- Rebels from Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) went door to door shooting their victims dead in Kamango.
- Congolese president Felix Tshisekedi on Friday promised to do everything possible to stop the ADF and other armed groups who have operated in the country for years.
- DRC forces launched operations against the armed group, ADF, late October, and it has retaliated by carrying out massacres.
At least 43 people were killed in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after a series of attacks over the weekend. The attacks were carried out by rebels with links to the Islamic State group and were in response to a new military offensive in the area, a human rights group said. The president of a Congolese human rights group known by its French acronym CEPADHO, Omar Kavotha, said that the rebels were trying to force the people against the military so that they demand the military action to be stopped.
According to CEPADHO, late Sunday, the rebels from Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) went door to door shooting their victims dead in Kamango. Insecurity in the area has been on the rise, and late last month, it had prompted demonstrators to protest by setting fire to the town hall. ADF originates in Uganda and has always been a threat to the neighboring eastern part of the DRC. Recently, the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks carried out by ADF rebels, though the exact relationship between the two groups is not quite clear.
Congolese president Felix Tshisekedi on Friday promised to do everything possible to stop the ADF and other armed groups who have operated in the country for years. “Our determination is total and unwavering to eradicate them,” he said in his state of the nation address.
The latest incident came a day after six civilians were killed in Beni. Earlier this month, twenty-six people were killed in separate attacks in the same area, one in the village of Mantumbi, and two others near the town of Kamango. According to CEPADHO, more than 150 people have been killed by rebels since October.
DRC forces launched operations against the armed group, ADF, late October, and it has retaliated by carrying out massacres. ADF is accused of killing thousands of people, including United Nations peacekeepers. The UN has tried to stabilize the country for the past twenty years, with a 15,000-strong peacekeeping force. It is estimated 160 rebel groups with more than 20,000 fighters are active in the DRC’s east, many of them fighting to gain control of natural resources.
It is alleged that the deadly violence targeted an area in the eastern DRC, which is the heart of Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 2,200 people since August, 2018. “These attacks will certainly paralyze the Ebola response teams,” said Dr. Pierre Celestine Adikey, who coordinates the efforts to control the disease in Beni region. “The movement of the population becomes more difficult to control.” He added that other armed groups, like Mai Mai militias, may also take advantage of the insecurity and carry out their own attacks, which will in turn worsen the situation.
Ebola has continued to spread, with efforts from medical personnel to control the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak being hampered since the beginning by the presence of so any armed groups in eastern DRC. Health teams have at times been unable to get to some areas to carry out vaccinations to the people at the highest risk of contracting the disease. The communities have also failed to trust the health workers thus worsening the already bad situation.