Rebels Kill Several Civilians In 2 Attacks On DR Congo Provinces

One attack happened in Ituri province while the other one occured in Irumu. The DR Congo army spokesperson confirmed the attacks without mentioning the number of casualties.

At least 15 persons were killed on Sunday, Jan. 16,  in two separate attacks by rebels in Ituri province of eastern DR Congo.

Ngandjole Assani, leader of the local civil society, disclosed that the rebels burnt down houses, looted shops, and killed six persons including four women.

Assani said rebels of the Cooperative pour le Développement du Congo (CODECO) carried out the attack. 

“When these CODECO rebels entered here in Mabanga, there were no soldiers of the Congolese national army FARDC,” he stated. 

Further south in Irumu territory, a coalition of CODECO rebels and Force Patriotique et Integrationnise du Congo (FPIC) entered the village of Kokonyangi/Mumu and according to Jonas Lemi Zorabo, the traditional ruler of Babao-Bokoe zone, Jonas Lemi Zorabo, “11 corpses were later found while 10 other persons were wounded.”

Researchers of the Kivu Security Barometre (KSB) however say the number of dead in Kokonyangi/Mumu is nine.

The spokesperson of the DR Congo national army, FARDC in Ituri confirmed the two attacks but did not give exact casualty figures and other details.

CODECO is an armed group structured under the auspices of a religious sect in Ituri and it claims to defend the interests of the Lendu tribe against the DR Congo army and Hema tribe. 

It is accused of being behind the violence which has ravaged Ituri since 2017 after 20 years of relative calm.

Their attacks were sporadic at first but they became more frequent and extended in 2019 with well structured armed community factions, including the FPIC.

The Ituri and North Kivu provinces have been under a state of siege since May 6, 2021 but neither this measure nor military operations have put an end to the daily violence and exactions by armed groups in the provinces.

On Monday, Jan. 17, angry crowds blocked the major highway in North Kivu after a mother and her son were killed by FARDC soldiers in the locality of Oicha, according to the Mayor of the council, Nicolas Kikuku.

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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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