Congolese official and civil society groups said on Wednesday in Beni (Democratic Republic of the Congo) that sixteen civilians had been assassinated by an armed group in eastern Congo. They said that the discovery of the bodies on Tuesday and Wednesday morning in Buleusa was after the disappearance of 46 people in the village since Saturday.
Local official, Joy Bokele, attributed the killings to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Hutu rebel group from neighbouring Rwanda that opposes Tutsi influence in eastern Congo. “They are waging a terror campaign kidnapping civilians and burning down entire villages.
Bokele said the FDLR was trying to scare off the Union of Patriots for the Defence of Innocents (UPDI), a community militia defending territory against the Rwandan rebel group. He added that the FDLR was carrying out killings in villages where many UPDI members came from, the official added.
Bokele said the army was planning to send soldiers to the area. Dozens of armed groups have remained active in eastern Congo since the 1996-2003 Congo wars, sparked by more than 1 million Rwandans flooding into the region after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.