By Raymond Baguma
Suspected rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) on Monday killed three people and abducted thirty others in the Watalinga Sector, North Kivu, DR Congo.
The MONUSCO-run Radio Okapi quoted a local community leader identified as Saambili Bamukoka who said that the attacks occurred in the villages of Kombo, N'Dama, Kikura in Watalinga. The attacked villages are located more than 90 kilometers from Beni.
Omar Kavota, the vice president and spokesman of the local civil society in North Kivu condemned the abductions. According to the civil society, the abductees also included eight miners.
Kavota said that the local population had fled from the affected the sector of Watalinga and sought refuge in another village called Lwanoli.
Radio Okapi reported that a joint mission of MONUSCO and UN humanitarian agencies had visited the affected areas to assess the security and food security in the area.
Recently, eastern DR Congo areas have experienced intermittent attacks launched by the ADF rebels who operate bases in east of the country.
In July, over 20,000 Congolese fled to Bundibugyo following clashes in the areas of Kamango in eastern DRC.
Early this month, regional leaders under the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) asked the recently formed combative
Intervention Brigade under MONUSCO to attack positions of foreign negative forces operating in DRC, including the ADF.
According to Radio Okapi, the head of the community Watalinga called for a rapid deployment of special units of the army and blue helmets in the area to secure the population.
The ministry of defense spokesperson, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, was not available for comment.
However, during a press conference on Tuesday, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Katumba Wamala, said that he had held a meeting recently with the head of MONUSCO over the presence of ADF rebels in DR Congo.
“He told me that MONUSCO is about to change the way it is doing business. We are hopeful that MONUSCO is going to deal with them (ADF rebels). But we will be willing to partner with the intervention brigade to deal with the ADF problem,” added Gen. Katumba.