Twenty-two civilians were killed on Sunday (November 28) in a new attack on a camp for internally displaced persons in Ituri, in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, less than a week after a similar assault that left 29 people dead on a neighboring site.
“After the attack on the center for displaced persons in Ivo on Sunday, twenty bodies were buried in two mass graves, then two wounded who succumbed to their wounds were also buried, bringing the number of those killed to 22”, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Mambo Bapu Mance, coordinator of the Red Cross in Djugu (Ituri).
He accuses the militiamen of the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (Codeco) group of being responsible for this attack. Experts from the Kivu Security Barometer (KST), which has experts in the region, reported the same results to AFP. Army spokesman in the region, Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, for his part explained that “The Codeco attackers [avaie]have not been rejected ”, without giving details on the balance sheet.
The European Union calls for firmness
The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, for his part called for a firm reaction against the perpetrators of the attack. “The European Union condemns the new appalling attacks committed by the militias against the civilian populations, in particular the internally displaced persons”, he wrote on Twitter. “Firmness against the perpetrators and support and justice for the victims are necessary for lasting peace in the region. “
The Ituri gold region has returned to violence since the end of 2017 with the advent of the Codeco militia, which claims to defend the interests of the Lendu, one of the ethnic groups in this province.
In another attack on the night from Saturday to Sunday, “Five civilians were killed” in the territory of Irumu and “Four civilians” were killed on the outskirts of Bunia, the capital of Ituri, Isaac Nyakuklinda, a civil society official in Irumu, told AFP.
Since May, Ituri and the neighboring province of North Kivu have been under a state of siege, an exceptional measure intended to combat armed groups. Civilian authorities have been replaced by army and police officers.
However, massacres and kidnappings of civilians continue. In Ituri, the last major massacre dates back to Monday with a death toll of at least 29 among the displaced in Drodro camp, neighboring that of Ivo.
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DRC: attack on IDP camp kills 22 in Ituri