At least 32 people were killed in eastern DR Congo on Saturday and Sunday nights, where attacks on civilians by rebel groups have sparked protests against United Nations peacekeepers, local officials said.
Ten civilians were killed in the village of Kamango, a day after 22 were murdered in Ntombi, Donat Kibwana, administrator for Beni territory, told AFP on Monday, December 16.
“The 22 who were killed in Ntombi had not even been buried when other civilians were killed, in Kamango,” he said.
“Ten bodies have been brought to the morgue so far.”
Pascal Saambili, a traditional leader in Watalinga district, blamed the latest attack on the Allied Democratic Forces, a militia accused of hundreds of civilian deaths.
“The ADF burst into Kamango at nightfall. They killed civilians with machetes and guns. So far, we have recovered 10 bodies. There are also nine injured.”
“The people are in disarray.”
Faustin Basweki, who heads an association for young people in Kamango, said he had witnessed Sunday’s massacre.
“When troops arrived, the terrorists gave the order to pull out and leave Kamango, speaking in Kiganda,” a language spoken in nearby Uganda, he said.
The ADF is accused of hacking to death 22 people in a Saturday night raid in Ntombi, a village about 13 km west of Mayimoya. Local news website Actualite.cd reported that six other people had been killed in a suspected ADF attack in Rwangoma in southern Beni city on Friday.
The ADF, an Islamist-rooted Ugandan armed group that has been linked to Islamic State Central Africa Province, has been active in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since the Congo Wars of the 1990s. The group is blamed for the deaths of more than 1,000 civilians since October 2014, according to the not-for-profit Congo Research Group.
DRC forces launched operations against the ADF and other militias in the eastern region at the end of October. Scores of civilians have since been killed in apparent attempts to discourage the public from working with the military.
The attacks have unleashed a wave of anger, especially in the city of Beni, where local people have accused the large U.N. Stabilization Mission in DR Congo force in DRC of failing to protect them.
The MONUSCO force has pointed out that anti-ADF operations were launched by government forces, and has insisted it is trying to find a solution to keep the population safe.
With reporting from AFP