United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday condemned the brutal massacre of civilians by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’(DRC) North Kivu province, said his spokesman, reported CGTN Africa.
As per reports, at least 22 civilians were killed in an overnight raid in the Mwenda village on Monday. Notably, the ADF has killed dozens of civilians in the past two weeks in the DRC’s troubled east. It was the second mass killing in a week. About 25 civilians were killed in the village of Tingwe on New Year’s Eve.
Guterres strongly denounced such violence against innocent civilians and urged bringing the responsible for the atrocities to justice.
Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN chief, said Guterres offered his condolences to the families of the victims and to the government of the DRC.
In the statement, the UN secretary-general repeated his call for a global cease-fire and called on all armed groups to lay down their weapons. He encouraged the DRC authorities to take concrete steps to address the drivers of conflict in the eastern part of the country, the statement said.
Guterres called out the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC to continue to put utmost efforts to protect civilians in accordance with its mandate and to support national efforts to consolidate peace and stability in the country.
The ADF is one of the dozens of militant groups that are prevalent in the eastern provinces of the vast DRC. The rebel group is blamed for the death of about 800 civilians over the past year in North Kivu province.
While, the ADF has never claimed responsibility for attacks, several of its assaults have been claimed by the so-called Islamic State Central Africa Province.
In July, the United Nations said that the group’s attacks could constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes.