Men armed with knives, machetes and pick-axes killed 10 people in an overnight attack on a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a witness and a local rights group said on Tuesday, blaming a Islamist militia.
“We realized that it was the ADF because of the way they attacked. They were shouting loudly in a foreign language which was difficult to understand.” said Jean Manzekele, the head of Kalembo village in North Kivu, 45 km southeast of Beni.
Violence in the three eastern provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu has “become part of a systematic pattern to disrupt civilians’ lives, instil fear and create havoc,” UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said in Geneva on Tuesday.
“Attacks by armed groups are carried out on the suspicion of collaboration with other groups or the Congolese security forces. Civilians find themselves trapped in the middle of confrontations between different groups.”
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for several suspected ADF attacks in the past, but U.N. experts in the region? have found no direct link between the two groups.