DRC massacres - 200 arrested
06 November 2014, 08:09
Kinshasa - Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo arrested 200 suspects in connection with massacres in the troubled east of the country that left over 100 dead, the UN said Wednesday.
The suspects taken into custody for the killings which began in October in the Beni area included Ugandan Muslim rebels, who have widely been blamed for the massacres.
Police and UN peacekeepers carried out the operation jointly as part of "an operational strategy against [the attacks] in Beni", United Nations mission spokesperson Charles Bambara said, adding "weapons, munitions, bombs and radios" were also seized.
Around 120 people were killed in various part of Beni during a series of attacks attributed to members of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), according to the government in the restive North Kivu province.
Also read: DRCongo troops, suspected Ugandan rebels clash in volatile east
Since 1995 ADF has been active in the mountainous terrain around Beni and frequently engages in massacres, looting and forcible conscription of local people. The group is also involved in the lucrative trafficking of commodities like wood.
One of the worst masacres happened in the city of Beni, an important commercial hub of 500 000 residents, when 30 people were hacked to death mostly with machetes on 15 October and 16 October.
The next day 11 others were killed just hours after DR Congo's President Joseph Kabila had visited Beni and promised to defeat the rebels.
The Congolese army and the United Nations mission in DR Congo known as Monusco, have launched a series of attacks on ADF fighters since January that have weakened the rebels.