Government troops clashed with a faction of the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) group in the vicinity of the Blue Mountains in Ituri province between Saturday, October 24, and Monday, October 26. At least 20 rebels and four troops have been killed during the clashes which occurred in the Ezekere area. Reports suggest that security forces have pushed CODECO fighters from the areas of Djokodjo, Ezekere, Kambutso, and Mbetshi. Further fighting was reported on Monday as government troops launched had further operations to prevent the rebels from reorganizing.
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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