Fifteen civilians and 38 combatants of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have been killed in clashes between the ADF and the DR Congo national army, FARDC.
The clashes have been going on since Thursday, Dec. 23, in the northeast region of the country.
“Three civilians were killed on Saturday, Dec. 25, during an ADF attack in Njiapanda, a village in the territory of Mambasa in Ituri province,” said Janvier Musoki Kiyongo, chief of the Mambembe tribal group.
“My chiefdom has been emptied of its inhabitants as ADF rebels have been roaming the region. On Thursday, Dec. 23, we buried nine persons, still massacred by these ADF rebels,” Kiyongo added.
Lt. Jules Ngongo, the army spokesperson, revealed the FARDC killed seven ADF rebels and captured another one during a counter offensive carried out on the national road number 4, about 90 kilometres south of Bunia, the provincial capital.
Besides the ADF, the FARDC and other security forces have since 2017 been facing the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO), a brutal militia in the Ituri province.
The army says it has carried out “operations with helicopters in the CODECO bastions in Djugu territory.”
“The casualty figures are 31 elements of the CODECO killed and several wounded within the enemy camp,” according to Lt. Ngongo.
Created on a communal basis, the CODECO claims to defend the interests of the Lendu, one of the communities in Ituri, against members of the rival community of Hema.
Meanwhile, three persons were killed during the burglary of a mobile telephone money-transfer agency carried out by armed bandits on Friday, Dec. 24, 2021 in Bunia town, Gerard Abeli Mwangu, commander of the urban police, has revealed.
To the south in the Ruwenzori sector in neighbouring North Kivu province, an attack attributed to the ADF resulted in the death of two persons and four houses burnt, according to Joel Lewis of the local civil society.
In the evening of Christmas Day, a kamikaze bomber detonated an explosive device which killed seven persons and wounded several others.
The DR Congo provinces of North Kivu and Ituri have been under a state of siege declared by President Felix Tshisekedi since May 6, 2021 to combat the various armed groups wreaking havoc in the two provinces as well as several other regions of the country
Since Nov. 30, 2021, the Congolese and Ugandan armies have been carrying out joint military operations against the ADF, which is considered the most murderous of the armed groups operating in eastern DR Congo.
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