The Congo Research Group and Human Rights Watch have said armed groups and security forces killed at least 197 civilians in December last year.
Much of civilian deaths according to the report occurred in Beni North Kivu region, with 120 victims killed in attacks mostly attributed to the Islamist rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces an Islamist militia of Ugandan origin.
The army announced its campaign against the ADF on October 30. 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 over November and December in reprisal according to official sources and local groups.
The report also added that in addition to the Beni crisis, a new deadly front was opened with the Congolese military offensive against the Rwandan Hutu uprising by the National Council for Renewal and Democracy (CNRD).
This attack successfully led to the militias retreating from the bases it had occupied since early 2019.
“But many civilians were also killed, mostly among rebel fighters’ families.” “The groups have been able to confirm the violent deaths of at least ten non-combatants,” the report said.
Early last year Rwandan Defenses Forces elements operating a long side DR Congo army launched operations against armed group opposed to Kagame’s rule including FDLR, Rwanda National Congress among others.
These operations saw FDLR commander, Gen Sylvestre Mudacumura killed in September. Mudacumura had been the subject of an international arrest warrant since 2012.
Also Hutu rebel leader “Musabimana Juvenal, alias general Jean-Michel Africa was killed. He had been the leader of the FDLR splinter group based in Ruthuru.
Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) formed in the DRC in the aftermath of the 1994 Tutsi genocide in neighboring Rwanda.