from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE killing of 45 people, is the latest in a series of brutal attacks by non-state armed groups on forcibly displaced people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Twelve of them were burnt alive during the attack that occurred in the Lala displacement site of the eastern Ituri province on Monday.
Armed assailants targeted civilians, leaving a trail of destruction and devastation.
The militants carried out its assault using guns and machetes. Shelters were set ablaze.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations refugee agency, expressed shock.
“UNHCR deplores in the strongest terms these heinous attacks against vulnerable civilian populations,” said Valentin Tapsoba, Director of UNHCR’s Regional Bureau for Southern Africa.
“This cycle of violence must end. We are calling for collective efforts to pacify the conflict in the Ituri province so that the Congolese people can return to their homes and their livelihoods and live in peace.”
Despite the volatile security situation, UNHCR and its humanitarian partners remain committed to providing life-saving assistance and protection to affected populations.
UNHCR assured that response activities are underway to address the immediate needs of displaced individuals, including shelter, food and psychosocial support for those traumatised during the attack.
Ituri is one of regions beset by militancy in the restive eastern DRC.
UNHCR said the resurgence of violence in the region is deeply concerning and underscores the urgent need for sustained efforts to address the causes of conflict and promote lasting peace and stability.
On Monday, Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, concluded his first visit to the DRC with the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding, renewing cooperation towards justice in the troubled country.
President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, invited the envoy and facilitated this mission.
“Through frank and focused discussions, I set out a roadmap through which I believe we can, together, more effectively combat impunity,” Khan said.
Tshilombo’s government has struggled to contain the insurgency, which remains a threat to the holding of credible elections later this year.
– CAJ News