Suspected ADF militia fighters attack Beu Manyama-Moliso village in restive Beni region, killing 23 people, local officials say.

Government soldiers rest next to a road around Mukoko village in North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo, on December 11, 2018.
Government soldiers rest next to a road around Mukoko village in North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo, on December 11, 2018. (Reuters)

Suspected ADF militia fighters have killed 23 people in a new massacre in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (or DRC), according to a local government official.

Fighters attacked Beu Manyama-Moliso village in restive Beni region late on Tuesday night, North Kivu provincial governor Carly Nzanzu Kasivita said on Wednesday, adding that the army later killed two assailants.

DRC's army said it had reached out to the militaries of neighbouring countries to help "neutralise" armed groups in its troubled east.

An estimated 122 armed groups roam the resource-rich east of the vast country, many of them legacies of two bloody regional wars in the 1990s, according to a US-based monitor, the Kivu Security Tracker (KST).

READ MORE: UN says 200 killed, 40,000 displaced in DRC by ADF militia since January

Restive Great Lakes region

In a statement dated Tuesday, the DRC military said the armed forces "have undertaken contacts with all the armies in neighbouring countries for drawing up appropriate strategies for permanently resolving the thorny question of insecurity" in the Great Lakes region.

The statement, signed by army spokesperson General Leon-Richard Kasonga, said the DRC was in favour of "strengthening military cooperation, regular consultation between armies in the region ... (and) pooling efforts and intelligence."

Cooperation of this kind, it said, already exists with the militaries of Uganda, Rwanda, Angola and the Central African Republic, and "in the near future will be extended to other neighbouring countries," it said.

According to the Congo Research Group, a monitoring project with New York University, a Rwandan military delegation led by armed forces chief of chief Jean-Bosco Kazura discreetly flew to Kinshasa on March 15 for talks on military cooperation.

READ MORE: Many dead in suspected ADF militia attack in east DRC

Stormy relations with Rwanda

Relations between the DRC and its neighbours, especially Rwanda, have been stormy.

The DRC has accused Rwanda of seeking to destabilise it, while Rwanda has charged the DRC with being a rear base for armed opposition groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.

Past cooperative missions to wipe out armed groups have failed and run into hostility among the DRC's public.

READ MORE: Thousands flee fighting in Congo after disputed polls

Source: TRTWorld and agencies