DRC: Three mass graves containing at least 50 victims discovered in Ituri

DRC: Three mass graves containing at least 50 victims discovered in Ituri

Published on: 19.01.2023 – 14:35 Modified on: 19.01.2023 – 14:47

This is anything but a first in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Several false communes have been discovered in Ituri by MONUSCO peacekeepers, a UN spokesman announced on Wednesday January 18.

At least 50 people were killed in attacks last weekend, a source near Monusco said. A total of three mass graves were discovered: two in the village of Nyamamba and another in the village of Mbogi, some 30 kilometers east of the provincial capital, Bunia.

After the attacks, the warning was given by witnesses who informed the UN mission. Patrols have been deployed at the scene, says Ndeye Khady Lo, acting spokesman for Monusco, which RFI has joined. And at these three mass graves, the forces of the UN peacekeeping mission were able to identify the victims with their eyes: 12 women and 6 children, the others were men.

These killings are attributed to militiamen from Codeco, an armed group from the Lendu agricultural community active in the area that regularly carries out attacks on Hema herders. According to Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, the several thousand strong militia claim to protect the Lendu tribe from the Hema tribe and the national army.

At least 195 civilians killed since early December

Since December 1, at least 195 civilians have been killed in attacks attributed to Codeco and the Zaire Group.

The two villages are in Ituri, a province bordering on Uganda attacks on civilians by vigilantes occur repeatedly, including last week, though Dozens of civilians were killed in attacks by various armed groups.

Monusco stated that it “supports the Congolese judicial system” to support the judicial investigations launched by the Congolese authorities and “calls for those responsible (for the attacks) to be brought to justice”.

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