New attacks on villages attributed to the ADF, a militia affiliated with the Islamic State group, killed at least 15 people on Sunday, January 29, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a week after a similar attack which left the minus 23 dead, we learned from local sources.
Sunday’s attacks were launched against three villages in Ituri, while that carried out on the night of January 22 to 23 targeted a locality in the neighboring province of North Kivu. A bomb attack in a Pentecostal church in North Kivu, also attributed to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), killed at least 14 people on January 15.
The ADF, Muslim rebels of Ugandan origin, are active in these two provinces and considered to be one of the deadliest armed groups in eastern DRC. The jihadist group Islamic State presents them as its branch in central Africa.
“There were simultaneous attacks this Sunday from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. in three villages on the Komanda-Luna section in the chiefdom (grouping of villages) of Walese Vonkutu”related Dieudonné Malangai, actor of the civil society of this chiefdom in the territory of Irumu. “In the Manyala village, we found seven bodies (…), in Ofay, there are eight dead including seven women”, he told AFP, stressing that this assessment was provisional. A humanitarian source confirmed seven deaths in Manyala and “at least eight” in Ofay.
” We are tired “
“These ADF rebels also attacked the Bandibese village, but they found resistance from the soldiers who intervened and therefore there were no civilians killed”said Mr. Malangai. “We are tired of giving the number of dead every day”he lamented.
In an attempt to stop the violence, in May 2021 the government placed North Kivu and Ituri in ” state of siege “, an exceptional measure that replaced civilian administrators with police and military personnel. Since the end of 2021, a joint operation between the Congolese and Ugandan armies has also targeted the ADF on Congolese territory. But the violence continues.
In addition to the ADF, many other armed groups roam these two provinces, in particular the Codeco community militia in Ituri. She is accused of having ambushed the Congolese army on Friday which, according to the army, killed five soldiers, including two colonels. The UN force in the DRC mentioned 15 soldiers killed, a security source establishing the balance sheet, on condition of anonymity, at 17 dead.