DRC: UN Mission to Visit ‘Massacre’ Site
A UN team is due to visit the site of alleged mass killings in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, reports CISA.
The move comes after the UN mission in DRC told the BBC its reconnaissance flight had discovered three villages burnt to the ground.
It says it believed more than 70 people had been summarily executed in late January and early February this year.
A UN force has increased its presence in the area after the defeat of the M23 rebel group last November.
“We were able to carry out a reconnaissance flight in the afternoon, and we were able to observe from the air that three villages had been burnt,” Ray Torres said.
“We were not able to send yet any of our staff to the locations to verify, but we will be doing that tomorrow.”
The UN mission said the killings were mainly committed in North Kivu province to spread terror. Most of the victims were killed with machetes, it added.
More than 40 armed groups are known to operate in the region, and at least four of them are believed to pose a significant threat.
Eastern DR Congo has suffered from two decades of violence linked to ethnic rivalries and competition for the control of the area’s mineral resources, leaving an estimated five million people dead.
The unrest began when some of the ethnic Hutu militants accused of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda fled into DR Congo.
Rwanda has consistently denied repeated accusations from the UN that it backed the M23 rebels, whose uprising in North Kivu forced about 800,000 people from their homes.
TAGS: UN team Democratic Republic of Congo Ray Torres North Kivu Hutu militants
© Reprint is allowed unless source hyperlink is not deleted