It was reported on Monday, September 7, that 17 of 42 hostages who were kidnapped by Coalition of Congolese Democrats (CODECO) rebels on Thursday, August 27, have been released in Aru territory (Ituri province). According to media sources, the 17 hostages were released last Friday, September 4, by their captors and handed over to Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) forces in Djugu territory (Ituri province). Five people among the 42 kidnapped were killed by the attackers and others reportedly remain captive at this time.
Further rebel attacks and associated security operations are likely in Ituri province in the medium term.
On August 27, a group of armed CODECO militiamen attacked Shaba town in Aru territory (Ituri province), looting the town and setting fire to at least 500 homes. At least three people were killed in the attack and 42 others were kidnapped.
Dozens of attacks on communities in Ituri province have been attributed to CODECO since violence in the region flared in March 2020. The clashes have been linked to long-simmering tensions between the Lendu ethnic group, from which CODECO is drawn, and local Hema traders. However, security forces' capabilities in Ituri, as elsewhere in the DRC's unstable eastern provinces, remain limited, and the government has so far struggled to stem the violence.
Those in Ituri 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.
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