AFRICA/DR CONGO - New Islamist attacks in the east of the country: 30,000 students cannot go to school due to insecurity

Thursday, 4 April 2024 jihadists  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - At least 10 people were killed and several buildings burned down in an attack by ADF militants in the rural municipality of Mangina, in the Beni area, in the province of North Kivu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the night of April 3rd. The buildings destroyed by the attackers include the local health center, which was partially set on fire, as well as a dozen houses and commercial buildings. The villagers cannot understand "how the attackers could act so easily in an area where Congolese and Ugandan soldiers are stationed." The “Allied Democratic Forces” (ADF) is a Ugandan rebel group that has long been in North Kivu and Ituri and terrorizes the local population there. In 2019, the ADF announced its affiliation with the Islamic State, which underlines the jihadist background (see Fides, 24/6/2023).
The violence of the ADF (now also called ISCAP or the Central African Province of the Islamic State) has left almost thirty thousand students, including eleven thousand girls, out of school in the Irumu area of Ituri and the Eringeti area of North Kivu.
According to a recent investigation by a team of school inspectors, seventy-nine primary and secondary schools in these areas were closed due to the unsafe situation. Some of the school buildings were burned down by rebels. At the end of March, residents of the village of Mamove in Beni region (North Kivu) reported that the ADF had killed more than 80 people and kidnapped 60 others since October 2023. The rebels are also increasingly operating in the suburbs of the city of Beni; According to local sources, between March 1 and 24, more than eight attacks were carried out on the town of Beni and particularly on the municipality of Mulekera. In these attacks, dozens of people were brutally killed and many others disappeared, while various material goods were looted, including a warehouse of cocoa, one of the region's most valuable products. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 4/4/2024)