Congo’s military says at least 16 people were killed and eight injured after an attack by suspected Allied Democratic Forces rebels in Congo’s North Kivu provinceBy AL-HADJI KUDRA MALIRO Associated PressJuly 23, 2021, 4:53 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleCHANICHANI, Congo — At least 16 people were killed and eight injured in an attack by suspected Allied Democratic Forces rebels in Congo’s North Kivu province, the military said.Others remain missing after the ambush that took place Thursday on a road between the towns of Chanichani and Mayi-Moya, around 45 kilometers (30miles) north of Beni.The civilians were traveling in a truck that was in a convoy with a military escort. When the convoy was attacked their truck, heavily laden with goods, overturned.At least 16 people were killed, the chief medical officer of the Oicha zone, Dr. Jerome Kambale Munuambethe, confirmed. He said others are in critical condition.“Most of those killed are farmers and traders who came for food,” Congo’s army spokesman Lt. Anthony Mwalushayi told The Associated Press. “We call for vigilance and to denounce any suspicious person.”Resident Kambale Wa Tsongo narrowly escaped the attack.“We were on our way when we heard the sounds of bullets … We saw the rebels dressed in green with scarves on their heads begin to shoot,” he said. He and the others threw themselves into the surrounding undergrowth to evade the attackers, he said.To avoid increasing attacks, Chanichani residents are fleeing to the towns of Oicha and Beni. They’re appealing for the military to improve security in the region.Residents of the Beni-Mbau area have called on the Congolese army to strengthen its presence in the Bambuba-Kisiki area where rebels are taking advantage of their absence.“Elements of the army must be further reinforced in this part to bypass maneuvers of the enemy. The population has confidence in its army. It is ready to denounce any suspicious cases,” said Bravo Muhindo Vukyulu, a resident.Eastern Congo has been mired in conflict for more than a quarter-century particularly near its border with Rwanda. Several different armed groups there have vied for control of the region’s mineral resources.Earlier this week, suspected rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces attacked Chanichani.The ADF, which traces its origins to nearby Uganda, has mounted an escalating number of attacks in and around Beni in the last several years even as the community was struck by an Ebola epidemic. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for some attacks carried out by ADF rebels, but the exact relationship between the groups is not clear.———AP writer Jean-Yves Kamale reported from Kinshasa, Congo.
Police and military officials in Congo say at least nine civilians, including women, were killed in an attack by rebels in Congo’s eastern city of Beni, the third such attack in the Beni area this weekBy AL-HADJI KUDRA MALIRO Associated PressJuly 1, 2021, 4:40 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleBENI, Congo — At least nine civilians, including women, were killed in an attack by rebels in Congo’s eastern city of Beni, officials said Thursday. The attack in Beni’s Rwangoma neighborhood is the third such attack in the Beni area this week.Police and the military have blamed Allied Democratic Forces rebels for the violence.“These ADF terrorists attacked peaceful populations … killing and kidnapping others,” said Beni’s police chief, Col. Narcisse Muteba. “These rebels used the kidnapped civilians (as shields) to escape the Congolese army. Investigations are underway to find the perpetrators of this crime.”Some of the victims were killed in their homes while others were taken to the center of the neighborhood before being shot and beaten with machetes or pieces of concrete, the military spokesperson in the region, Lt. Anthony Mwulushayi, said.Nine bodies are in the morgue, he said, adding that one other body of a woman remains at the scene.“Alongside the human toll, businesses were looted before being set on fire, and residences were also set on fire,” he said.This attack comes days after two explosions on Sunday hit a Catholic church in Beni’s Butsili district and a market in another district, leaving four wounded. The Islamic State group’s Central Africa Province claimed responsibility for the two Sunday explosions, which included its first suicide bombing.Many Beni residents protested the violence and angrily demanded that the police and military provide better protection to the civilian population. Demonstrators carried the body of a slain victim to the town hall, where the army and police dispersed the protests with live ammunition.“Are we Congolese like the others? In Beni, we are being killed with bombs, sporadic machete attacks … I would like the government to help us because we are going to die overnight,” said Kambale Tsongo, a protester carrying the body of a victim.U.S. Ambassador to Congo, Mike Hammer, visited Beni on Thursday and told The Associated Press that the United States stands in solidarity with the residents of Beni, and will help track down attackers who are allied to the Islamic State group. He visited Beni Thursday morning.“We will begin intelligence cooperation between the Congolese army and the U.S.,” he said. He said the U.S. will support training for the Congolese army and police forces.Eastern Congo has been mired in conflict for more than a quarter-century particularly near its border with Rwanda. Armed groups there have vied for control of the region’s mineral resources.The ADF, which traces its origins to nearby Uganda, has mounted an escalating number of attacks in and around Beni in the last several years even as the community was struck by an Ebola epidemic.———AP writer Jean-Yves Kamale in Kinshasa, Congo contributed.