ANKARA 

Dozens of villagers have been killed by suspected Ugandan rebels in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local media reported.

The attacks, thought to be carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), targeted multiple villages in Irumu territory, Ituri province between Monday and Tuesday, according to local news website Actualite.cd in a Tuesday report.

“We are mourning, the security situation has become very complicated here with the ADF rebels. Yesterday evening, they raided Samboko village killing 14 people and […] they also attacked Tikamaibo village precisely on the Mutuyei hills,

”At the moment, we have recorded 40 dead. Several bodies are abandoned in the bush because the hill is currently inaccessible according to the victims’ families,” Dieudonne Sonyau, a civil society leader, was quoted by Actualite.cd as saying.

Some 17 civilian bodies were found in Irumu territory, the Kivu Security Tracker (KST) said on Twitter late Tuesday.

Since 7 May, the KST has recorded the deaths of 50 civilians attributed to the ADF in Beni territory alone. In April, the KST recorded the deaths of 30 civilians due to the same insurgent group, KST added.

KST is a joint project of the Congo Research Group and UN Human Rights Watch. It maps violence, analyzes trends and documents human rights violations in Eastern Congo.

Increased attacks

Attacks on civilians have mounted in recent months in the eastern DRC, triggering protests in Beni last December, where locals blamed the UN peacekeeping force, MONUSCO, for failing to protect them.

The army launched an offensive in January against militias operating in the gold-rich province of Ituri as part of a wider offensive launched last October.

The ADF rebel group — which originated in neighboring Uganda in the 1990s — has been attacking and killing civilians in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for over two decades.

ADF rebels have set aside their political demands and are mostly involved in the trafficking of minerals in the eastern DRC, which has abundant gold deposits.

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