A rebel soldier in the DRC. Picture: REUTERS
A rebel soldier in the DRC. Picture: REUTERS

Beni  — Gunmen killed at least 20 people on Sunday in an attack on a displaced people camp in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a local chief and aid worker said.

They blamed the attack on the Co-operative for the Development of Congo (Codeco), which has killed hundreds of civilians in DRC’s Ituri province and forced thousands to flee their homes in the past few years.

Army spokesperson Jules Ngongo Tshikudi confirmed the attack on Sunday near the village of Drodro, but did not give a death toll.

Local chief Pilo Mulindro Willy said 20 people were killed, while civil rights group president Charite Banza put the toll at 22.

The Kivu Security Tracker, a US-based monitor of violence in the region, cited the same death toll.

The same camp in Ituri province was attacked less than a week ago when 29 people were killed.

“This is the third attack by these outlaws against displacement sites in the space of a week in this part of the country, causing more than 50 deaths and enormous material damage,” said Banza.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called for strong action against the perpetrators.

Codeco’s fighters are drawn mainly from the Lendu farming community, which has long been in conflict with Hema herders.

Gold-rich Ituri and neighbouring North Kivu province have been run by military officers since May when the government declared a state of siege in response to rampant violence, but the killings have shown no sign of abating.

Reuters 

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