The year 2020 was marked by the continuation of regular attacks on civilian populations in the eastern DRC. It ended with a massacre on December 31 in the Beni area, North Kivu. The administration says it has retrieved 17 bodies from the site, civil society counts at least 22 dead.
It is a little after 9.00 on Thursday morning when the armed men arrive at Tingwe. For about 3 hours they will see death in the fields around this village and the nearby Kamungu. Many peasants are massacred and beheaded with machetes.
Some manage to escape, like Jules, contacted by RFI correspondent in Swahili Ericksson Luhembwe: “I came back from my field in Tingwe when I came across these assassins. Of course I ran away! They were in very dirty military clothes. I saw that their uniform had no insignia. They started chasing me. In addition, my children were with their grandmother. They were able to escape, but Grandma was captured. After the attack, they counted about 20 corpses, including Grandma’s. All peasants returning from the fields were attacked. ”
Jules, survivor of the attack in Tingwe
Alarmed by survivors, soldiers from the DRC’s armed forces arrived at the scene in the afternoon. For the local authorities, there is no doubt that the attackers are the ADF, continuing their attacks in a position of retaliation against the operations carried out by MONUSCO and the Congolese army.
However, according to a civil society official, operations had largely declined in recent times. The FARDC had not received the necessary support to continue the final phase of Operation Soukola, launched in October 2020.
1,135 civilians killed in Beni’s territory
The Center for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights (CEPADHO), a local civil society organization, counted 1,135 civilians killed in Beni’s territory between early December 2019 and late November 2020.