The Ugandan rebel group, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is reported to have killed at least 26 civilians in attacks on villages in Vuthotholya, Mabule/Kisima, and Mayele in Beni territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo last week.
According to experts of the Kivu Security Barometre stationed in the area, the casualties might be more than the figure reported as “13 other corpses were picked up on Thursday, May 27 after searches in the forest.”
The number of casualties could still increase in the coming days, experts said.
“No longer having any fief where they are supported, roaming ADF fighters use disguises to commit massacres. They present themselves as soldiers of the national army on patrol to inhabitants,” explained General Peter Cirimwami, Chief of Operations of the Congolese army in the zone.
The ADF rebels who are of Ugandan nationality have been present in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1995 where they have been feeding on the natural resources of the country and using proceeds from illegal mining to buy weapons.
The ADF remains the most murderous of the 122 armed groups operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
In March this year, the United States government placed the ADF among “terrorist groups affiliated to jihadists of the Islamic State.”
Due to the heinous atrocities committed by the ADF and other armed groups, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 6, 2021, declared a state of siege in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu in the hope of curtailing the violence especially attacks by the ADF rebels in the two provinces.
Military governors have been appointed to replace civilian governors during the period of the state of siege.
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