Armed ViolenceNews

10 Civilians Die After Rebels Set Hospital Ablaze In DR Congo

The DR Congo army has alleged that fleeing rebels were responsible for the attack on the hospital.

Ten civilians are reported dead after a hospital was set ablaze in Boga, Ituri province, Northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as intense fighting between the national army and  rebels continued.

The incident occurred on Monday June 7, 2021 when the General Hospital in Boga came under attack by the rebels.

“The number of dead in the Boga attack on Monday has been re-evaluated to 10 after the discovery of five other corpses,” revealed  the Kivu Security Barometre (KSB) which had earlier announced that five persons were killed in the attack.

“The hospital was set ablaze and a grave was profaned in the cathedral,” indicated KSB experts, adding that “two assailants were also killed.”

The French international humanitarian non-governmental organisation (NGO), Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Border, lamented the attack on the hospital. 

“The General Hospital of the village of Boga in the south of Ituri was the target of a deliberate brutal attack on June 7,”  said MSF.

MSF revealed that the pharmacy of the hospital and the medicines depot were looted, the intensive care unit burnt down, and the buildings sacked, according to the first evaluations of the situation.

“Nine hospitalised children in the pediatric service of the hospital and two adults are still waiting to be evacuated to another hospital in Gety where at least eight patients, including three wounded by bullets arrived yesterday evening,” MSF revealed.

The NGO said it knows “very little about the authors and motivations of the attack against a hospital, which was the last structure furnishing treatment to populations living in this neglected part of the DR Congo.”

The DR Congo national army on its part says the hospital was attacked by fleeing members of the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

The army is reported to be carrying out military operations in the region of Boga and Tchabi within the Irumu border territory of North Kivu which has been the theatre of a recent carnage.

On May 31, 2021,  50 civilians were assassinated in an attack on the villages of Boga and Tchabi.

According to Kabimba Zitono, leader of the Rubingo group, the June 7 attack was carried out by “yet-to-be-identified  armed men who were hiding in a neighbouring village.”

MSF has however called on the various parties in the conflict to respect health infrastructures.

“All the parties have the responsibility to ensure that the infrastructure and medical personnel are respected,” Frederic Lai Manantsoathe MSF Chief of Mission in DR Congo, declared.

The DR Congo National Assembly on Thursday last week extended by one month the state of siege in North Kivu and Ituri provinces on the border with Rwanda and Uganda.

The state of siege was declared May 6, 2021 by the DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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