DR Congo flag.
At least 40 people were killed when knife-wielding militiamen attacked a site for displaced people in strife-torn eastern DR Congo, a monitoring group and local sources said Wednesday.
“At least 40 civilians were killed with edged weapons last night in Plaine Savo” in Djugu territory, the US-based Kivu Security Tracker (KST) said on Twitter.
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Local officials and civil society sources put the toll at more than 50 dead, while the army’s spokesman in Ituri province, Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, gave provisional figures of 21 dead.
The KST said the suspected attackers were from a notorious armed group called CODECO, blamed for ethnic massacres in the area.
The Djugu area, bordering Lake Albert and Uganda which lie to the east, is the theatre for a bloody, long-running feud between the Lendu and Hema communities.
Fighting between the two groups flared between 1999 and 2003, claiming tens of thousands of lives before being quelled by a European Union peacekeeping force, Artemis.
Violence then resumed in 2017, blamed on the emergence of CODECO — the Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO) — which claims to defend the Lendu.
Attacks on camps for displaced people over an eight-day period in November-December left 123 dead, according to the KST.