In the most recent attack in the unrest-plagued region, suspected ADF rebels hacked 12 people to death on Thursday in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to local officials.
According to Ricardo Rupande of the local civil society, fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces, ADF, organisation attacked the village of Bukokoma early on Thursday evening in the Beni territory of North Kivu province.
ADF rebels are said to be an affiliate of the Islamic State organisation in central Africa. It is one of the deadliest militias in eastern Congo and has been implicated in the murder of thousands of innocent people.
Katanga Matete, an administrator in the Bukokoma area, told newsmen that the militants “were opening doors and decapitating people with hatchets and machetes.” Twelve people were killed, he said.
Albert Ndungo, a local Red Cross official, also said that 12 people were killed “by bladed weapons,” including four women and four children.
The bloodshed on Thursday comes after a similar assault in Beni territory last week that claimed nine lives.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that over 50 people had died in Beni territory just in May.
Since late 2021, attacks on the ADF in eastern Congo have been the target of a joint Congolese-Ugandan military action.
Armed groups have taken control of a sizable portion of the unstable region as a result of local conflicts that erupted in the 1990s and early 2000s.