At least 20 civilians were killed on Sunday night in Ituri, in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in a new massacre attributed to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), experts and the local Red Cross said.
The Kivu Security Barometer (KST), an organisation with observers in the area, wrote on Twitter, adding, “the ADF is suspected”.
“Our volunteers on the ground and the youth president have counted 36 bodies,” David Beiza, president of the Irumu territory Red Cross, told AFP, explaining that “these ADF rebels arrived at around 8 pm (18:00 GMT). They operated quietly. Fortunately, many people were able to escape,” he added.
The army’s intervention was “late, I am angry”, Dieudonne Malangay, a member of civil society in the Walese Vonkutu chiefdom where the village of Bwanasura is located, told AFP.
Bwanasura is a village located 44 km from Komanda-centre, in the Walese Vonkutu chiefdom, in the Irumu territory, 119 km south of Bunia (north-east).
Presented by the jihadist organisation Islamic State (EI) as its branch in Central Africa (ISCAP in English), the ADF group is accused of being responsible for the massacre of thousands of civilians in eastern Congo and of having committed attacks in Uganda.
The latest major massacres attributed to ADF rebels in eastern DRC date back to the end of May, with the death of at least 16 people in Bulongo announced on 30 May, following the killing of at least 27 people on 28 May in the village of Beu-Manyama, in the neighbouring Beni region.
Like the neighbouring province of North Kivu, Ituri has been under a state of siege for the past year, an exceptional measure that has given full power to the military but has so far failed to end the violence.