ADF Rebel Attacks Claim Over 80 Lives in North Kivu, DRC

Between Tuesday, May 4, and Friday, May 7, at least 80 people were killed in a series of attacks by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in the Baswagha-Madiwe group of villages in Beni territory, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The attacks targeted several villages, including Masala, Mapasana, and Mahini, and were marked by severe violence and destruction.

Overview of the Attacks

  • Dates: The primary attacks occurred from May 4 to May 7.
  • Locations: Masala, Mapasana, and Mahini villages in North Kivu.
  • Casualties: At least 80 people were killed.
  • Additional Attacks: In the past two weeks, 30 more civilians were killed in the villages of Masau, Mununze, Kabweke, and Manlese.
  • Property Destruction: The rebels also stole 25 motorcycles and set several houses on fire.

Witness and Official Reports

Lieutenant Colonel Mak Hazukay, an army spokesman in Congo’s North Kivu province, attributed these brutal attacks to the ADF. The ADF has a history of violent activity in the region and has been known for its ruthless tactics, including widespread killings and destruction of property.

Impact on Local Populations

  • Displacement: The attacks have forced many residents to flee their homes. Displaced individuals sought refuge in Kyatsaba, various neighborhoods in the western part of Beni, and Mabalako.
  • Healthcare Strain: The General Reference Hospital in Mabalako is overwhelmed, struggling to cope with the influx of injured patients and those seeking medical attention due to the attacks.

Broader Context of Violence

Since May 3, civil society reports from Beni territory indicate that 123 civilians have been killed in numerous attacks attributed to the ADF across various regions, including Bapakombe-Pendekali, Mangina, Mantumbi, Kudukudu, Kalmango, and Beu-Manyama.

The ADF’s Role and Influence

The ADF, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, operates mainly in eastern Congo and is responsible for frequent and devastating attacks. This group is one of many militant organizations that have contributed to the ongoing instability and violence in the region.

Humanitarian Crisis and Response

The persistent attacks by the ADF and other militant groups in North Kivu exacerbate an already dire humanitarian situation, with large numbers of civilians displaced, infrastructure destroyed, and local economies disrupted. International and regional efforts continue to focus on providing relief to affected populations and restoring stability to the region.

In summary, the recent wave of ADF attacks highlights the severe and ongoing threat posed by militant groups in North Kivu, underscoring the need for urgent and coordinated efforts to protect civilians and address the underlying causes of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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