At least 34 civilians have been killed, following attacks by militias in eastern DR Congo over the weekend.
Militias in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo killed at least 34 civilians over the weekend, the army and local activists said, and the violence stoked concerns over political instability.
Attacks have surged across the country in the past week alongside violent protests over President Joseph Kabila’s failure to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate on Tuesday.
While it is not clear that all the violence is related, analysts fear political instability over Kabila’s tenure is stoking localised conflicts by creating security vacuums.
An ethnic Nande militia killed at least 13 Hutu civilians on Sunday in the eastern town of Nyanzale with guns and machetes in an apparent revenge attack for the deaths of Nande civilians last week, local activist Innocent Gasigwa said.
“This must be the response for last time,” Gasigwa said, referring to an attack on Thursday by Nyatura, an ethnic Hutu militia, that killed at least 17 civilians in a nearby village. He said two militiamen were killed as well.
On Saturday, 21 civilians and four militiamen were killed on Saturday in attacks near the city of Beni, 300 km (185 miles) north of Nyanzale, local army spokesman Captain Mak Hazukay told Reuters.