Ugandan Rebels Kill 19 in Eastern DR Congo

Nineteen people have been killed during a night attack by Ugandan rebels, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), in a remote village in Mamove, Beni in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to Kinos Kituho, the leader of the civil society in Mamove, "the enemies killed people with machetes and axes. At the moment, we have a death toll of 19 civilians, 40 houses burnt down, and several people missing".

The attack happened overnight in the remote village of Baeti, near Mamove, about 20km west of Oicha, the capital of Beni in North Kivu Province.

The UN peace force Monusco, which has been fighting rebels in eastern Congo, also has a base about 6km from the village.

Mr Kituho blamed the Congolese army (FARDC) for failing to defeat the rebels, who have carried out a series of massacres in the region.

The residents, according to Mr Kituho, decried the frequency of attacks in the area, with the latest being the fourth in less than a month that has claimed more than 40 lives.

The ADF, which originated in the 1990s as a Ugandan Muslim rebel group, is one of more than 100 militias that plague the eastern provinces of the vast Democratic Republic of Congo.

The group has killed nearly 600 civilians since the Congolese army launched a crackdown on it last November, according to an unofficial count.

The massacres are apparently reprisals for the army operation or designed to warn locals against collaborating with the authorities.

The ADF has never claimed any responsibility for attacks, although, since April 2019, several of its assaults have been claimed by the so-called Islamic State - Central Africa, sometimes with factual mistakes.

The attack came a week after the escape of several ADF rebels among the 1,400 detainees who escaped from Kangbayi prison in Beni.

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