Uganda’s IS-linked militants kill scores of villagers in east Congo attacks
Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 40 civilians in a string of attacks on several villages in east Democratic Republic of Congo over the past few days, according a local human rights group and a hospital worker.
Assailants, believed to be members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), first targeted a group of villagers from North-Kivu province that had crossed into neighboring Ituri province to look for arable land near the Ituri River last Thursday (25 August). Since then, ADF fighters had killed more than 40 men, women and children in five villages, says Christophe Munyanderu, coordinator of the local group Convention for the Respect of Human Rights (CRDH). “All this under the eyes of the authorities,” he added. “We are dying here but nothing is being done.”
A nurse at a hospital in one of the villages said he saw the bodies of 26 villagers who were killed and 76 kidnapped in one of the attacks. Also, the head of the surrounding Babila-Bakaiko locality, Charles Kisubi Endukadi, confirmed that suspected Islamist militants attacked several villages and that most bodies were not yet recovered. The Congolese army did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The ADF, a Uganda militia with ties to Islamic State, is one of several armed groups wrangling over resources and attacking civilians in Congo’s east, which is rich in minerals such as tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold.