Rebels have killed at least 14 people, including children, in an overnight attack on a displaced person’s camp in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Army spokesman Jules Ngongo Tsikudi said on Tuesday that rebels raided a site outside the town of Fataki in the Djugu region of eastern Ituri province where hundreds of civilians have sought refuge in recent months.
The attack in Djugu was also confirmed by the Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a respected monitor of violence in the conflict-torn region.
Civil society leader Dieudonne Lossa gave a provisional death toll of 15 and blamed an armed group known as CODECO, accused of staging another attack on a nearby artisanal mining site on Sunday that killed at least 35.
CODECO – the name for the Cooperative for the Development of the Congo – is a political-religious sect that claims to represent the interests of the Lendu ethnic group.
It is considered one of the deadliest groups operating in the east of the country, blamed for a number of ethnic massacres.
The group is one of several armed groups, including ISIL (also known as ISIS), wrangling over land and resources in Congo’s mineral-rich east – a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions during the past decade.
Jules Tsuba, president of an association of civil society groups in Djugu, said most of the victims in Monday’s attack were children and stressed that the death toll was provisional.