At least 36 dead in attack in eastern DR Congo | News
Officials said the attack targeted the village of Mukondi, about 30 km (19 miles) south of the town of Beni in North Kivu province, an area plagued by rebel activity.
At least 36 people have been killed in a nighttime attack on a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
A local official and the leader of a civil society group said on Thursday that the attackers were suspected of being members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) – a Ugandan armed group based in eastern DRC that has pledged allegiance to ISIL (ISIS) and carries out frequent deadly raids on villages.
The attack targeted the village of Mukondi, 30 km (19 miles) south of the city of Beni in North Kivu province, an area plagued by rebel activity and which has been under military administration since 2021 in an attempt to restore order.
Provincial Governor Carly Nzanzu Kasivita said on Twitter that at least 36 people had been killed in the attack, which began on Wednesday evening.
On the night of March 8 to 9, armed militiamen from the #Mwalika valley set fire to the village of #Mukondi (#Blessed land, North #Kivu). They killed at least 30 people with machetes. More than 10 injured are currently in #Kalunguta Health center. THE #ADF are suspected. #RDC pic.twitter.com/HAZzZ7kvl2
— Kivu Security Barometer (@KivuSecurity) March 9, 2023
The leader of a local civil society group, Mumbere Limbadu Arsene, gave a provisional death toll of 44, including women, children and the elderly, and said several villagers were still missing.
“The modus operandi suggests it was the ADF because no bullets were fired,” he told Reuters news agency by phone, adding that some victims died trapped in their homes afterward. that the assailants set them on fire.
The ADF often carry out machete and ax attacks.
A local army spokesman, Antony Mwalushayi, confirmed there had been an attack but did not give an update.
Kakuke Kilalo Emmanuel, a resident of nearby Kalunguta village, said he went to Mukondi on Wednesday but turned back after seeing panicked people as the attack unfolded.
Many residents of Kalunguta fled out of fear for their safety, he added.
The ADF was formed in 1995 by a coalition of rebel forces – including the Uganda Muslim Liberation Army and the Uganda National Liberation Army – to fight the Yoweri Museveni administration.
It is one of the most violent groups in the DRC and has been accused of having series of bombings and massacres of civilians. According to the country’s Catholic Church, the ADF have killed around 6,000 civilians since 2013.
The US-based Kivu Security Tracker blames the group for more than 1,200 deaths in the Beni region alone since 2017.
The DRC government has declared a state of siege in North Kivu and neighboring Ituri province in 2021 in a bid to stem rampant violence in the vast, mineral-rich east of the country.
But the killings and rebel activity showed no sign of abating.