15 killed in attack on Congo villagers
Published: 11:58 AM, 16 March 2021
ADF is suspected of killing about 850 people last year, according to United Nations figures
At least 15 civilians have been killed in an overnight raid on a village in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to a witness and monitoring and civil rights groups.
Men armed with knives and other weapons attacked Bulongo village, some 30km (18 miles) east of the city of Beni, in the early hours of Monday.
"At least 15 civilians were killed last night in Bulongo (Beni territory, North Kivu)," the Kivu Security Tracker (KST) group posted on Twitter on Monday, adding that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) are suspects.
Meanwhile, Mambo Kitambal, head of a civil society group in Bulongo, was quoted as saying by AFP news agency, “There are 12 bodies lying on the ground... We fear that this toll could increase, especially since the enemy operated for several hours. The victims were executed with pickaxes and machetes.”
The ADF, a Ugandan militia active in the eastern DRC since the 1990s, has never claimed responsibility for attacks. It has been accused of carrying out dozens of brutal reprisal attacks on civilians since the Congolese army began operations against it in late 2019.
Last year, it is suspected of killing about 850 people, according to United Nations figures.
On Wednesday, the United States designated the ADF as a “foreign terrorist organisation”, accusing it of links to ISIL (ISIS).
The ADF has the reputation of being the bloodiest of some 122 armed groups active in the DRC’s four eastern border provinces, many of them a legacy of the Congo Wars of the 1990s.
Last month, suspected ADF fighters decapitated at least eight people in Boyo village, in the northeast Ituri province, while two others were shot dead in Kainama village.