The death toll in the attack on villages in eastern Congo has risen to 41

BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo – A spokesman for the Congolese Army said that 41 people were killed in an attack by suspected Islamists on Friday on villages located in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to Lieutenant-Colonel Mak Hasukay, a military spokesman for Congo’s North Kivu Province, the attack was carried out by ADF members.

The ADF, which is now located in eastern Congo has pledged allegiance with Islamic State, and launches frequent attacks. This further destabilises a region that is home to many militant groups.

This group is believed to have originated in Uganda, a neighbouring country. They are suspected of being behind a second attack that has killed at least sixteen people this week.

Fabien Kakaule, a local official in Beni, told Reuters that armed men used guns and machetes against residents of villages on Beni territory over night Friday.

Vusindi Junior, a leader of the local civil society, reported that a local hospital had been set on fire and nine other people were injured, in addition to 41 deaths.

In recent days, the ADF has been responsible for the deaths of several dozen civilians in eastern DRC. “Terrorist groups are using the chaos to expand control over an already unstable region,” said EU Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Nabila Masrali.

She added that “urgent efforts must be accelerated to find a solution on a political level.”

Former governor of North Kivu Julien Paluku said on X, that the Congo’s government must do more to combat insecurity in eastern Congo. The government has yet to make a statement about the attack. A government spokesperson did not respond when asked for comments.

He said that people have the impression of being abandoned, whether they are right or wrong.

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