Kinshasa. Repeated massacres perpetrated by rebel groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) have made some analysts question the capacity of DR Congo forces and the UN Mission for Stabilization of Congo (MONUSCO).
A Ugandan rebel group, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which has been operating in eastern DR Congo for the last 20 years, has been accused by the UN, DR Congo government and civil society groups of killing over 400 people in the last ten months in Beni territory, near the Ugandan border.In May this year, a number of attacks attributed to ADF resulted into massive protests by the Beni population. Traders, teachers and students participated in the protests, urging the central government and local authorities to take adequate measures to protect the civilian population.The protesters accused FARDC and MONUSCO of failing in their responsibility of protecting the residents of this part of the country.”I keep asking myself how the massacres perpetrated by the Ugandan rebels can continue everyday yet we have FARDC and MONUSCO. Is Beni territory a demilitarized zone,” posed Jean-Marie Kalondji, a local human rights activist.”They rape, loot and behead our parents in front of the FARDC and MONUSCO, and nothing is done,” he said, adding that “they had announced the capture of ADF leader and we thought this will weaken the Ugandan rebel group but I have learnt that we were deceived.”
Last Saturday, several people were killed by machetes by men believed to be ADF fighters in Beni territory.”Saturday’s killings remind us that the ADF threat has not yet been eradicated even though politicians tell us that the situation is under control,” Kalondji said.Jamil Mukulu, the ADF leader, was arrested in April in Tanzania and extradited to Uganda in July this year. Despite his arrest, daily killings have continued to be reported in Beni territory.According to Amisi Kalonda, the administrator of Beni territory, “the ADF rebels have been carrying out attacks in zones where FARDC is not deployed.” A congolese citizen has a right to security and he does not have to beg for it. In our country, FARDC and MONUSCO have the obligation of protecting the population in the east of the country who are victims of atrocities of armed groups,” said Faustin Habibou, an independent researcher at the Free University of the Great Lakes Countries.(NMG)