Bodies of seven people were found in the eastern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Wednesday.
The bodies of seven civilians were found in the morning in the Singipa area of Beni territory, in North Kivu province, a region that has been marred by violence for several years, the Kivu Security Tracker (KST) stated in a tweet.
It added that more than 10 people are also missing.
“This brings the number of civilians killed in Beni territory since November 2019 to more than 1,200,” it stated.
Though no group has claimed responsibility for the killings, a neighboring Ugandan rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), has been blamed for such attacks because the area around Beni has been a fiefdom for the group’s attacks for over a year.
To contain armed groups, President Félix Tshisekedi declared a state of siege earlier this month in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, bordering Uganda.
The ADF rebels – originating in Uganda’s northeast in the 1990s – have been attacking and killing civilians, as well as UN personnel in eastern DRC for the past years.
The modus operandi of these rebels is atypical: peasants are killed with knives, generally in the evening in the bush, returning from the fields or in the village at nightfall.
The exploitation of natural resources continues to be a root cause and driver of conflict in the east of the country, according to the UN.
Most of the militia groups have set aside their political demands and are involved in mineral trafficking.
Source: Anadolu Agency