KINSHASA (Reuters) - Suspected Ugandan rebels killed more than 20 people overnight in their second attack near the eastern Congolese town of Beni in 48 hours, a civic group said on Saturday.
Violence simmers in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo despite the presence of U.N. peacekeepers and government troops, who last year defeated an insurgency by M23 rebels that posed the most serious threat to Kinshasa’s authority since the vast central African country’s last war formally ended in 2003.
ADF-NALU rebels, who operate in the eastern border zone, targeted the village of Byalos, according to Omar Kavota, spokesman for the Civil Society of North Kivu.
“This is a genocide, the way in which the ADF kills these people,” Kavota said by telephone from Beni, which is about 40 km (25 miles) south of Byalos. Victims of the attack included one Congolese soldier, said witness Justin Kambale.
On Wednesday the rebels killed 27 people in an overnight attack on villages near Beni, municipal and security sources said. The ADF-NALU operates alongside a string of other local and foreign armed factions in a border region coveted for its mineral wealth.
There was no immediate comment from the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo or a spokesman in North Kivu province for Congo’s army on the latest reported bloodshed.
U.N. peacekeepers said on Wednesday that ADF-NALU had killed 15 people, including six children between the ages of 7 and 17, in raids between Oct. 5 and Oct. 8.
Reporting by Aaron Ross; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Mark Heinrich