In recent times, the Democratic Republic of Congo, DR Congo, has been plagued with the scourge of mass killings and it is fast becoming an issue of national and international concern.
In September 2020, the Allied Democratic Forces were responsible for an attack that claimed 13 lives and left many others displaced, according to reports by the UNHCR.
Earlier this year, on Monday, 4th January, another attack was perpetrated by the same Allied Democratic Forces, and 22 people were reported dead as a result of this attack.
This was the second of two successive mass killings in a week to hit the Democratic Republic of Congo, with local officials blaming the ADF militia group for the attack. Local officials said several civilians were brutally killed by armed men in the attack.
In addition to accounts given by local officials, sources with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the region, also confirmed that the massacre was conducted by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
The ADF militia group has been held responsible for multiple killings in the past year, also leaving dozens of deaths in their wake.
The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) estimated the death toll at at least 21.
On New Year’s Eve, an estimated 25 civilians were killed in the village of Tingwe.
According to Donat Kibwana, administrator of the territory of Beni, ten of the 22 killed had been women.
“Ten other people have been injured, and others are unaccounted for. The army intervened after the crime was committed,” Kibwana told news agency AFP.
He also said that nine more were found murdered in another village in the area, in a similar attack by suspected ADF militants.
The ADF originated in the 1990s, as a Ugandan Muslim rebel militia group. It is now one of the dozens of groups that functions in the eastern parts of DR Congo.
In 2019 and 2020, more than a 1000 civilians had been killed in attacks by the ADF, despite repeated interventions by UN peacekeeping forces.
By Oluwamayowa Akinyemi
Oluwamayowa Akinyemi is a digital and web content developer with experience in web content development and management as well as research and writing. He is an avid reader of random subject matters and a sucker for movies and video games. He is also passionate about youth empowerment and is a global affairs analyst and enthusiast.