Rebel attacks leave 10 civilians dead in east Congo

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Around 10 civilians were killed in the latest attacks blamed on ADF rebels affiliated with ISIS in eastern DRC this weekend, prompting local authorities to launch an urgent appeal for help, sources told AFP Sunday.

The ADF, originally mainly Muslim Ugandan rebels, have established a presence over the past three decades in eastern DRC, killing thousands of civilians.

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In recent weeks they have stepped up their attacks and looting of villages and health centres.

“Our people are fed up with burying civilians every day,” Leon Kakule Siviwe, leader of the Beni-Mbau district in the north of North Kivu province, told AFP.

“We are making a heartfelt appeal to the country’s authorities and asking them to help us restore peace to our region.”

Siviwe put the death toll at three on Friday and four on Saturday, with around 10 people also missing.

Local civil society leader Georges Kivaya and youth leader Esdras Mathe meanwhile said that at least 10 people were killed in several attacks in the area on Saturday alone, adding that the “search continues” for victims.

Since the end of 2021, the Congolese and Ugandan armies have been conducting joint operations against the ADF in North Kivu and the neighbouring province of Ituri, but have so far failed to stop the deadly attacks on civilians.

“Every town must have at least one military position to avoid delays in the intervention” of the security forces, Kivaya said.

Mathe called for “an intensification of operations” in the region by the two countries’ armies.

The ADF pledged allegiance in 2019 to ISIS, which portrays them as its central African branch.

The ADF has been accused of massacring Congolese civilians as well as staging attacks in neighboring Uganda.

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