Congo-Kinshasa: Rebels Kill Dozens in DR Congo

15 December 2019

Local leaders have accused a Ugandan rebel group, known as the Allied Democratic Forces, of killing civilians in an eastern town. Large parts of eastern DRC are in the grip of armed militias.

Islamist rebels hacked to death at least 22 civilians in Beni, a town in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), local officials said on Sunday

The attack, which was carried out overnight Saturday, was blamed on rebel fighters from the radical Islamist Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), according to Noella Katsongerwaki, civil society president in Beni.

"The enemy operated silently. We have already found 22 bodies and the search continues," Katsongerwaki told German press agency dpa.

The victims were farmers and included 13 women, Agence France-Presse reported, citing Katsongerwaki.

UN peacekeepers

The ADF, an Islamist-rooted militia formed in Uganda in 1995, is one of a wide variety of armed groups operating in the region.

It repeatedly carries out attacks around Beni. It has been accused of killing thousands of people, including UN peacekeepers.

More than 100 people have died in assaults blamed on the ADF since the start of November.

The ADF has a long rap sheet of human rights abuses and is thought to be entwined in criminal networks funded by kidnappings, smuggling and logging.

The United Nations has tried to stabilize the country for the past 20 years with one of the world's biggest UN peacekeeping forces, known as MONUSCO.

MONUSCO comprises more than 16,500 military personnel and observers, 1,300 police and at least 4,000 civilians.

Residents of Beni accuse MONUSCO of failing to protect them against the ADF.

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