Dozens of civilians killed in latest attack by rebels in DRC

August 15, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

 

 

By

Byobe Malenga

At least 60 civilians have been killed in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo following an attack by suspected rebels.

Reports state that it was troops of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan Islamist group opposed to the Ugandan government, who committed the attacks in the villages of Kasanga and Rwangoma in Behu, when the villagers were in their homes and even some who were returning from working in the fields.

One witness explained how both he and his wife came across the attackers and what happened next: “I was with my wife in our kitchen cooking a meal. We saw some people come over to our home and they called us to go outside. We decided to go outside and they told us to follow them, but then I saw their weapons. I had the opportunity to run away, but my wife who was pregnant, she was not able to run. They took her back to our house and killed her.”

People are angry that they weren’t protected from these attacks by the security forces. Many civilians have been really worried about this, accusing the national army of failing to protect them, as one local man stated: “My brother was killed; we have no protection in this area at all. The rebels entered the city centre killing people at will, without any government forces coming to help defend the civilians. Our national army simply does not work, the heads of ourg overnment have failed us,” he said.

What are the authorities saying about all this however? None of the leaders have been able to sufficiently explain the army’s failure in preventing this tragedy. However, the President Joseph Kabila, while on a tour of this area of eastern Congo, has been quoted as saying that what happens in Beni should be considered a terrorist threat. Mr Kabila also insisted that he has already stated several times at meetings of community leaders of the Great Lakes Region that more needs to be done by the international community, because the murders in Beni are no different to attacks committed in other countries such as Mali, Cameroon, Nigeria, Belgium, United States and even France.

 

 

 

Byobe Malenga

Byobe Malenga has experience spanning more than 11  years in Journalism, particularly in field reporting, editing, newscasting and management. He is currently working with the BBC World Service as a reporter in eastern Congo DR for Swahili desk, Radio, TV and online. In addition to this Byobe Malenga works as a media consultant in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  He is also the multimedia journalist, as well as Editor of the newspaper ‘Journal FIZI DAIMA ’.

Malenga has already participated in several reporting missions on behalf of radio stations such as Radio Television Groupe d’Avenir- Kinshasa as well as numerous training missions, animation workshops and support as the strategic planning and operational. He has already made several trips to Africa taking in Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Lesotho, Namibia, and Mozambique, the Republic of central Africa and the Congo Brazza and South Africa.

He has worked with the media (written and spoken press) for several years in various fields such as production of commercials, jingles, magazines, newspapers and other emissions. He has capitalized on the valuable experience of working with foreign radio in areas of partnership, social mobilization around water points, the setting-up of committees, etc.

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