CONGO: Congolese security officials are accusing the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) of being behind the massacre of 20 civilians during an attack in Baniangalagroup of Kikula village, Beni territory, North Kivu province, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
On Sunday evening and Monday morning, attacks by suspected rebels left scores injured, while an unspecified number of others were missing, according to Colonel Charles Omeonga, Military Administrator of Beni Territory.
Jol Muyisa, the president of the citizen structure in Kikula village, says that he saw 10 bodies lying in the Kikula trading centre and many others far away from where he was standing on Monday morning. Muyisa says that in addition to killing, the rebels also torched houses and looted locals’ property.
“We are in a very complicated situation after the incursion of the ADF rebels on Sunday evening. They carried out the killings of civilians in the centre of Kikura. In the morning, there were more than 10 bodies lying on the ground. Far away, all around, several other bodies are visible. As I speak to you, we have just tallied at least 20 dead and several missing. Also, injuries In addition to this human damage, there is material damage, in particular, burnt houses and looted property of the population, “Muyisa said.
Gunshots could still be heard in the nearby valley and hills of Luanoli at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning as government forces chased the rebels away.
Kambale says that the attack has caused the displacement of locals from Muyisa towards the agglomerations of the chieftaincy of Watalinga, near the border with Uganda. But, Omeonga says, Congolese security is on the ground to restore calm.
“Our security elements are on the ground to restore state authority. Other things, including the balance sheet afterwards, Omeonga said. On the same evening, ADF rebels attacked the Ndalia commercial centre on the Komanda-Luna road in Irumu territory, Ituri, and killed four people while burning a house and two motorcycles.
They were later repelled by FARDC soldiers who were escorting a convoy of vehicles. Meanwhile, the Congolese security authorities announced on Monday afternoon that they had arrested the rebels’ computer scientist. The suspect, identified as Muthatindwa Mose, was arrested in Isiro, the capital of Haut-Uele Province in the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Captain Anthony Mualushayi, the military spokesman for Operations Sokola 1 Grand-Nord, says that Mose was arrested on Sunday. Mualushayi is behind the February 5 homemade explosion in Ocha, Beni territory. He adds that the suspect is still being interrogated. Mose is the second ADF specialist to be arrested this year.
In early February, Salim Rashid Mohammed, alias Chotara or Turki Salim, a renowned Allied Democratic Forces-ADF propagandist and media communication specialist, was arrested by the Congolese army. The Congolese and Ugandan armies jointly launched operations against the ADF in late November last year. But rebels have continued to attack and kill civilians.