Rebels & # 39; kill civilians & # 39; in attack east of the DRC | News


At least 23 people died in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in what officials described as an attack by rebel fighters.

Police and local authorities said Monday that the night raid on Apetina-Sana in the eastern region of Beni was carried out by ADF rebels, operating both in the DRC and in neighboring Uganda.


Beni's administrator, Donat Kibwana, told the AFP news agency that the ADF killed civilians in the settlement, which is located 16 kilometers (10 miles) west of Oicha, the main administrative city of Beni.

According to reports, the rebels also set fire to the victims' homes.

Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa, reporting from Nairobi, Kenya, said the death toll was expected to increase as the attack had lasted for hours and many people were still not taken into account.

"They say that when the rebels entered the village, they went from house to house burning everything they found on their way. Anyone they found, including women and children, was killed."

Mutasa said some people were doing an hour walk to the city of Beni to stay in churches or with relatives.

"You have the feeling that people are terrified," he said, adding that many in the area have felt abandoned by the government.

"They feel that all the resources go to the capital … The roads are in poor condition, there is no infrastructure, they feel disappointed. So many people say that when these attacks occur, and they often happen, they feel lonely."

While the ADF originated in Uganda, its rebels have been attacking and killing people in eastern DRC for more than 20 years.

Anger towards the authorities

Apetina-Sana is a point in the so-called Death Triangle, along with Mbau and Eringeti, the area most affected by the attacks.

ADF fighters have killed more than 200 people since the DRC launched an offensive against the armed group on October 30, according to civil society groups.

"The authorities were informed Sunday night about the presence of suspicious men west of Oicha," said Teddy Kataliko, a civil society activist in Beni.

"We continue to ask the armed forces of the DRC to also start operations on the western side to save civilians."

There have also been demonstrations in the city of Beni, where local people accuse the United Nations peacekeeping force, MONUSCO, of not protecting them.

In a separate incident in eastern DRC on Monday, "armed bandits,quot; attacked a base used by a Chinese-owned gold mine, killing four people, the military said.

The raid took place in Irumu district, in the northeastern province of Ituri, said Lt. Jules Ngongo, provincial army spokesman.

Two soldiers, a policeman and a mine driver were killed.

Al Jazeera and news agencies