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.


Army clashes with 'rebels' blamed for DRC massacres

04 November 2014, 11:17

Kinshasa - The Congolese army clashed on Monday with suspected Ugandan rebels blamed for two massacres in the town of Beni in the volatile east of Democratic Republic of Congo, a senior official said.

The rebels were "organising themselves" for another possible attack on the town - the scene of two bloodbaths in almost as many weeks - when troops came upon them, the governor of troubled North Kivu province Julien Paluku told AFP.

Soldiers freed a hostage, but the shooting stopped as night fell, he said. "We couldn't see the enemy... and we risked falling into an ambush."

The fighting erupted as families in Beni were preparing to bury the dead from the latest attack when 11 people were killed - mostly hacked to death with machetes - in a raid on Saturday night.

Repeated killings

Only hours before President Joseph Kabila had left the town promising to defeat the rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces and National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU), who have been terrorising the resource-rich region for almost two decades.

Outraged locals took out their anger at the repeated killings on Sunday by partially wrecking a roundabout in the town on which a statue of Kabila stands.

As many as 30 people were killed on 16 October in another night-time attack on Beni, a major trading crossroads of half a million people.

Also Read: 14 people killed in DRC machete attack

"There was contact today with rebels on the outskirts of the town of Beni, inside the Virunga National Park," governor Paluku said, referring to one of Africa's best-known reserves which is also home to more than half of the world's 700 or so mountain gorillas.

The freed hostage was being interrogated to find out what the rebels were planning, he added. The military could not be contacted for further details of the clashes.

'Successive massacres'

Civil society groups claim that 120 people have died in "successive massacres" in the past month around Beni committed by the rebels, who have been hiding out in the Ruwenzori mountains that straddle the border with Uganda since being driven out of the country by President Yoweri Museveni in 1995.

Fourteen people, including women and children, were killed with machetes last week in the Kampi ya Chui district, the groups said. Some had been decapitated.

The mainly Muslim rebels have been blamed for atrocities, pillaging villages and forcing locals to fight for them for years, while funding themselves from the lucrative smuggling of wood.

Also Read: DRC may be declared Ebola-free in late November

In January, the Congolese army and soldiers of the United Nations mission in the country, Monusco, began an offensive against the ADF-NALU, the last major insurgent group active in the region.

At the time, they thought they had been severely weakened them. However, the rebels have bounced back since the brutal death in August of Congolese army chief General Jean-Lucien Bahuma.

During his visit to Beni, Kabila called for further assistance from Monusco troops to defeat the rebels.

A curfew was also imposed on the town "because these people [the rebels] come and we don't know how to tell rebels from civilians", Paluku said. "That's how they operate."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...