At least 11 villagers were killed on Monday in Ituri, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in a new attack attributed to ADF rebels linked to the Islamic State group, we learned from local sources on Tuesday.
• Also read: DR Congo: At least 16 civilians killed by ADF in Beni
• Also read: Uganda: 41 dead, mostly students, in a jihadist attack on a school
The ADF (Allied Democratic Forces), originally mainly Muslim Ugandan rebels, have established themselves in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo since the mid-1990s and have killed thousands of civilians there.
Their abuse began in North Kivu province and spread over several years to neighboring Ituri province. They pledged allegiance to IS in 2019 and are also blamed for several recent attacks on Ugandan soil.
At the end of 2021, the Ugandan and Congolese armies launched a joint military operation against them called “Shujaa”, without so far succeeding in stopping their attacks.
Monday morning, ADF rebels “surprised farmers in their fields” in several villages in the Mambasa area of Ituri, said Mandela Moïse, head of civil society in the chiefdom (administrative unit) of Babila Babombi.
“They killed 13 people whose bodies are visible and most of them are farmers,” he added.
For his part, Matadi Muyapandi, police administrator of the Mambasa Territory, put the number of bodies found in “various places in the forest” at 11. The army “is pursuing these rebels everywhere in the areas of Irumu (Ituri), Beni (North Kivu)”, assured he.
Mandela Moïse, in turn, regrets that joint Ugandan-Congolese military operations are “limited to the Irumu and Beni areas” and that, in his opinion, Mambasa has been “forgotten”.
Civil society representatives in Beni said on Sunday they recorded 23 attacks by suspected ADF rebels in January, killing more than 80 people in Beni territory alone.