An official report from the army has shared the gruesome murder of at least 14 people after rebels attacked a displaced people’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.
After giving a provisional death toll of 15, civil society leader, Dieudonne Lossa, accused an armed group known as CODECO of masterminding the attack, as well as another attack on a nearby artisanal mining site on Sunday that killed at least 35 people.
The Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO) is a political-religious rebel group 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 several 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.
CODECO is notorious for targeting civilians, killing 18 people at a church last month and another 60 at a displaced person camp in February. So far, about 2,500 civilians have died between May 2021 and April 2022, according to the Kivu Security Tracker (KST).