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FARMERS KILLED: Militia Murders 8 Farmers In Ituri

Eight farmers were killed Sunday in an attack blamed on a militant group targeting three villages in northeast DR Congo, a local official said.

Members of CODECO, or Cooperative for the Development of the Congo, attacked the villages of Duvire, Njalo and Bengi at around 5 a.m. (0300 GMT), Adubango Kivia told AFP from the district of Djugu in the Ituri province.

“We found eight bodies, including a woman. They’re farmers. They were shot dead and then chopped up by machete,” he added, accusing the militiamen of setting fire to scores of homes and plundering livestock.

Adubango Kivia said the militiamen “operated calmy” and called on Congolese soldiers to deploy “to secure the population and bring an end to massacres” in the area around 100 kilometers north of the provincial capital Bunia.

CODECO says it is protecting the Lendu community from another ethnic group, the Hema, as well as the DRC army.

The Hema are defended by the Zaire militia — while the province is also targeted by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) linked to the Islamic State jihadi group.

Eastern Congo is plagued by dozens of armed groups, many of which are a legacy of regional wars that flared in the 1990s and 2000s.

Ituri province is one of the violent hot spots, where attacks claiming dozens of lives are routine.

The last attack blamed on CODECO killed more than 40 people April 14 in villages around 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the provincial capital of Bunia.




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