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Four rebels, six civilians killed in east DR Congo

By AFP
Congo The ADF has carried out a string of massacres in villages in the Beni region since 2017 -- more than 1,200 people have died, say monitors.  By Alexis Huguet (AFP)
NOV 4, 2021 LISTEN
The ADF has carried out a string of massacres in villages in the Beni region since 2017 -- more than 1,200 people have died, say monitors. By Alexis Huguet (AFP)

Six civilians died in two attacks carried out by the ADF rebel group, NGOs and the army said Thursday, adding that it had pursued and killed four assailants.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is the deadliest of more than 120 armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the US has formally linked it to the so-called Islamic State (IS).

"The DRC armed forces successfully neutralised four ADF fighters this morning," said Captain Antony Mualushayi, army spokesman in the territory of Beni, North Kivu province.

"These terrorists killed three civilians overnight, two women and a child, before regular forces arrived."

The ADF attacked the village "in a bid to get food supplies and undermine the army's efforts" against them, said Mualushayi.

In a second assault, ADF forces killed three more civilians on the road to Uganda on Thursday, torching two trucks after stealing their loads of food, said Ricardo Rupande, spokesman for a network of NGO's in the Rwenzori area.

The ADF began in the 1990s as coalition of armed Ugandan groups, the biggest of which comprised Muslims, that opposed Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

ADF activity in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  By Cléa PÉCULIER (AFP) ADF activity in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. By Cléa PÉCULIER (AFP)

It moved into eastern DRC in 1995, establishing itself in the Rwenzori Mountains in North Kivu.

The respected monitor, the Kivu Security Tracker, blames the ADF for more than 1,200 deaths in the Beni area since 2017.

In April 2019, IS began to claim some ADF attacks on social media, presenting the group as its regional branch -- the Islamic State Central Africa Province, or ISCAP.

On March 11 this year, the United States placed the ADF on its list of "terrorist groups" affiliated with IS jihadists.

North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri province have been under a "state of siege" since May, in a bid to step up a military offensive against the rebels.

Meanwhile, the death toll from a major attack on the eastern DR Congo city of Bukavu rose to 11 on Thursday with hospital sources saying two civilians had died in the shooting and three been wounded.

'Shooting and singing'

South Kivu province's governor had announced six rebels, two policemen and a soldier died in the raid on Wednesday.

Numerous armed groups have been active in South Kivu for the past 25 years, but the provincial capital Bukavu had not seen such an attack in years.

Regional military commander Bob Kilubi Ngoy said the gunmen were from a previously unknown group called the CPCA-A64, or Coalition of Congolese Patriots for the Application of Article 64.

Article 64 of DR Congo's constitution calls on citizens to resist any seizure of power by force.

"They were shooting and singing that they wanted to liberate the country" when they entered the city, Kilubi said.

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