UN soldiers find mass graves in northeast DR Congo

UN soldiers find mass graves in northeast DR Congo

UN troops found mass graves with 49 dead civilians in northeastern Democratic Republic of (DR) Congo. Twelve women and six children were among the dead, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said yesterday. Soldiers discovered the graves in Nyamamba and Mbogi villages during a patrol in Ituri province after attacks by suspected CODECO militias were reported.

Haq called for an investigation to see if there was a link between the attacks and the mass graves. The UN mission MONUSCO supports “the Congolese judicial system in investigating the attacks and demands that the perpetrators be held accountable”, he emphasized.

In Ituri, on the Ugandan border, there have been repeated attacks by the CODECO militia in recent weeks. The militia is considered an armed political-religious sect that claims to defend the interests of the Lendu ethnic group. It is considered the most violent group in the region and is responsible for numerous attacks.

More than 80 civilians have been killed in the province since the beginning of January, according to human rights activist Dieudonne Lossa. UN spokesman Haq warned of a “significant deterioration in the security situation” in the region.