Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


42 killed in troubled east DR Congo

15 August 2016, 15:00

Goma – At least 42 civilians have been killed in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a local official said on Sunday, in what the government described as a massacre in revenge for military operations in the area.

Three days of national mourning have been declared following Saturday night's mass killing, the latest in a series of massacres that have left more than 600 people dead in and around the troubled town of Beni since 2014.

Speaking to a local radio station, Beni mayor Edmond Masumbuko said 42 people had been killed. The government had earlier put the death toll at 36.

Army spokesperson Mak Hazukay said the attack was carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a partly Islamist armed group of Ugandan origin.

The group has been present in DR Congo for more than two decades and is accused of copious human rights abuses.

Hazukay said the ADF rebels had "bypassed" army positions "to come and massacre the population in revenge" for military operations in the area.

The victims were found in Rwangoma, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Beni, according to government spokesperson Lambert Mende.

Mende said the government has previously sought to "alert the world to the jihadist threat" in DR Congo, adding: "In our country, the armed forces of the DRC are alone in the face of the indifference of the international community".

'Slaughtered like goats'

Around a hundred angry residents gathered in Beni to protest against the mass killing, carrying the body of one of the victims and shouting slogans against President Joseph Kabila, witnesses said.

Local human rights activist Jackson Kasereka said residents in north Beni were burning tyres in the streets.

"The police have just taken the body off us but we will continue to protest. It's not normal that they slaughter us like goats," said motorcycle taxi driver Georges Kamate.

"Our government is incapable of keeping us safe!" shouted another protester.

The killings came three days after Kabila visited the region, promising to do everything in his power to bring peace and security.

"It's worrying because the president of the republic came here and then we were massacred," said Gilbert Kambale, a local civil society leader.

"There is a blatant lack of security, [the authorities] are not capable of keeping the population safe. That is why these people have come into the street," he said.

Government spokesperson Lambert Mende announced three days of national mourning would begin from on Monday.

"Flags will be lowered to half-mast across the country and media scheduling will be adjusted to the situation," he said.

String of massacres

Beni lies on the edge of the vast Virunga national park, used as a hideout for some of the dozens of militant groups active in North Kivu.

The area has been badly hit by violence over the past two years, suffering a series of massacres which the Congolese government and the UN's mission in DR Congo, MONUSCO, have blamed on the ADF.

But in March, that allegation was recently questioned in a report published by the Congo Research Group at New York University, which looked into the massacres around Beni, and claimed that soldiers from the regular army had also participated in the killings.

The government rejected the claims and said the ADF was "definitely" responsible for the massacres.

The ADF, opposed to Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, is thought to be deeply embroiled in criminal networks funded by kidnappings, smuggling and logging.

"MONUSCO condemns this barbaric act against the civilian population, and reaffirms its support to the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Congolese National Police to protect the civilian population in Beni," the UN force's leader Maman Sidikou said in a statement.

Despite efforts by the international community and the Congolese authorities, the region has remained mired in violence since the end of the second Congolese war (1998-2003).

On August 8, 11 Congolese soldiers and a UN peacekeeper were wounded in the Beni area during a confrontation with ADF forces, MONUSCO said.



Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Its a 1 horse race to State House...

Its a 1 horse race to State House, DP William Ruto has mocked the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Enjoy your time left in power, We...

CORD Co Principal Moses Wetangu'la has told the Jubilee Coalition to enjoy its last few months in power before it is voted out in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Stop hiding in State House and sa...

ODM MP's have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to release drought aid and to stop sitting on public funds. Read more...