Twelve Killed in DR Congo Militia Attacks

 In Terrorism, Local, Africa

Twelve people were killed in 48 hours in the trou­bled Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, an offi­cial said on Tuesday, where mili­tia attacks have left more than 1,000 dead in recent years.

Five were killed on Monday and anoth­er seven on Tuesday in the vil­lages of Mayolo and Andasia, local offi­cial Innocent Madaku Ndala told AFP.

“We have just buried all of them” in their respec­tive vil­lages, he said.

Like most recent killings, the attacks were blamed on a mili­tia named the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO).

CODECO is drawn from the Lendu ethnic group, a pre­dom­i­nant­ly farm­ing com­mu­ni­ty who have his­tor­i­cal­ly clashed with the Hema, a group of traders and herders.

Hundreds of people have died in the North and South Kivu and Ituri provinces since last October when the armed forces launched a crack­down on armed groups in the troubled east of the vast country.

Eastern DR Congo has been chron­i­cal­ly unsta­ble for a quar­ter of a cen­tu­ry, its pop­u­la­tion ter­ror­ized by mili­tias that are chiefly the legacy of two major wars.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) said last week that 500,000 people have been dis­placed in the vio­lence since late 2017, and inter­na­tion­al observers have spoken of “crimes against human­i­ty” com­mit­ted in the region.

It is unclear why the vio­lence restart­ed then, with the ICG argu­ing that local Lendu lead­ers do not sup­port the mili­tia.

Former war chiefs from the pre­vi­ous period of ethnic clash­es in 1999 – 2003 have been in the region for sev­er­al days, attempt­ing to open peace talks at the request of President Felix Tshisekedi.

The Defense Post source|articles

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