Kinshasa, DRC – (African Boulevard News) – At least 20 human remains were discovered in former rebel-held villages in North Kivu, according to the Congolese army. The remains were found in the village of Kilya and Mabule, areas that were under the control of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel militia group with links to the Islamic State group.
“We have just discovered with the army specialists that here was the real stronghold of the terrorists, ADF/MTM. It is sad to see the level of violence and atrocities that the rebels have committed in these villages,” said Lieutenant Jules Tshikudi, a Congolese army spokesperson.
The discovery of the remains followed a military operation in the area, code-named “Sokola 2.” The operation aimed to flush out the ADF rebels from their hideouts in the villages. The military operation was launched in response to the escalating violence in the region. The ADF rebels have been responsible for several attacks on civilians and the Congolese army in recent months.
The army had previously accused the ADF rebels of killing more than 1,000 civilians since 2019 in the Beni region. The United Nations also accused the rebels of targeting women and children in their attacks.
The discovery of the remains has sparked concerns from human rights campaigners who have criticized the government for not doing enough to protect civilians in the region. They say that the military operations have failed to put an end to the violence in the region, and that the government should do more to address the root causes of the conflict.
“Once again, we are witnessing the horrible consequences of the ongoing violence in the east of the country. The government needs to take urgent measures to ensure that the civilian population is protected and that justice is done for the victims,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.
The discovery of the remains highlights the ongoing conflict and insecurity in the eastern regions of the DRC. The government has been struggling to contain the violence, which has been fueled by various armed groups, ethnic tensions, and competition over natural resources.
The situation in North Kivu remains precarious, with the humanitarian situation worsening as a result of the ongoing violence. The Congolese government and the international community must do more to address the root causes of the conflict and protect civilian populations in the region.