Eleven civilians and three soldiers were killed in an attack by rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Ituri, Northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The attack happened on Sunday.
Four of the assailants were also killed.
According to Jules Ngongo, the army spokesperson in Ituri, the ADF combatants entered the locality of Ndalya and “killed at least eleven persons”.
“In the fighting that followed, three elements of the armed forces were killed while the army neutralised four ADF elements.”
“The enemy has withdrawn into the bushes, and we are continuing to pursue them in order to keep our populations away from danger.” Lt. Ngongo added.
The locality of Ndalya is situated in the chiefdom of Walese Vonkutu in the Irumu territory, which is 100 kilometres from Bunia the chief town of Ituri province.
The renewed attacks by the ADF in the territories of Beni and Irumu came after some weeks of relative calm.
Allied Democratic Forces are considered the most violent armed group in Beni territory.
Within the past months, they have been attacking localities in the territories of Irumu and Mambassa within the Ituri province.
The ADF is a Ugandan Muslim rebel group operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since 1995.
They have ceased attacks in Uganda for several years now. Still, They have continued to regularly massacre people in the Beni region since Oct. 2014, resulting in more than one thousand deaths so far.
Between July and Dec. 2020, attacks in the territories of Beni, Irumu and Mambassa attributed to ADF combatants have resulted in “468 deaths, among whom were 108 women and 15 children, ” according to a report of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office.
The army in Oct. 2019 launched operations in Beni’s territory to put an end to the activities of the ADF in the region.
The DR Congo national army eventually announced it had dislodged the ADF forces from all the sanctuaries it was occupying. This does not seem to be in tandem with new realities.
A United Nations expert in a report addressed to the UN Security Council in Dec. 2020 affirmed that “the ADF only operates in small groups now”.