The Democratic Republic of Congo Army announced on Wednesday, October 28, that it had killed at least 33 Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) rebels over multiple days of clashes in the Walendu and Ezekere areas of Ituri province. Two soldiers have reportedly been killed in the fighting. According to local sources, UN peacekeepers also assisted the army in repelling an attack on the provincial capital, Bunia. Other clashes against CODECO positions have been reported in the Ndrigi, Mbetsi, and Zambiliti areas in the past few days.
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.
Copyright and Disclaimer