Clashes between government troops and Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) rebels continued in the Walendu Tatsi area of Ituri province on Monday, October 26. Clashes occurred in the vicinity of Ngwala as security forces operations targeted rebels who had retreated following an offensive against their positions in the Ezekere area. Shelling against CODECO positions was reported in the Ndrigi, Mbetsi, and Zambiliti areas. Fighting was also reported on the outskirts of Bunia in the Délé area.
Further clashes between government forces and militia groups in the near term cannot be ruled out.
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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