24 dead in ADF attack in east Congo

A soldier of the FARDC, the Democratic Republic of Congo governmental troops,  holds a furet used as a talisman prior to a fight against rebels of ADF-Nalu,  a Ugandan Islamist group which has been based on the Congolese side of the border since its creation in 1995, near Kokola, 50km from Beni in the east of the country.The ADF-Nalu rebels have been led since 2007 by Jamil Mukulu, a former Christian who converted to Islam, and they are considered to be the only Islamist movement active across the border in DR Congo.The United States put the group on its list of terrorist organisations in 2001 and Mukulu has been targeted by UN sanctions since 2011 and European Union sanctions since 2012.   AFP PHOTO / ALAIN WANDIMOYI

A soldier of the FARDC, the Democratic Republic of Congo governmental troops, holds a furet used as a talisman prior to a fight against rebels of ADF

An attack by Ugandan rebels in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo has left at least 24 people dead, including a United Nations peacekeeper, the UN said Monday.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the overnight attack in troubled North Kivu province, blamed on Ugandan rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

Felix-Prosper Basse, spokesman for the UN mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO) said that in addition to the peacekeeper, 12 rebels were killed, along with four Congolese soldiers and seven civilians who were hacked to death with machetes in a hospital in the town of Eringeti.

“I saw four civilians killed by bullets… and seven patients and a nurse cut up by machete at the hospital,” a regional official told AFP at Eringeti, which lies in the north of North Kivu province.

A local non-governmental organisation however gave a higher toll of 30 dead.

MONUSCO’s interim commander General Jean Baillaud confirmed to AFP that a Malawian soldier serving with the force had been killed, and a second was wounded when their unit tried to fight off the attackers.

The rebels “attacked our positions at Eringeti and we repelled them all night,” said a Congolese army spokesman in the region, Lieutenant Mak Hazukay, declining to give any figures.

The mostly Muslim rebels, who have been active in the forested region since being driven out of their homeland in 1995, are accused of a series of killings which have claimed the lives of more than 450 civilians since October 2014.

In December that year, Congolese and UN troops launched a joint operation that helped to restore a degree of calm to the region, but the killings did not stop and spread northwards.

The ADF, which first emerged in Uganda with the aim of toppling President Yoweri Museveni and setting up a hardline Islamist state, is accused of numerous serious violations of human rights.

Its leader Jamil Mukulu was arrested in Tanzania in April and extradited to Uganda in July.

The rebels also engage in a profitable illegal traffic in prized tropical timber.



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