Local militia in DR Congo launch second deadly attack in a week

AFP - ALEXIS HUGUET

The UN says another seven civilians have been killed by militia in a northeastern area of Democratic Republic of Congo by the same local militia blamed for killing 49 people discovered in mass graves earlier this week.

The UN's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said the latest attack took place overnight Wednesday at a camp for internally displaced people (IDP). Seven people were reportedly killed and many forced to flee.

Minusma, the UN's regional peacekeeping operation, deployed immediately after the overnight attack to secure the camp, 9km east of Djugu in Ituri province, and deter further violence, Haq said.

A local militia named Codeco – Cooperative for the Development of Congo – has been blamed for the attack.

Desire Malodra, a local civil society representative, said the militia had "killed, burned, and pillaged" the Plaine Savo IDP camp.

"We found seven bodies – five children and two adults," he said.

Mass graves

The attack followed the discovery on Tuesday of mass graves containing the bodies of 49 civilians in two other villages in Ituri.

Forty-two victims, including six children and 12 women, were found in a grave in the village of Nyamamba, while the bodies of seven other men were found in the village of Mbogi, Haq said.

Codeco is also believed to be behind that attack.

"Peacekeepers launched a patrol in the area immediately after receiving reports of [last weekend's] attacks on civilians," Haq said. "This is when they made the gruesome discoveries."

Codeco has been attacking villages, IDP camps and military positions in the Ituri hills for the past three years or so.

Last February, Codeco militia killed 62 people in a machete attack at the same camp.

(with wires)


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