Armed ViolenceNews

5 Killed In Rebel Attack In Ituri, DR Congo

Five persons were, on Sunday,  killed in an attack on the village of Liseyi in the Banyali sector, Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The attack was carried out by militias of the Coalition des Democrates Congolais (Cooperative for the Development of Congo in English – CODECO).  

The attack comes after CODECO signed the August 1, 2020 peace accord between the government and armed groups in the Ituri province.

“The militia attacked the village of Liseyi around 6 a.m. this morning. They operated for several hours in the absence of the army. 

“We now have a headcount of five persons dead, among whom are four men and one woman. 

“We are organized together with the youths to go and collect the corpses of the dead which we intend to bury in the village of Itendeyi. 

“There are also several houses which were burnt. There has been a massive displacement of the population towards central Kilo here. 

“Those who have the financial means have been travelling to Bunia,” revealed Honore Kahambu, a civil society operative in the area.

“We do not really know if the security authorities work for our security or not. The military has never occupied these zones. 

“They are there just to intervene as ambulances after attacks. We deplore this kind of behaviour by our army,” the civil society leader declared.

Military sources in the region have confirmed the attack and reassured the population that relevant dispositions have been taken to ensure the security of the people.

“We are deployed in central Kilo, Itendeyi on our way to reinforce our forces. The youths have decided to accompany us. 

“We reassure the population that the necessary dispositions have already been taken to secure the population and their belongings. We are all the same putting into action the best of ourselves. 

“That is why Central Kilo is totally protected despite the fact that these militias attack us daily”, a military source said on condition of anonymity.

HumAngle recalls that on July 27 2019, five other persons were killed in Amema village by the same militia.

The August 9, 2020 attack comes following the high command the CODECO had on August 1, 2020 signed an engagement with negotiators sent by the Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi. 

The negotiations, which took place between July 4 and August 1, 2020 were intended to permit the free circulation of persons and goods within this part of the province.

The delegation, sent by the Congolese leader, had warned other armed groups or any group of individuals against attacks on civilians or military which could negatively affect the negotiations.

The spokesperson for the military in Ituri, Lt. Jules Ngongo had on his part reassured that the army would closely follow the negotiations between the CODECO militias and the presidential delegation with the goal to protect the population of the province.

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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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