AFRICA/DR CONGO - Eastern Congo: ADF militias commit new massacres

Monday, 10 June 2024

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - At least 41 people were killed, according to official information from the Congolese government today, June 10, in a series of attacks carried out by ADF militias on June 7 in the Beni region of North Kivu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to the Kinshasa government, 39 people were killed in the villages of Masala and Mahibi and two people in Keme. Nine others were injured. The "Allied Democratic Forces" (ADF) are a group originally from Uganda that has established itself for decades in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially in North Kivu. In 2019, the ADF militia joined the Islamic State (see Fides, 24/6/2023), which highlighted its "jihadist" profile.
The recent massacres (previously another 15 people were killed on June 4 in Masau, on the border between the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, while other mass killings took place in April and May) seem, paradoxically, to be the result of "Operation Shujaa", carried out jointly by the Congolese and Ugandan armies to fight ADF jihadists.
The operation, launched in September 2021, however, led ADF members to move west to escape the Congolese and Ugandan troops and make their way to Mangina and the Mambasa territory in Ituri. In these areas, the ADF aims to loot local resources such as cocoa and exploit local micromines in order to regroup and continue its deadly actions. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 10/6/2024)