Nine Killed In Attacks In Eastern DR Congo

Nine civilians were killed in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo by rebels with the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) affiliated to the so-called Islamic State, military and local sources said on Friday.

Kakule Kalunge, chief of the city of Kalunguta in the Beni region of North Kivu told AFP that ADF fighters had shot five civilians, including four men and one woman, overnight on Thursday.

“Among those killed is the president of the network of civilian organisations,” said Kakule. “His death pushed other residents to leave the city.”

Kalunguta is 27 kilometres (17 miles) north of Beni in the territory by the same name.

Community defence militias chased the assailants into the jungle.

“I am asking the people of Kalunguta to let the army and intelligence services do their work,” said Charles Ehuta Omeanga who is the administrator in the region.

On the same night further north in Irumu in the neighbouring province of Ituri, another attack killed four people, army spokesman Jules Ngongo told AFP.

He added that the assailants had not yet been identified.

The ADF began as an armed Ugandan Muslim group that implanted itself in eastern DR Congo in 1995.

It has not carried out any attacks in Uganda itself for years and lives off extortion and control over the region’s abundant resources.

The Catholic Church in the DR Congo says the ADF has massacred around 6,000 civilians since 2013, a toll that has risen sharply since 2019, when the militia appears to have become more radicalised.

In March, the United States officially linked the ADF to the IS and identified its leader as Seka Musa Baluku.