No less than 10 persons have been killed on Sunday as clashes erupted between the Congolese army and suspected Ugandan rebels in the restive eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“Suspected ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) attacked Beni from the north overnight… Eight civilians were shot dead, a soldier was killed and a suspected ADF militant was also killed,” Gilbert Kambale, a local civil society leader, said on Monday.
The region around the town of Beni, where fears of gun violence run deep, lies in a conflict-ridden and unstable region of the DR Congo, with more than 700 fatalities since October 2014 in massacres blamed on militants from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
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The ADF, a partly Islamist armed group of Ugandan origin, is accused of a litany of human rights violations, including kidnapping, smuggling, recruiting child soldiers and rape, against the local population.
Founded in Uganda in 1995, the rebel group subsequently transferred to the impoverished DR Congo, spreading its reign of violence, particularly in the North Kivu Province.
The Congolese army, joined by UN troops, is on the offensive against the ADF and other rebel groups.