Armed ViolenceNews

ADF Rebels kill 5 Civilians In Eastern DR Congo

Five civilians were killed in the early hours of Thursday September 8 by rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the Bulongo council area of Beni territory in North Kivu.

Four children, all under five years old, have also been reported missing since the attack and are suspected to have been abducted by the rebels, according to local sources.

Civil society sources reveal that the attack took place at 9pm and the assailants targeted the Kitokoli quarter to the south of Bulongo.

“The assailants executed five persons including three hostages they had abducted during the day in the neighbouring village of Mayele”, explained Lewis Essimo, president of the Bulongo civil society.

“The rebels had already taken three persons hostage in Mayele village situated fifteen kilometres to the southwest of Bulongo council. They came with the hostages whom they used to lead them through the council area before eventually using cutlasses to kill them. Two other inhabitants who were in their houses were also executed in Kitokoli”, declared Lewis Essimo.

The death toll was confirmed by the army which added that the FARDC had also killed two ADF combatants.

The army spokesperson in Beni, Captain Anthony Mwalushayi indicated that two AK-47 weapons belonging to the assailants were recovered.

“The clashes between the army and the ADF rebels took place within the periphery of the Bulongo council”, said Captain Mwalushayi, adding that the ADF rebels were now on the run inside the Virunga National Park.

“Right now, the army is in complete control of the entire Bulongo council area and calls on the population to be calm”, the military spokesperson said.

“Our compatriots were killed with cutlasses. The alert had been made since when the rebels kidnapped three civilians in the neighbouring village of Mayele. These three persons were among the five persons killed that night”, Lewis Essimo revealed, adding that the killings took place within two kilometres of a Ugandan army position near the border between the DR Congo and Uganda, where the armies of the two countries had been carrying out operations against the ADF.

The Congolese and Ugandan armies had announced that they were planning the fourth phase of their operations after a meeting in Fort Portal, Uganda August ending but “these joint operations had stopped for some time now”, said Ricardo Rupande, president of the civil society in Ruwenzori sector.

The eastern DR Congo has been for the past three decades destabilised by the presence of more than one hundred local and foreign armed groups, one of which is the ADF.

Presented by the Islamic State as its Central African province, the ADF is accused of being responsible for the massacre of several thousand civilians in the region.

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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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