Democratic Republic of the Congo
UN Peacekeepers Find Mass Graves In DR Congo’s Eastern Ituri Province
The United Nations (UN) peace keepers on Wednesday announced they have discovered mass graves in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) containing the bodies of 42 civilians, reported The CGTN Africa.
Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the victims, including 12 women and six children, were discovered in the village of Nyamamba in the DRC’s eastern Ituri Province. Another grave with the bodies of seven men was found in the village of Mbogi. Both locations are about 30 kilometers east of Bunia, capital city of Ituri Province.
Haq said the UN mission in the DRC, known as MONUSCO, received reports that CODECO militias attacked civilians in the area over the weekend and launched a patrol to investigate. He added that the mass graves were found during the same investigation.
The UN spokesman said the mission is supporting the Congolese judicial system to investigate the attacks, and it has called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
“These incidents occurred amidst a significant deterioration of the security situation in Djugu and Mahagi territories,” he said.
The UN spokesman said that since December 2022, the UN mission reports that at least 195 civilians have been killed, 68 injured and 84 others abducted during several incidents attributed to CODECO and Zaire armed groups.
Haq said the recent attacks have increased the number of displaced people to over 1.5 million in Ituri and reduced access for humanitarians to those in need of assistance.
The CODECO is coalition of armed, ethnic militias, which is regarded as one of the most deadly militias operating in the mineral-rich eastern DRC.
In September, the militant group killed at least 17 people and burned over 300 homes when they stormed Mbidjo in Ituri province’s Djugu territory.
According to the UN, at least 195 people have been killed since December in a series of attacks blamed on the CODECO militia and other armed groups.