In the recent attack in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than a dozen vehicles caught fire, blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces armed group.
After the attackers ambushed a convoy and set on fire more than a dozen vehicles, many people in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) feared missing.
The U.S.-based violence monitoring agency in the region said on Twitter that the attack on Wednesday morning took place near the town of Offi, and the Kivu Security Tracking Agency (KST) said that “the final death toll is unclear.”
Did not immediately claim responsibility for the attack, but Ituri Provincial Assembly member Jean-Paul Ngahangondi blamed the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group accused of killing thousands of people in recent years.
This morning there was an attack on National Highway 4 near Offee (#伊rum territory, #Itauri). More than a dozen cars were burned down. The final death toll is currently unknown.this #ADF being doubted. #Congo democratic republic pic.twitter.com/W5wMqsXPQq
-Kivu Security Barometer (@KivuSecurity) September 1, 2022
Although the government declared martial law in Ituri and neighboring North Kivu in early May, attacks by the ADF and dozens of other armed groups operating in the area continue unabated.
According to KST, the appointment of the army general as governor was to quell the violence that was largely attributed to the ADF, but the number of civilians killed in such attacks has since increased.
“The ADF rebels cut the convoy in half,” local civil society official Dieudonne Malangayi told AFP in the ambush on Wednesday, adding that the attack resulted in 3 deaths and 13 vehicles were set on fire.
A military official in the area, who asked not to be named, said that the Democratic League rebels set fire to 14 cars.
Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya also told Reuters that ADF fighters set fire to 14 cars and two minibuses in Ituri. He did not specify the number of injured or missing.
Local councillor Ngahangondi said that about 80 people were worried about missing and criticized what he said was the slow response of the army to the attack, which is a frequent complaint by locals.
He told Reuters: “The army just waited for the insurgents to kill the people before hunting them down. There was no positive result.” “We need to see the army launch a good offensive against the ADF, not defend it every time.”
Since the regional war at the turn of the century, the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Uganda and Rwanda has been plagued by violence, and millions of people have died of hunger and disease.
Since April 2019, the Islamic State of ISIL (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for some ADF attacks. In March of this year, Washington included ADF on the list of “terrorist organizations” affiliated with ISIL.
However, UN experts stated that they did not find conclusive evidence that ISIL controlled ADF operations.