Armed ViolenceNews

16 Civilians Die In ADF Ambush In Maimoya Highway, DR Congo

Despite claims by the government that the state of siege is helping in the war on ADF rebels, more civilian casualties are being recorded.

Sixteen persons including six women, nine men and a child, were Thursday July 22, 2021 evening killed in an ambush by suspected rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

“The ambush took place Thursday evening on the Maimoya and Chani-chani highway, 40 kilometres from Beni where a market is held every Thursday. We have 16 corpses in the mortuary of the Oicha Reference Hospital.” Nicolas Kikuku, Mayor of Oicha revealed.

According to the Mayor of Oicha, the victims were returning from the market when they were ambushed by the rebels. 

“There are 15 adults killed, six women and nine men as well as one child, all of them killed by bullets,” said Dr Jerome Munyambethe, Director of the Oicha hospital, adding that nine wounded persons are currently undergoing treatment in the medical facility.

But civil society activists in the country have faulted the state of siege imposed by the government to douse the insecurity in some parts of the country, arguing that not much has been done since the imposition. 

“What is the use of the state of siege when we continue to record massacres? We have not yet seen the measures which demonstrate that we are under a state of siege: there are no operations, there are no supplementary forces or additional operations,” declared Lewis Saliboko, an activist of the civil society in Oicha.

North Kivu and the neighbouring province of Ituri were placed under a state of siege on May 6, 2021 to fight against armed groups which have been terrorising civilians.

President Felix Tshisekedi, in decreeing the state of siege, replaced civilian administrators with military governors in the two provinces.

The ADF which is of Ugandan origin has pitched tents in the DR Congo for the past 30 years and has no longer been attacking the Ugandan government forces which it was originally intended to fight against.

The ADF has distinguished itself as the most murderous among the over one hundred armed groups active in Eastern DR Congo. The rebels have been accused of massacring at least 6,000 civilians since 2013, according to figures given by the Congolese Episcopal Council.

Since April 2019, some attacks by the ADF have been claimed by the jihadist Islamic State on social media. The Islamic State has since designated the ADF as being part of its Islamic State Central African Province (ISCAP).

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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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