The United Nations and civil society affirmed that over 20 civilians were killed Sunday in new attacks by militiamen in Ituri, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in New York that the Codeco militia had, according to these preliminary reports, “killed at least 20 civilians and burned several houses.
The same militiamen also “damaged medical facilities in a series of attacks on villages in Djugu territory,” he added.
Codeco (Cooperative for the Development of Congo) is a militia of several thousand men who claim to protect the Lendu tribe from the Hema tribe and the national army in Ituri.
Dieudonné Lossa, Ituri’s civil society coordinator, said there had been “a double attack by Codeco militiamen” on Sunday.
First in three villages in the territory, where they “killed nine civilians, set fire to 23 stores and looted 32 goats.
They then “made an incursion in the evening into Mongbwalu,” where they killed 12 people, Lossa added.
The mayor of this rural commune, Jean-Pierre Bikilisense, confirmed to AFP that 12 people were killed by the militiamen, in addition to a civilian killed by other bandits during a robbery.
The spokesman for the UN Secretary General also mentioned attacks on two villages in another territory of the province attributed to the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces), a militia presented by the jihadist group Islamic State as its branch in Central Africa.