Vast majority of over 100 victims who died in militia attacks were civilians, says a US-based monitoring group.
At least 107 bodies have been found in two villages in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after attacks by the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) militant group.
The bodies were found in the villages of Drodro and Largu and surrounding areas in Djugu territory and Ituri province following attacks by CODECO on Sunday and Monday, the Kivu Security Tracker, a watchdog that focuses on violence in eastern DRC, said on Twitter on Monday.
At least 107 bodies were found in the villages of Drodro, Largu and surroundings (#Djugu territory, #Ituri) following an attack by #Codeco militiamen yesterday and today. The vast majority of the dead are civilians. #DRC pic.twitter.com/r9J531lvi5— Baromètre sécuritaire du Kivu (@KivuSecurity) November 22, 2021
State of siege
According to local officials, the CODECO militia targeted a site hosting internally displaced persons in Drodro and part of the village’s parish, torching several shelters as military teams were slow to respond.
Lt Jules Ngongo, spokesperson for DRC forces in Ituri, told reporters that the “army managed to protect the facilities of the parish of Drodro despite several attempts to destroy it.”
Mathias Gilman, the spokesperson for the United Nations peacekeeping mission, said at least 16,000 people fleeing the attacks had taken shelter at a nearby site protected by peacekeepers.
Last week, Kivu Security Monitor said at least 1,137 civilians were killed in North Kivu and Ituri since President Felix Tshisekedi proclaimed a “state of siege” in the two restive provinces in May.
The data was shared as the DRC parliament extended the emergency measure, under which senior civilian officials were replaced by army officers, for the 12th time, despite reports that it has had little impact in curbing violence.