During the night of Wednesday to Thursday, 19 civilians were killed during an attack by rebels of the Democratic Forces (ADF) in a village in the locality of Mamove, located about twenty kilometers from the city of Oicha, in the territory of Beni (North Kivu). The population increasingly doubts the army’s ability to protect them.
This is the biggest ADF attack in the region this October, but this time the bloodshed should have been avoided, thinks Kinos Kituho, president of the civil society of Mamove. “We alerted the army at the right time, but the army did not want to intervene, so around 7:00 pm the enemy attacked the village and began killing people with machetes and axes. At the moment we have a balance sheet of 19 people killed, 40 commercial houses burned down, several people were taken to the bush».
Even when several security sources claim that the troops deployed in Baheti were absent at the time of the attack, there is nothing to deter Lieutenant Anthony Mwalushay, army spokesman in the region. According to him, there was an exchange of fire between soldiers and assailants.
“Everything is set in motion to avenge these dead, to seek to know. “We have warned”, all this is not a debate that interests us. We congratulate ourselves because we arrived and did our job, the balance sheet could have been very heavy without our intervention.’’
The Monusco also has a base at 6 kilometers from the attacked village, a region difficult to access and where it is not easy to distinguish the security forces from the armed groups, because they often wear the same uniforms. However, the frequency of attacks in Mamove is worrisome. It is the fourth in less than a month with about 40 victims, according to local officials.
The attack came a week after several ADF rebels escaped from among the 1,400 detainees who escaped from Kangbayi prison in Beni.
Soldiers in the same area were in shock. They will not receive their October pay so soon. An officer has vanished into thin air since Monday with about $85,000, intended to pay the soldiers who are fighting the ADF rebels on the main front, on the Mbau-Kamango road.