Armed ViolenceNews

DR Congo: Recent ‘ADF” Massacres In Banyali Tchabi Were Ethnic Inspired

12 persons were killed and dismembered in Pai-Pai within the chiefdom of Banyali Tchabi in the Irumu territory of Ituri, on September 8. 

Three other corpses were also found in the village of Kety.

According to eyewitnesses, the attacks were perpetrated by combatants of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Ugandan-based terrorist movement, that has been terrorizing the communities in some parts of Beni within zones between North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

United Nations sources in the area however put the total death toll at 14.

However, according to the UN, the attacks were not carried out by the ADF. UN officials in the area rather attribute the violence to inter-ethnic differences.

Several other sources revealed that 35 corpses were found on Thursday morning in the area.

Latest figures given by the UN on Friday evening indicate that 22 persons in all were killed during the inter-ethnic violence. 

All those killed, according to UN sources, were Hutus. The UN still insists that the 22 were not killed by ADF combatants.

The UN blames the violence on ethnic animosity by the local population against the “Banyabwisha” ethnic group who have settled in the Boga, Tchabi and Mitego chiefdoms over the years.

The confusion in determining exactly who was behind the massacres early this week can be attributed to the proliferation of armed groups troubling the peace throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

This makes it difficult to pin particular incidents on some groups since areas of influence and occupation lapse between one rebel group and the other, giving rise to intermittent clashes between the various insurgents.

Early in June, the Governor of Ituri, Jean Bamanisa Saidi signed an order establishing a commission charged with identifying the various immigrant populations and rebel groups installed in the Irumu territory. 

The commission has not made much progress so far.

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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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