At least 60 people, including one soldier, were killed between Friday, Aug. 5 and Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022, in clashes between the Democratic Republic of Congo army, FARDC, and armed groups, including Islamic jihadists, in various towns and villages in the eastern provinces of the country.
On Saturday, 15 civilians, one FARDC soldier, and one rebel were killed during an attack by jihadists on two villages in the eastern part of the country, according to figures given by local authorities.
Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) fighters killed five civilians in Bandiboli, a village in the restive Ituri province, the military governor of the province, Colonel Siro Samba, revealed.
A day earlier, local officials reported that ten civilians had been killed, with one killed in Bandiboli and nine in Kandoyi village. The two villages attacked are in the Bakpulu tribal group of the Walese Vonkutu chiefdom in the Irumu territory of Ituri province.
“A captain of the Congolese national army and an ADF combatant was killed during the fighting”, Colonel Simba announced.
Rebels of the Zaire militia group entered Damas, a village within the Musaba ethnic group in the Mabendi chiefdom of Djugu territory in Ituri province, killing 22 people and wounding 16 others who were participating in a funeral
“Your army has already taken all the necessary dispositions to stop the threat by the Zaire militia in this region, particularly in the village of Damas. Right now, our elements are in pursuit of these militias to neutralise them”, Lt. Jules Ngongo, spokesperson of the FARDC in Ituri, declared yesterday.
According to Lt. Ngongo, the military administration has decided to take charge of the burial of those killed and pay the wounded’s medical bills.
“The administration of the state of siege calls on the armed groups, Zaire and Mai-Mai, to put an end to acts susceptible to compromise the peace process in Ituri. If not, the reaction of the armed forces will not protect those who continue to visit deaths in the province”, the army spokesperson said.
Ituri province has faced multiple attacks in the past few days by militia groups, whereas some of these groups have already signed agreements to cease hostilities.
The attacks affect mobility and economic activities in the province, especially in towns and villages along the Komanda-Mambasa national highway number four.
More than 120 armed groups operate in eastern DR Congo, where they have been murdering, kidnapping and committing sexual violence against the civilian populations.
President Felix Tshisekedi, on May 6, 2021, decreed a state of siege in Ituri and North Kivu provinces, thus putting them under the control of security forces to curtail the violence in the two provinces, but that has not succeeded in ending attacks against civilians.
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