On Wednesday, June 24, clashes took place between security forces and Cooperation for the Development of the Congo (CODECO) rebels which resulted in at least 17 people killed in Djugu territory (Ituri province). According to media sources, security personnel based in Nyoka in Mahagi territory encountered a group of rebels whilst on a patrol. Clashes ensued in the Ndugi and Mandefu villages, two entities of the Walendu Pitsi sector in Djugu territory, between the forces which resulted in ten CODECO rebels killed and a further five captured. Military equipment, ammunitions, and clothing was reportedly recovered from the rebels.
Additionally, at least seven civilians were killed in two attacks by suspected CODECO fighters in Kpangba village. Reports indicate that three civilians were ambushed and killed by a group of armed men, local residents came to retrieve the bodies and a further four people were killed. The assailants also burned down several huts in the same village, as well as Duma and Panga villages.
Similar militia attacks and counter-attacks by security forces are possible in the region over the near term
The government's limited influence and operational capabilities in the DRC's eastern provinces, as well as the presence of numerous armed groups and local self-defense militias, has led to persistent insecurity in the region.
Individuals in Ituri province are advised to remain vigilant, monitor developments, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in the DRC's eastern provinces remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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