According to a report by AFP, 62 people have been killed, including 17 children during a machete attack on an Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camp in Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to the report, an official stated on Friday at a mass funeral that the death toll from a machete attack at a displaced people’s camp in eastern DR Congo this week had risen to 62 persons, including 17 children.
Men shoveled orange earth over 53 coffins of various colors arranged in the ground at a mass burial following the killings on Tuesday, as bereaved families sobbed.
Following the attack on Tuesday, the bodies of another nine people were returned to their relatives so that they may be laid to rest in their villages.
The suspected attackers were from a notorious armed group called CODECO, according to a US-based Kivu Security Tracker (KST). CODECO is blamed for a string of ethnic massacres in the area.
“They killed 62 people, including 17 children, and injured 46 others,” claimed Emmanuel Ndalo, the head of the Plaine Savo displaced persons camp in Ituri province.
“Machetes were used to slaughter some of the victims, and their feet and hands were severed… It was very appalling “he stated.
He demanded that UN forces be dispatched to the camp, which he claimed housed 40,000 people.
A deadly, long-running war between the Lendu and Hema communities has erupted in the area.
Between 1999 and 2003, fighting between the two groups erupted, taking tens of thousands of lives before being put down by Artemis, a European Union peacekeeping operation.
The formation of the Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO), which claims to defend the Lendu ethnic group, was blamed for the resumption of violence in 2017.
According to the Danish Refugee Council, CODECO attacks have resulted in hundreds of deaths and forced more than 1.5 million people to evacuate their homes, with half of the region’s population facing food shortages.