Another CODECO militia attack kills 7 in Congo: UN

The armed militia group CODECO reportedly killed seven people in a displaced persons camp in Congo, a UN spokesman said.

The UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, known as MONUSCO, reported the attack took place at the Plaine Savo camp for displaced people, 9 km east of Djugu, in Ituri province, said Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Thursday.

“UN peacekeepers deployed immediately to secure the camp and deter further violence,” Haq added.

“This attack comes almost a year after the last violent attack there, which left close to 60 people dead in February 2022.”

He said the latest attack followed the discovery of mass graves containing the bodies of 49 civilians, including women and children, in Nyamamba and Mbogi villages, following CODECO attacks over the weekend, Xinhua news agency reported.

“These incidents are the latest in a string of violent attacks on civilians over the past few weeks, severely impacting civilians and humanitarian operations in Djugu and neighbouring Mahagi,” he added.

“This adds to an already dire humanitarian situation in Ituri province which currently hosts 1.5 million displaced people.”

The spokesman said the latest incidents were separated by a considerable distance, with the mass grave discovery about 30 km from the provincial capital of Bunia while the one overnight took place about 75 km from Bunia.

The spokesman added that since early this month, at least 12 humanitarian organisations had reduced their presence and operations in these territories due to insecurity.

He said MONUSCO is closely following developments on the ground and advocating with the relevant authorities to protect civilians, especially those in displacement sites.

“We are also liaising with humanitarian partners to provide assistance as soon as security permits,” Haq added.

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