East Africa

Militant group Kills 8 farmers in DRC

Eight farmers were killed early this week in an attack blamed on a militant group targeting three villages in northeast DR Congo, a local official said, local and foreign media sources say.

Members of Cooperative for the Development of the Congo [CODECO], attacked the villages of Duvire, Njalo and Bengi in the Ituri province.

“We found eight bodies, including a woman. They’re farmers. They were shot dead and then chopped up by machete,” he added, accusing the militiamen of setting fire to scores of homes and plundering livestock.

It is said the  militiamen “operated calmly” and called on Congolese soldiers to deploy “to secure the population and bring an end to massacres” in the area around 100 kilometers north of the provincial capital Bunia.

CODECO says it is protecting the Lendu community from another ethnic group, the Hema, as well as the DRC army.

The Hema are defended by the Zaire militia,  while the province is also targeted by the Allied Democratic Forces [ADF] linked to the Islamic State jihadi group.

Eastern DR Congo is plagued by dozens of militant groups, many of which are a legacy of regional wars that flared in the 1990s and 2000s.

Ituri province is one of the violent hot spots, where attacks claiming dozens of lives are routine.

The last militant attack blamed on CODECO killed more than 40 people April 14 in villages around 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the provincial capital of Bunia.

Over half a million people have been displaced over the past few months since the armed group ramped up raids in the country endowed with natural resources.

In March, suspected Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces militants killed over 40 people in twin attacks in eastern DR Congo.


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