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The New Daily

More than 40 killed in militia attack on camp in Congo

More than 40 people have been killed in an attack in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: EPA

More than 40 civilians have been killed in a militia attack on a camp for displaced people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri province, a local official and the head of a civil society group say.

They said the CODECO group, one of many militias operating in Congo’s conflict-ridden east, was responsible for the killings at the Lala camp on Monday.

Jean Richard Lenga, chief of Bahema Badjere district, said militiamen massacred 46 people with knives and firearms and burnt others in their homes in the middle of the camp.

“The whole village is in mourning now, it’s too sad,” he said, adding that the authorities were still looking for bodies.

A civil rights group head, Charite Banza, also put the toll at 46 dead, adding that the victims’ bodies would be buried in a mass grave.

“We don’t have security here, we say it every day,” Banza said, flagging that the attack happened a few days after a dialogue between armed groups in Ituri.

“No reason for the bloody attack has yet been given,” he added.

Lenga said the local population was dispersed as many people have fled to the nearby town of Bule, seeking safety.

About 70,000 displaced people arrived in Bule between April 15 and May 15 due to armed violence in the surrounding areas, the UN humanitarian office (OCHA) said in its latest report.

Ituri province hosts about 1.7 million internally displaced people in total, it said.

CODECO has frequently targeted displacement camps. It killed about 60 people at another camp near Bule last year, in one of its deadliest massacres.


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