• World - Africa
  • Updated: May 05, 2023

Congo: At Least 13 Dead In IDP Camp

Congo: At Least 13 Dead In IDP Camp

At Least 13 Dead In IDP Camp In Eastern DR Congo.

At least 13 civilians were killed in a camp for displaced people on Wednesday night in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in a region where sporadic clashes between armed groups and the M23 rebellion persist, local sources said on Friday.

There have been allegations of 145 people being slain by the M23, a Tutsi-led rebel group. 

However, no credible source consulted on the spot reported such a toll, and local officials blamed the attack on a pro-Hutu militia, the "CMC-Nyatura," which targeted the Kisimba camp in Rutshuru area (North Kivu province).

"The toll is 13 dead and five wounded, the perpetrators are alleged Nyatura," an administrative officer in Kisimba told AFP on condition of anonymity.

A Red Cross representative verified 13 deaths and five injuries.

"At first, it was said that it was the M23, but after verification, it was the CMC" that assaulted the camp in search of pro-rebels, said a human rights activist on condition of anonymity, estimating the death toll at 15 - 7 women, 3 children, and 5 adults.

"Among those killed was my two-and-a-half-year-old son, who was riding on his mother's back and was shot in the legs," Hakiza, who lives in the camp, said.

According to UN analysts, the M23, which stands for "March 23 Movement," took up arms in late 2021 after nearly a decade of dormancy and seized vast areas of territory in North Kivu province last year.

Since December, a regional East African force has reclaimed some of its strongholds, but the rebels remain in the region, where they face armed groups calling themselves "patriots."

The M23 offensive has resulted in enormous population displacement, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation in a territory beset by violence from different armed factions for nearly three decades.

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