Eleven children, including five girls and six boys, have been kidnapped by suspected rebels of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in a village in Ituri, northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The victims aged between nine and 17 years were reportedly abducted on Sunday, Aug. 29, according to local sources.
HumAngle understands that the rebels entered Bundingli in the territory of Zunguluka council south of Bunia, the chief town of Ituri province Sunday evening.
“All the civilians who were there; men, women and infants were taken hostage,” Dieudonne Malangayi, interim president and secretary of the civil society in the chiefdom of Walese Vokuntu revealed.
According to Malangayi, there were at least 10 displaced families that were hiding in Bundingli where they had been doing farm work.
“After taking the hostages about three kilometres into the bushes, the rebels freed the men, women and some little children but took away 11 children aged between nine and 17 years. Among the abductees were five girls. We do not know their fate right now,” he said.
“This time around, the ADF rebels who have been accused of killing thousands of civilians in Ituri and in North Kivu provinces did not kill anybody but according to our analysis and information from the freed civilians, they took away the children in order to train them to become combatants,” Malangayi added.
The ADF which is of Ugandan origin is now being presented by the jihadist Islamic State as its Central African branch and is considered the most murderous armed group in eastern DR Congo.
Ituri and North Kivu provinces have since May 6, 2021 been placed under a state of siege by President Felix Tshisekedi. The exceptional measure is intended to curb the activities of the ADF and other multiple armed groups that have been terrorizing the civilians in eastern DR Congo.
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