DRC: nearly 50 dead discovered in mass graves in Ituri

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Peacekeepers have discovered mass graves in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with nearly 50 dead civilians, including women and children, in an area where attacks by armed groups have taken place, announced a spokesperson on Wednesday.

“Our colleagues report that mass graves containing the bodies of 42 civilians, including 12 women and six children, have been discovered in the village of Nyamamba”, in Ituri, said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the secretary general of the UN.

“Blue Helmets conducted a patrol in the area immediately after receiving reports this weekend of attacks on civilians by CODECO militiamen”, a militia of several thousand men who say they are protecting the Lendu tribe, facing the Hema tribe and the national army, he added.

The two villages are in Ituri, a province bordering Uganda where attacks on civilians by community militias occur repeatedly, including last week when dozens of civilians were killed in attacks by various armed groups.

The UN “calls for those responsible (for the attacks) to be brought to justice”, added Farhan Haq, noting that the UN mission in the DRC “is supporting the Congolese judicial system to investigate”.

Maryam Lahbal

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