DRC: at least 12 dead in a Codeco attack in Ituri

DRC: at least 12 dead in a Codeco attack in Ituri  A soldier and 11 civilians, mostly old people, were killed in reprisals carried out by members of the Cooperative group for the development of Congo (Codeco) in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  "We received 11 bodies, civilian victims of the killings in the Lopa region in Djugu. There was also the body of a soldier," Dr. John Kaaba, director of the general hospital in Djugu, told AFP. Bunia reference in Ituri.  "Codeco militiamen attacked the Tshotsho village overnight from Wednesday to Thursday morning. They killed 11 civilians with machetes and firearms: a woman and elderly people ," Gédéon told AFP. Dino, one of the civil society leaders in Djugu.  "These militiamen attacked the peaceful citizens when they were fleeing the fire of the army," Lieutenant Jules Ngongo , spokesman for the army in Ituri, told AFP , without confirming the toll. The Tshotsho village is located about thirty kilometers from Bunia , the capital of Ituri (north-east).  Religious sect The Codeco militia is an armed group structured around a religious sect . They claim to defend the Lendu tribe , one of the communities in Ituri, against the army and the rival Hema tribe . The 11 victims of this massacre are Hema.  According to the United Nations and the Congolese authorities, its militiamen are at the origin of most of the current violence in Ituri , especially in its northern part since the end of 2017.  In this area, the Codeco militiamen have been detaining since February 16 the emissaries (eight people, including an army general) sent by President Félix Tshisekedi to negotiate peace. They released a hostage for health reasons.  The provinces of Ituri and North Kivu have been under a state of siege since May. The authorities there have been replaced by army and police officers who have not yet been able to put an end to the massacres of civilians.

A soldier and 11 civilians, mostly old people, were killed in reprisals carried out by members of the Cooperative group for the development of Congo (Codeco) in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"We received 11 bodies, civilian victims of the killings in the Lopa region in Djugu. There was also the body of a soldier," Dr. John Kaaba, director of the general hospital in Djugu, told AFP. Bunia reference in Ituri.

"Codeco militiamen attacked the Tshotsho village overnight from Wednesday to Thursday morning. They killed 11 civilians with machetes and firearms: a woman and elderly people ," Gédéon told AFP. Dino, one of the civil society leaders in Djugu.

"These militiamen attacked the peaceful citizens when they were fleeing the fire of the army," Lieutenant Jules Ngongo , spokesman for the army in Ituri, told AFP , without confirming the toll. The Tshotsho village is located about thirty kilometers from Bunia , the capital of Ituri (north-east).

Religious sect
The Codeco militia is an armed group structured around a religious sect . They claim to defend the Lendu tribe , one of the communities in Ituri, against the army and the rival Hema tribe . The 11 victims of this massacre are Hema.

According to the United Nations and the Congolese authorities, its militiamen are at the origin of most of the current violence in Ituri , especially in its northern part since the end of 2017.

In this area, the Codeco militiamen have been detaining since February 16 the emissaries (eight people, including an army general) sent by President Félix Tshisekedi to negotiate peace. They released a hostage for health reasons.

The provinces of Ituri and North Kivu have been under a state of siege since May. The authorities there have been replaced by army and police officers who have not yet been able to put an end to the massacres of civilians.
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