgue.

This attack was but the latest to be attributed to ADF forces. Indeed, on 9th of October, the group attacked commercial vehicles traveling on the main road in the region, killing four civilians and burning six vehicles in the process. The preceding week, ADF rebels also struck the territory of Beni and the neighbouring Ituri province. According to UN sources, a further group of at least 30 people were killed in September in the course of another attack in the north-east of the DRC. The Catholic Church in the country claims that the ADF has caused the death of about 6,000 civilians since 2013, while the Kivu Security Tracker (KST) in the USA has identified more than 1,200 deaths that can be attributed to the group just in the area of Beni since 2017. Last May a "state of siege", a form of martial law, was declared by Congolese authorities in order to aid their fight against the ADF. As a result, senior officials in North Kivu and the neighboring province of Ituri have been replaced by members of the security forces, who have been granted far-reaching powers. In this context, Amnesty International has warned that the state of siege may lead to an increase in human rights violations.

To ensure the safety of local merchant convoys, the main target of the rebels, the UN and the FARDC have reinforced their presence on the streets of these provinces. In August, President Felix Tshisekedi also authorized US Special Forces to help the Congolese army fight the ADF, which Washington believes is linked to the Islamic State (ISIS).


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Author: Sara Taherzadeh; Editor: Maxime Grenier

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