At least 13 people were killed on Friday, August 21, in attacks on two villages in the Oicha area of North Kivu province by suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants. According to local officials, the militants attacked the villages of Wikeno and Kinzi-Matiba, around 10km (6 miles) east of Oicha, on Friday afternoon, abducting a number of residents before killing them. Additional security forces are reported to have since been deployed to the area.
Further militant attacks and security operations are likely in the Oicha area in the near term.
The ADF, a Ugandan Islamist militant group that has been active in North Kivu province since the late 1990s, has been increasingly active in the Beni region in recent months, staging dozens of attacks on local communities and security forces. According to the UN figures, more than 1000 civilians have been killed in attacks by the group since the beginning of 2019.
The government has deployed additional forces to the region in an attempt to improve security following the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak which hit the area in August 2018, launching a major offensive against the ADF in October. However, attacks have continued in many remote areas where the presence of security forces remains limited.
Those in North Kivu province are advised to remain vigilant for rebel and militia activity, monitor developments, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
A number of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to the east and northeast of the country due to poor security conditions, including the presence of armed groups and a high risk of kidnapping. Professional security advice should be sought prior to travel.
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