MADRID, Dec. 4 (EUROPE PRESS) –
At least 23 people have died in the last two days in two attacks attributed to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia in the territory of Beni, located in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), authorities confirmed on Wednesday .
Military sources cited by local radio station Radio Okapi have indicated that at least twelve people have died and five have been reported missing in an attack executed Tuesday in the town of Pulu-Pulu.
These sources have indicated that the balance of victims is provisional and they have not ruled out that it will increase in the next hours. The attack has caused population displacement towards Nobili, near the border with Uganda.
The Center for Studies for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights (CEPADHO) has stressed that the displaced come not only from Pulu-Pulu, but also from other nearby villages.
On the other hand, the president of the civil society of Orototo, David Muwaze, has indicated that eleven people died in another attack blamed on the ADF executed on Monday night, as the aforementioned station has picked up.
The ADF militia has been active in the DRC since the 1990s and, despite repeated offenses launched against it, continues to generate violence in the area. It is considered one of the most dangerous armed groups of the several dozen operating in the African country.
Several armed groups control parts of eastern DRC despite the 1998-2003 war formally ending. The conflict caused millions of deaths, mostly victims of hunger and disease.
Armed violence has complicated the fight against the Ebola outbreak that was declared in the east of the country – with North Kivu as one of the epicenters – last year. Since then there have been attacks against medical facilities and health personnel.
The increase in attacks by the ADF in Beni, which have caused more than one hundred deaths in the last month, has caused great discomfort among the population, which criticizes the “inaction” of the UN Mission in the country ( MONUSCO), to which they reproach not to act although some of the crimes have been committed near their bases.
On November 25, protesters attacked the town hall of Beni and the MONUSCO base in the city, setting fire to the facilities. The protests during the day resulted in at least four dead. There have also been deaths in protests in other cities in the east of the country.
In view of the deterioration of the situation, the Government of Félix Tshisekedi has decided to install an advanced Army headquarters in Beni and carry out joint patrols with MONUSCO, which have already begun.
In this regard, a spokesman for MONUSCO said on November 27 that the UN mission “understands the anger and frustration of the population and does everything possible, in collaboration with the Armed Forces and the Police, to limit attacks against the civilian population. ”
He also said that attacks against MONUSCO and other institutions “only weaken the fight against ADF and other armed groups.” “Only a close collaboration” between the security forces, MONUSCO, local and national authorities and the population will “restore a lasting peace,” he said.
Finally, the head of the mission, Leila Zerrougui, confirmed the opening of an investigation into the death of a man by shots fired by the 'blue helmets' “when preparing to launch a Molotov cocktail” within the framework of the demonstrations in Beni.