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  • Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo soldiers patrol an area in North Kivu, an eastern province known to contain ADF fighters. Dec.11, 2018.

    Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo soldiers patrol an area in North Kivu, an eastern province known to contain ADF fighters. Dec.11, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 December 2019

The latest attack was carried out by members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the regional capital of Beni on Saturday night.

At least 22 people have been killed by rebel fighters in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the latest deadly attacks in the region this month, officials told AFP Sunday.

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The latest attack was carried out by members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the regional capital of Beni on Saturday night, according to the region's Administrator Donat Kibwana.

"Teams have been mobilized to recover the bodies and bring them back for dignified funerals," Kibwana informed.

The victims were farmers, including 13 women, a day prior other six civilians were killed in another attack in Beni. According to local human rights organization Cedpadho, more than 150 people have been killed by rebels since October.

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. 

U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said there was evidence that anti-U.N. protests and attacks on Ebola health workers had been “planned, organized and funded,” stirring controversy with these comments.

While a prominent grassroots group Struggle for Change said the protests are the consequence of  "Monusco's lethargy," and their inability to stop armed groups from attacking the civilian population.
 
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.

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