More than 30 people were killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri province earlier this week in attacks attributed to a rebel group affiliated with the Islamic State jihadist group, the United Nations said Thursday.
The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), originally an insurgency in Uganda, gained a foothold in eastern DRC in the 1990s and has been accused of killing thousands of civilians.
In a statement released Thursday evening, the UN mission in the DRC – known as Monusco – said it had received reports of killings attributed to the ADF that occurred Sunday and Monday “on the border between the territories of Mambasa and Irumu.”
Monusco head Bintou Keita condemned the killings and “deplores these despicable attacks against the civilian population,” the statement said.
“She urges the Congolese authorities to investigate and bring to justice those responsible.”
Keita also called for “an immediate end to violence” by all armed groups against civilians.
According to a recent report from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, an estimated 485 civilians were killed between December 1 and March 14 in Ituri — a province plagued with violence due to several armed groups operating there, including the ADF.
Last month, more than 20 civilians were reported killed in separate attacks, according to local sources.
In Ituri province, militant group CODECO was accused of targeting five villages and killing 15 people, while at least nine civilians were reported killed by the ADF in North Kivu province.