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18 Feb 2020 | 09:27 AM UTC

DRC: Attack near Beni (North Kivu province) leaves at least ten dead February 18

Attack near Beni (North Kivu province) leaves at least ten dead February 18; similar attacks likely over the near term

security
COD

Event

At least ten people were killed in Alungupa village, located approximately 25 km (15 mi) outside of Beni (North Kivu province), in an attack that took place overnight (local time) between Monday, February 17, and Tuesday, February 18. No group has yet claimed responsibility; however, DRC officials suspect that Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants carried out the attack. According to the administrator of Beni territory, the village is under military control as of Tuesday afternoon.

A heightened security presence is expected in the vicinity of the incident over the coming hours. Similar attacks are likely over the near term.

Context

The government's limited presence in the DRC's eastern provinces, as well as the presence of numerous armed groups and local self-defense militias, has led to continued insecurity in the area.

The ADF is a Ugandan Islamist militant group that has been active in North Kivu province since the late 1990s. There has been local and international speculation regarding potential links between ADF rebels and Islamic State (IS) militants. According to local civil society activists, more than 200 civilians have been killed in almost daily attacks suspected to have been carried out by ADF militants in North Kivu since early November, when security operations began to combat ADF fighters.

Advice

Individuals in North Kivu province are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity, monitor developments to the situation, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.