Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - More dead and wounded due in the assaults of the ADF/NALU militiamen in the territory of Beni, in North Kivu (in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo). According to the NGO of CEPADHO civil society, on December 5, fourteen civilians were killed in Kolikoko and another ten in Mantumbi, in two ADF attacks.
The first attack was that of Kolikoko, in the district of Mabasele, in the rural municipality of Oicha around 4 am. According to local civil society, three men were killed on the Oicha-Maliki road, right in front of the hand-washing device created in the fight against the Ebola epidemic. The ADF militiamen cut the head of one victim and the hands of the others. One Bible was imbued with the blood of another victim.
The second attack took place a little further west, in the village of Mantumbi, around 2 pm. Ten civilians were killed, CEPADHO fears that the final toll is much higher, because there are still people missing.
According to CEPADHO, with these latest massacres, there are 141 civilian victims of the ADF assaults in this area, in retaliation for the vast offensive launched by the Congolese army since October 30th.
The massacres have provoked strong protests from the local population, which asks the national army and the forces of the UN mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) to take concrete initiatives to protect civilians.
On a political level, on November 26th, a declaration signed by some parliamentarians deplored the fact that the military operations started on October 30 against the ADF were not accompanied by preventive actions to protect the civilian population in case of reprisals.
The declaration also complains about the lack of a clear identification of the enemy and the absence of a serious inquiry into the allegations of complicity on behalf of some members of the national army and the Congolese national police, stressing the need to alternate officers serving in the Beni region for a long time, with the risk that they become accomplices of armed groups active in the area.
On 2 December the Bishops of Kivu decreed the suspension for one day of ecclesial activities to protest the massacres of civilians (see Fides, 3/12/2019). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 9/12/2019)