40 killed in DRC after rebel group attacks village
CAPE TOWN - Forty people were killed in the north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the latest gruesome attack on civilians in the mountainous jungles near the Ugandan border, officials said.
Fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group, which was driven out of Uganda in the late 1990s, attacked Samboko village in the city of Bunia, said Omar Kavota from the Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights (CEPADHO).
A day after killing at least 17 in the nearby village of Makutano, ADF members killed at least 40 people with machetes and looted food and valuables early on Tuesday, international news broadcaster Al Jazeera reported.
More than 400 people have been killed in attacks attributed to the ADF since the army began an offensive to oust the group from its bases last year, according to the Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a research initiative that maps unrest in the region.
Following two months of relative quiet, the area has seen a rise in deadly attacks in the last three weeks, KST said.
Rachel Tarwayo, a government administrator, said she was aware of the Samboko incursion but could not provide any further details.
"On the ground, some people have fled and others have given themselves the courage to stay for the moment," said Gili Gotabo, a rights activist in the region.
About 200,000 people have fled their homes in Ituri province, where the two villages are located, in the past two months because of the widespread violence by a variety of armed groups, Al Jareeza reported. The attacks have also hampered efforts to stamp out an Ebola epidemic.
More than 700 people have been killed in Ituri since late 2017, a United Nations report said in January.African News Agency