Vast and unstable, the Democratic Republic of Congo has never had a peaceful transition of power since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960.
Insurgents have killed at least 11 civilians including a 10-year-old girl and three soldiers in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, the army has said.
Fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) attacked the town of Ndalya in Ituri region, killing at least 11 civilians, Ituri province army spokesman Lieutenant Jules Ngongo told AFP.
He added that in the ensuing fighting "three members of the armed forces fell on the battlefield" and the troops "neutralised four ADF elements".
"The enemy retreated into the bush," he said.
"We are still pursuing them so that we can put the people out of danger."
READ MORE: Attacks in DRC kill 43 in three days– officials
Ndalya is about 100 kilometres from the Ituri capital Bunia.
After a month of relative calm, a resurgence of attacks attributed to the ADF began earlier this month.
Originally rebels from neighbouring Uganda, the ADF settled in the DRC in 1995.
The attacks follow an incursion into Lubumbashi last September by pro-independence rebels, who beheaded two policemen and killed one soldier as they sought to seize strategic buildings before they were pushed back.
The UN has said 468 deaths in the east were attributed to the ADF in the second half of 2020, including 108 women and 15 children.
READ MORE: December clashes in west DRC killed some 900 – UN
Decades of instability
Vast and unstable, DRC has never had a peaceful transition of power since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960.
It became a battlefield for two regional wars in 1996-97 and 1998-2003, and the last two presidential elections, in 2006 and 2011, were marked by bloody clashes.