Local authorities reported on Thursday that suspected militants from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) were responsible for the deaths of over 40 persons in two attacks in eastern and 15 more in western DR Congo.
The ADF, one of the deadliest armed militias in Congo, is accused of massacring thousands of civilians and is identified by the Islamic State group as its affiliate in central Africa.
The neighboring villages of Mukondi and Mausa in the Beni territory of North Kivu province, as well as Somakita and Kinsele in the Kwamouth territory of Mai-Ndombe province, were attacked by members of the organization on Wednesday evening and early on Thursday, according to officials.
“It’s total desolation,” said Kalunga Meso, a local administrator. “They rounded up people and then executed them”.
He stated that there had been eight fatalities in Mausa and 38 in Mukondi, emphasizing that this death toll was tentative.
Local civil society leader Mumbere Arsene reported that eight people had died in Mausa and 37 had died in Mukondi.
“All the dead people were killed with knives,” he said.
With a machete, armed men slaughtered at least 30 people in Mukondi on Thursday, according to the reputable violence monitor Kivu Security Tracker (KST).
The death toll could not be independently verified by AFP.
The ADF has been charged with a number of bombings and massacres of civilians, and it is one of the most brutal of the numerous armed groups operating in eastern Congo.
According to observers, many have perished at its hands, many of them in the Beni region.
Since late 2021, a joint Congolese-Ugandans military operation has been underway to target the militia in the eastern DRC, although attacks have persisted.