Islamist militia hack 23 civilians to death, torching their homes, in DR Congo

Islamist militia hack 23 civilians to death, torching their homes, in DR Congo
Militia fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) carried out the horrific attack on a village in DRC's restive eastern region of Beni on Monday, killing at least 23.
2 min read
31 December, 2019
The "Triangle of Death" is where ADF concentrate their attacks [Getty]
At least 23 people were hacked to death by an Islamist-militia group, in Democratic Republic of Congo's troubled eastern region of Beni, police and locals officials said on Monday.  

The overnight raid on Apertina-Sana was carried out by  rebel fighters from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) who operate in both DRC and neighbouring Uganda.

Apertina-Sana is located 16 kilometers (10 miles) west of Oicha, the central adminisrative town in the Beni region.

It is part of the so-called 'Triangle of Death', along with Mbau and Eringet - where ADF concentrate their attacks. 

Most civilians were "hacked" to death, according to Beni administrator Donat Kibwana. The rebels also reportedly burnt victim's homes. Kibwana added that the army was alterted but arrived too late. 

"They say when the rebels entered the village, they went from house to house burning everything in their path. Anything they came across, including women and children, they killed" reported Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa from Nairobi.

The DRC army launched a campaign against the group on 30 October. Since then, ADF fighters have killed more than 200 people, according to civil society groups. 

The death toll has ignited rage at the authorities' response. 

Beni has been the site of demonstrations, where locals accused the UN peacekeeping forces of MONUSCO of doing little to protect them.

The ADF originate from neighbouring Uganda, where they began as an Islamist rebelion hostile to President Yoweri Museveni.

In 1995, the group fell back into easter DRC where it turned its attention, and ceased to carry out raids within Uganda. 

The Congolese government have held the ADF responsible for countless attacks, including dozens of night-time massacres since 2014 in which hundreds of civillians have been killed.

The US treasury this month imposed sanctions of key members of the extremist group, including its leader Musa Baluku.

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