Eastern DRC has been troubled for decades by numerous armed groups, including the ADF, that control and exploits large parts of the mineral-rich region.
At least 23 people were killed Monday in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in an overnight raid by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) on Apetina-Sana in the conflict-ridden eastern region of Beni, according to local authorities and police.
The region’s administrator Donat Kibwana told AFP that the ADF hacked civilians to death in the settlement, which lies 16 kilometers west of Oicha, the chief administrative town in Beni. The rebels also reportedly torched the victims' homes.
"They say when the rebels entered the village, they went from house to house burning everything in their path. Anyone they came across, including women and children, they killed," Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa said.
At the end of October, the DRC army launched operations against the ADF who carried out massacres in retaliation, apparently seeking to discourage civilians from helping the armed forces.
Earlier this month, 26 people were killed in separate attacks, one in the village of Mantumbi and two others near the town of Kamango. The “lethargic” response - as local people put it - of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC sparked violent clashes against the U.N. blue helmets.
"We continue to ask the DRC armed forces to launch operations on the western side as well to save civilians," Teddy Kataliko, a civil society activist in Beni said. More than 200 civilians have been killed since the army operations in the eastern region began.
Eastern DRC has been troubled for decades by numerous armed groups, including the ADF, that control and exploits large parts of the mineral-rich region. The U.N. has tried to stabilize the country for the past 20 years with a 15,000-strong peacekeeping force.
The ADF's is a rebel group that originated in neighboring Uganda, although it hasn’t carried out attacks in that country for years.
The group has plagued the North Kivu region since the Congo Wars in the 1990s. According to an independent non-profit organization called the Congo Research Group, it has killed more than 1,000 civilians since October 2014.