Suspected Islamists kill at least 53 in eastern Congo

BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 53 villagers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's Ituri province this week, a local official said on Thursday. The authorities blamed the attacks on Tuesday and Wednesday on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan armed group active in eastern Congo since the 1990s.

Reuters September 11, 2020 00:12:36 IST
Suspected Islamists kill at least 53 in eastern Congo

Suspected Islamists kill at least 53 in eastern Congo

BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 53 villagers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's Ituri province this week, a local official said on Thursday.

The authorities blamed the attacks on Tuesday and Wednesday on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan armed group active in eastern Congo since the 1990s.

The militia has killed more than 1,000 civilians since the start of 2019, according to U.N. figures, despite repeated military campaigns aimed at destroying it.

On Tuesday night into Wednesday, ADF fighters attacked the villages of Tsabi and Tondoli, around 120 km (75 miles) south of the city of Bunia, officials said.

Etienne Babawela, a local village chief, said 53 bodies had been discovered so far.

"We don't know how many deaths there will be tomorrow," he said. "It's as if they had lots of time on Tuesday and Wednesday while they were killing people."

The United Nations says violence attributed to the ADF has soared since the start of the year, following the launch of a large-scale army campaign. In response, the ADF abandoned its bases, split into smaller, more mobile groups, and took revenge on civilians.

Several attacks attributed to the ADF have also been claimed by Islamic State, although researchers and analysts say there is a lack of hard evidence linking the two groups.

Violence committed by a constellation of more than 100 armed groups has forced over half a million people in the east of the country to flee their homes since the start of the year.

Millions of people died in eastern Congo, most from hunger and disease, during wars from 1996 to 2003 that sucked in more than half a dozen neighbouring countries.

Congo's military and security forces have also committed grave violations, including killings and sexual violence, the United Nations has said.

(Reporting by Erikas Mwisi Kambale; writing by Hereward Holland and Aaron Ross; Editing by Gareth Jones and Catherine Evans)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.