March 2, 2024

Toddler among victims in DR Congo machete gang raid

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New details are emerging from the horrific machete attack in Ituri, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo over the weekend, in which several people were killed including a two-year old girl.

The BBC has been able to speak to an official on the ground who called the attack “shocking” in a region which repeatedly sees high levels of violence.

Furaha aged two, Izaki aged four and Salama aged eight were some of the latest victims in the ongoing conflict.

The BBC spoke to Jules Tsuba, a local official in the region who reported that 14 people, including seven children and seven adults, were killed in the Saturday attack in a camp for displaced people.

He blamed the notorious armed group Codeco, who have previously been accused of carrying out attacks in the area, and spoke about the devastating effect of the slayings.

“The attack is shocking,” he said. “Our people should be dying of old age, not in their childhood. We can’t cope like this.”

Aggressive and unprovoked attacks by armed groups are nothing new in the region, which has faced decades of instability.

Following a recent string of massacres, hospitals have become overcrowded with victims of armed fighting.

The violence in the region has grown so bad that the global health organisation Doctors Without Borders announced on Monday they are ending two programmes in the Ituri province.

“It’s a long-term project that we decided to close definitely,” said Jérôme Alin, the head of mission for the organisation in the country.

“We don’t think the security and the safety of our staff are there anymore.”

Earlier this year, the Ugandan military began deploying soldiers in the Ituri province to help the country tackle rebel forces.

Despite these operations, the violence continues for people in this region. Mr Tsuba has called for the Congolese government to act.

“We want the government to do everything they can to regain peace and stability in the whole country. So people can get back to work, and so our children can go back to school.”

Source: BBC 


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