According to local media sources, six suspected Mayi-Mayi militants were killed in clashes in Mambasa territory (Ituri province) with members of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) on Tuesday, March 31. A group of around 15 armed militants attempted to launch an attack on Makumo market in Babila-Babombi. It is not clear if any security force members were injured or killed in the clashes. Repeated attacks in Mambasa are causing residents to flee to other localities in order to escape the violence. Further attacks are possible in the near term.
The government's limited presence in the DRC's eastern provinces, as well as the presence of numerous armed groups and local self-defense militias, have led to continued insecurity in the area. Although unconfirmed, local sources indicate the latest clashes may be attributed to renewed fighting between Hema and Lendu ethnic groups. Tens of thousands died in the Ituri Conflict, a major conflict between the two communities between 1999-2003. Violence has flared up in recent years, with large attacks recorded in 2017-2018.
Individuals in Ituri province are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity, monitor developments to the situation, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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