Rebels kill 5 in DR Congo as army offensive rages

Goma, DR Congo, Nov 12 (AFP/APP): Suspected Ugandan rebels hacked five civilians to death in eastern DR Congo overnight as an offensive against militia groups neared the end of its second week, local sources said Tuesday.

Suspected members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed five people in the village of Mayi-Moya near the city of Beni, local administrator Donat Kibwana told AFP.

“People are afraid and are leaving the village despite the army’s assurances,” Kibwana said. Regional army spokesman Major Mak Hazukay said a “small group” of assailants carried out the attack.

The army responded immediately and put them out of action, Hazukay added.

The ADF, an Islamist-rooted Ugandan group, is the most notorious militia in a region where armed men have claimed hundreds of lives in the past five years.

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The army launched an offensive on October 30, vowing to “definitively wipe out” armed groups in the lawless east.

But local people complain the thrust of the operation has been around the city of Beni, rather than on hotspots farther north near the Ugandan border.

The armed forces, for their part, say they have gained control of “part of Mayangonse, a locality used by the ADF to orchestrate atrocities and murders” against the population of Beni.

They also say they have arrested the wife of a Tanzanian national — a man they describe as the ADF’s “guru and chief” — and “neutralised” Juvenal Musabina, a leader of the FDLR, a Rwandan Hutu rebel group.