Rebels kill Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers and civilians in Beni attack

The raid is believed to have targeted Congolese Army commander General Marcel Mbangu

A rebel attack on an army post in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo left six people dead, civilian and military sources said on Friday, October 5.

The Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces is suspected of having carried out Thursday night’s attack in the city of Beni, which sits near the DRC border with Uganda.

The raid is thought to have targeted General Marcel Mbangu, a Congolese Army operational commander in the country’s east, but instead killed four other soldiers and two civilians, the sources said.

“We were in the middle of a meeting,” said one military source who did not wish to be named. An AFP photographer in Beni saw the bodies of two civilians with machete wounds.

The ADF is a militia created by Muslim rebels to oppose Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni but which also operates in the DRC.

The group has been in the east of the country since 1995 and is accused by the United Nations and Congolese authorities of committing a series of civilian massacres since 2014. In all, they are thought to have killed at least 700 civilians and 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers.

However, a 2017 report by the Congo Research Group at New York University concluded that Congolese Army commanders were responsible for orchestrating massacres in Beni from 2014 to 2016.

The ADF are blamed for a recent string of attacks in the region, including one late last month that left two Congolese Army soldiers and two women dead in North Kivu province.

On September 24, one person was killed and 17 were kidnapped in Oicha, around 30 kilometres (18 miles) south of Beni, where days earlier at least 18 people were killed by men wielding machetes and firing guns. Both incidents were also blamed on the ADF.

Local anger has surged with the latest attacks, directed at repeated failures by the authorities to curb the violence.

With reporting from AFP


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