DR Congo authorities report 14 casualties in militia attack
In recent years, the eastern DR Congo has suffered more than any other part of the country from armed conflict and related abuses against civilians.
Local officials in eastern DR Congo reported on Sunday that fourteen civilians were killed "by machete" in an attack by local militias in Kyamata, in Ituri province's Banyali Tchabi chiefdom.
Jacques Anayey Bandingama, the head of a local youth group, said the suspected militia is the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an insurgent group that established ties with ISIS in 2018.
Bandingama added that among the victims included two others who were severely injured and that 36 homes in the village were set on fire.
The victims were later buried in a mass grave, according to Banyali Tchabi Chief Etienne Babanilau Tchabi.
"This attack threatens the return of my people," he told reporters. "My chiefdom is empty. Seventy percent of people are displaced."
Read more: M23 rebels capture DR Congo villages in east
For nearly four decades, the DRC has been enduring years of terrorist attacks from various terror organizations that emerged as legacies of previous wars.
With more than 120 terror groups across the region, the ADF figures among the most violent for its systematic and brutal attacks on civilians.
The movement has carried out several slaughters and bombing attacks in the East of the DRC, including in parts of Uganda where the borders of both countries cross.
The president of a cultural association in Banyali Tchabi, Faustin Mboma Babanilau, blamed the DR Congolese army for the lack of its presence in the area, adding that "in the office of the chiefdom, for example, there are only two soldiers," he said. "Go figure."
Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, a Congolese army spokesman, said, "Our services are on the ground and will be able to give us the final toll," he told reporters.
Despite efforts mobilized by the DRC and Uganda to launch a joint offensive against the ADF in November 2021, the terrorist organization persisted in its ongoing campaign of destruction and violence.
In order to stamp out the attacks coming from various terrorist organizations, the Congolese government decided last year to place both the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu under emergency administration called a "state of siege."
The process involved for the government to substitute senior civilian officials with members of the security forces. Despite this, attacks remained ongoing.
Read more: DRC: Four children among 13 civilians dead in M23, army conflict