A total of 1,311 persons were killed between Jan. 2021 and Jan. 2022 by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the latest figures published by the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO).
Among those killed were 1,001 men, 270 women and 40 children who were killed in Irumu and Mambasa territories in Ituri province and Beni in North Kivu province.
“The violence that has continued in the three territories has been aggravated with more and more murderous attacks accompanied by barbaric acts aimed at traumatising the civilian populations, notably by targeting community and religious leaders, and the placing of improvised explosive engines in worship places, bars and other areas frequented by the public,” the UNJHRO report said.
The report revealed that the chiefdoms of Banyali Tchabi and Bahema Boga in Ituri province had witnessed violent attacks where protected sites such as health centres and sites for displaced persons were targeted.
Besides the killings, several persons have been subjected to violations of their rights, the report said, adding that between Jan. 2021 and Jan. 2022, at least 1,206 persons were abducted, including 1,012 men, and 105 women and 89 children.
Of these persons abducted, the UN agency confirmed the release of 913 persons, noting that 457 persons, among whom are 386 men, 62 women, and nine children, remain unaccounted for.
“During their captivity, the victims were subjected to inhuman treatment and forced labour. The minors were indoctrinated, enrolled into the ADF or forcefully married to other combatants,” the UNJHRO revealed.
UNJHRO noted that the defence and security forces deployed to combat ADF rebels have put in considerable efforts to defeat the rebels but expressed concerns that the violations of human rights which they commit risk sapping the confidence of the populations they are supposed to be protecting.
“The Congolese authorities have furnished laudable efforts to put in place the recommendations formulated in the public report published in January 2021,” it said.
“This update among other things, recalls to the Congolese authorities to put particular accent on the strict respect of human rights and international humanitarian law during military operations and to put in place an efficient civil administration in the localities where the ADF have been defeated.”
“Indiscriminate strikes carried out by the (DR Congo national army) FARDC and the Ugandan armed forces against ADF bases risk killing or wounding civilians held hostage by the ADF.”
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