17 Hostages are executed by DR Congo militia

In the gold-rich Ituri province, dozens of people have been slaughtered every week since the end of 2022.

According to local accounts, a notorious militia in eastern DR Congo murdered 17 hostages on Sunday.

According to local community leader Banguneni Gbalande, at least 17 captured CODECO rebels were slain in the Djugu area, located around 45 kilometers (30 miles) north of Bunia in the Ituri province.

The families of several of those deceased, according to Gbalande, informed him of the situation.

Another regional traditional elder, Toko Kagbanese, told AFP that the “hostages are dead, they have been executed by the CODECO militia.”

The Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO) is one of the numerous military organizations present in the unrest-ridden, mineral-rich area.

According to a local in Bambu, one of the two villages assaulted on Saturday, the residents were held hostage after three CODECO members were slain in an altercation with an opposing militia. A pregnant woman was among those held hostage, according to the source, who wished to remain anonymous for security concerns.

In the gold-rich Ituri province, dozens of people have been slaughtered every week since the end of 2022.

30 individuals, including women and children, have died in a string of atrocities that have been attributed to CODECO fighters in recent days.

A militia known as CODECO claims to defend the Lendu community from the army and the Hema, a different ethnic minority.

Many armed organizations, many of which are a result of local wars that erupted in the 1990s and 2000s, are present throughout Eastern Congo.

One of the high-violence areas is the province of Ituri, where attacks routinely result in the deaths of dozens of people.

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