At approximately 16:30 (local time) on Sunday, May 20, suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) gunmen attacked the town of Mbau, located 20 km (12 mi) north of Beni (North Kivu province). According to local sources, at least ten people were killed in the attack. Further attacks in the area are possible in the coming days and weeks.
Beni has become one of the most violent areas in the DRC. According to the Congo Research Group, a series of killings - mostly machete attacks - has resulted in an estimated death toll of over 800 since the current wave of violence began in October 2014; 180,000 people have also been displaced during this period. Most of this violence has been blamed on the ADF rebel group, which is based in the Beni region. However, while the ADF is accountable for many of the violent attacks, other militia groups and, at times, even the military themselves are behind the violence. The UN peacekeeping force MONUSCO and government forces regularly conduct operations in a bid to neutralize rebel groups in the area, where violent clashes between various rebel groups and government forces, as well as between rival groups, are common.
Those present in North Kivu province are advised to avoid the area and to monitor the situation.
For various security reasons, a number of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to much of the country. Professional security advice should be sought prior to travel.
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