Islamist rebels kill at least nine in eastern Congo attacks


 A Congolese girl covers her head as she in Rhoe camp for the internally displaced people (IDPs) in Djugu's territory, Ituri's province, north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo April 19, 2023. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Islamist rebels killed at least nine civilians in a string of attacks on Thursday and Friday in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the army and local authorities said.

The attackers used machetes and guns to kill the victims who were working in fields in a rural area straddling the border of conflict-torn Ituri and North Kivu provinces, local traditional chief Fataki Sabuni said.

Two women were among the dead, he added.

Ugandan group blamed for the attack

The army blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a group originally from Uganda, now based in eastern Congo, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militant group and mounts frequent attacks.

“Today, I myself saw and transported nine bodies to the morgue,” the military administrator of North Kivu’s Beni territory, Colonel Charles Ehuta Omeanga, told Reuters by phone.

Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) soldiers rest next to a road after Islamist rebel group called the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) attacked area around Mukoko village, North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo, December 11, 2018. (credit: GORAN TOMASEVIC/REUTERS)

“The assailants are roaming the area and killing anyone they meet along the way, but our soldiers are in pursuit,” he said.

Decades of conflict between the army and myriad rebel groups has destabilized eastern Congo and fueled a long-running humanitarian crisis.


Attacks intensified last year and the number of people displaced stood at nearly 5.7 million as of end-2023, according to the UN humanitarian agency OCHA.

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