Suspected Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) rebels killed at least 19 civilians on Sunday, August 9, in a series of attacks on villages in the Banyali Kilo area of Ituri province's Djugu district. At least two other people were wounded in the attacks on the villages of Lisey, Tchulu, and Aloys, the latest in a series of assaults attributed to CODECO. Security forces have since been deployed to the area and requested that communities temporarily relocate due to the continuing rebel activity.
Further rebel attacks and associated security operations are likely in the Banyali Kilo area and elsewhere in Ituri province in the medium term.
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.
A number of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to eastern areas of the DRC 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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