Seven Killed in Eastern Congo Amid Protests Over Deadly Rebel Attacks


BUTEMBO, Democratic Republic of Congo, June 15 (Reuters) – At least seven people have been killed in eastern Congo’s North Kivu province amid unrest sparked by a surge in deadly attacks by suspected Islamist rebels, local officials said on Saturday.

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The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group affiliated with the Islamic State, are alleged to have killed over 40 people in an attack on Mayikengo village this week and more than 80 in other villages in the province the previous week.

The rising insecurity has fueled public frustration, leading to the killing of two soldiers and their driver in Lubero territory by a crowd that torched their vehicle overnight on Friday, local official Julio Mabanga told Reuters.

On Saturday, further clashes in the area between security forces and local residents led to the deaths of another three people: a civilian, a soldier, and an agent of the ANR national intelligence service, Mabanga said.

A similar protest erupted in the city of Butembo on Saturday, with hundreds of youths taking to the streets wielding sticks, chanting, and singing songs to denounce the widespread insecurity, according to a Reuters reporter.

“I’m here at this roundabout, barricading the road. We sympathize with our killed compatriots,” said Daniel Sivanzire Paluku, one of the protesters, who said they needed to block the roads to monitor who was coming and going.

Butembo Mayor Mowa Baeki Telly confirmed one civilian was killed during clashes between security forces and protesters in the city.

The ADF, originating in neighboring Uganda but now based in mineral-rich eastern Congo, has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and frequently mounts attacks, further destabilizing a region where many militant groups compete for influence and resources.

It has not been possible to reach the ADF for comment on the attacks.

The U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant websites, reported on Friday that the Islamic State had published communiques from its so-called Central Africa Province division claiming responsibility for the killing of 51 people in North Kivu this week. The group also claimed to have beheaded over 60 people in a single attack in the province on June 7.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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