Allied Democratic Forces Militants have in less than 24 hours killed 11 people in what authorities and civil society in Beni region, North Kivu believe are revenge attacks in response to defeats the group suffered at the hands of the DR Congo army.
The national army FARDC last week announced it had started the hunt for ADF over all commander Afande Musa Baluku. This followed the capture of the group’s headquarters in Medina.
The killings reportedly took place in the Mayimoya and Mabasale districts, west of Oicha city.
Nine of the victims were shot dead while a man and a child were killed using rudimental tools.
The bodies of the deceased were taken to Oicha hospital as they await burial.
Civil society groups in Beni believe it is just a matter of time before ADF fighters regroup.
These called on the army to strengthen intelligence system and keep military deployments in the area as a precaution.
The army announced its campaign against the ADF on October 30th last year.
The rebels are accused of having killed more than a thousand people in the Beni region, in the northern part of North Kivu, since 2014.
ADF fighters killed at least 150 civilians in November and December in reprisal according to sources and local groups. That rising toll has sparked anger over the authorities’ response.
The ADF began as an Islamist rebellion fighting to Ugandan President Kaguta Museveni.
It fell back into eastern DRC in 1995 and appears to have halted raids inside Uganda. Its recruits today are people of various nationalities.