​​CODECO’s armed rebels killed 12 civilians in the Ituri province

Children running on a path Children running on a path Seth Doyle on Unsplash

22 November 2021

Attacks by rebel groups constitute a continued thread to the security of the civilian population in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo

Armed rebels belonging to the Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO) killed six children, four men and two women in the village of Drodro in the Ituri province in the north-easter of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - according to a statement a spokesperson for Ituri’s military government shared with Reuters. Yet, other sources mention  different numbers of casualties. Ngabu Lidja Chrysante, a priest and coordinator for the Catholic charity Caritas in Ituri, states that 35 people were killed in the attack that also aimed at the local church.

This is the last of a series of attacks conducted by CODECO’s fighters in Ituri province. Most of the attacks were directed towards the herders from the Hema community, which is in a long-standing conflict with the farming community of the Lendu, to which the fighters of CODECO belong. Since 2017, hundreds of civilians have been killed and thousands forced to flee their homes. Mathias Gilma, spokesperson for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), confirmed that 16,000 people fled to the nearby areas that are under the protection of UN peacekeepers. Patrick Basa, spokesperson of CODECO rebuked any responsibility of  CODECO  for the death of civilians.

Since 6 May 2021, the continuing conflicts have imposed  a siege on Ituri and its  adjacent  North Kive province. Further to the CODECO, the safety of the population of the eastern part of the DRC has being threatened also by another armed group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), designated by the United States as terrorist group alleging links to ISIL. According to UN experts, there was however not sufficient evidence to affirm with certainty an ISIL control over ADF operations. In September 2021, the ADF rebel group carried out an attack in the Ituri area which left  at least 30 people dead. In August 2021, a local official alleged the rebel group for the atrocious killings of 19 persons.


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Author: Pietro Mattioli


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