No fewer than 13 people have been reported killed and several others injured when Islamist militants raided two villages in Democratic Republic of Congo.
As gathered, the militiamen, after rounding up its victims from Kinziki-Matiba and Wikeno, 10 km east of the city of Oicha, tied and killing them during the attack that lasted for several minutes.
Before yesterday’s attack, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan armed group operating in North Kivu province in DR Congo, was said to have killed over 1,000 civilians since last year.
A chief from one of the communities, Chui Mukalangirwa, appealed for military intervention to prevent further attacks in the villages.
Following the attack, DR Congo’s army spokesman, Antony Mwalishayi, hinted that the military had previously helped civilians bury the bodies and was looking at deploying more units to the area to ensure the safety of lives and property.
The ADF has operated in the dense forests near the Ugandan border for more than three decades. Late last year the Congo army launched a large-scale operation against them, sparking a violent backlash against civilians.
Several attacks attributed to the ADF have also been claimed by Islamic State, although researchers and analysts say there is a lack of hard evidence linking the two groups.
The insecurity has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes and complicated Congo’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as an Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 2,200 people.