DR Congo: Suspected militiamen killed in attack on camp for displaced people

Suspected militiamen have attacked a camp for internally displaced people in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), killing dozens of people, according to a monitoring group.

The assault took place in the DRC’s restive Ituri province, which has been placed under a state of siege since May 2021, an exceptional measure taken by the government to combat armed groups roaming the country’s mineral-rich east.

Local officials said on Wednesday that the militiamen killed at least 60 people at the displaced persons camp.

“We currently have 60 people in the shelters for the displaced who were killed with machetes and other edged weapons,” Ndalo Budz, who is the head of the camp, said to local press.

Charite Banza Bavi, president of the local humanitarian group for the Bahema-North area, put the death toll at 63, while a witness also confirmed the account.

Four people have been brought to the hospital, according to Pilo Mulindo, the head of the chiefdom of Bahema N’adhere.

Budz said fighters from the Cooperative for the Development of the Congo armed group, known as CODECO, arrived at the Plaine Savo displaced persons site and used machetes and other weapons to kill dozens of people.

The Kivu Security Tracker (KST), which monitors violence in the region, had put the death toll at 40, adding on Twitter that CODECO fighters were suspected of being behind the raid.

The Savo displacement site was home to about 4,000 people in December, according to the UN migration agency.