Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) rebels killed 24 people yesterday, Tuesday, August 16, 2022, in two separate attacks on gold mining sites in Djugu territory of Ituri province in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
A previous attack by the CODECO rebels on an artisanal gold mining site in Djugu resulted in the deaths of four persons and the abduction of two Chinese just last week.
Sixteen people were killed in the first attack that happened yesterday morning in Sumbu village.
Assani Ngadjole, president of the civil society of the Mambisa chiefdom, said, “CODECO militia attacked the mining site situated in Sumbu village, which is 40km from the scene of last week’s attack between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.
“They killed civilians, most of whom were farmers and those working at the mining site”. Ngadjole added that he saw the corpses of twelve civilians and four soldiers.
Chief Henri Tchele Yoga Krilo of Mambisa equally confirmed the deaths of twelve civilians: two children and two women.
Ngadjole and Krilo confirmed that “the [four dead] soldiers were assigned to guard a mining cooperative installed in the village” and that the rebels stole materials from the cooperative, including a good quantity of gold.
The army spokesperson in the province, Lt. Jules Ngongo, confirmed the death of four soldiers. However, he did not give the number of civilian casualties.
In the second attack by CODECO rebels on another mining site later in the day in Waya village, eight civilians were killed.
“We have already counted eight corpses and two wounded persons, but these figures remain provisional because searches continue for any further dead and wounded”, Faustin Kpadinga, chief of the Badinga tribal group of the Mambisa chiefdom, revealed.
The assailants destroyed materials used in mining and took away quantities of gold.
“The belongings of the population were taken away by these militias,” the chief said, adding that “thanks to the intervention of the Democratic Republic of Congo armed forces, FARDC, a few minutes later, the rebels were pushed back”.
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