Last week, Congo President Felix Tshisekedi sent an army inspector to the restive Beni province where the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo [FARDC] are battling armed groups.
On the orders of Supreme Commander Felix Tshisekedi, the Inspector General of Armed Forces, General John Numbi, joined the Chief of General Staff in Beni as part of the piloting of operations against ADF and armed groups in the region.
Seventeen people have died in three attacks in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo hit by chronic unrest.
Two of the attacks in Ituri province were attributed to the Codeco militia that has also been accused of a civilian massacre in June.
An army spokesman, lieutenant Jules Ngongo, told AFP that the three latest deaths occurred “during an attack by militia fighters very early on Friday.”
Local radio director Daniel Tibasima said he had seen the bodies of “a pastor, an intelligence agent and a woman,” and added that a well-known local shopkeeper had also been kidnapped.
Meanwhile, another attack on Wednesday night on the shore of Lake Albert left “nine dead, including four woman, a young girl and four men,” Tibasima added.
Authorities and communities have been reluctant to talk about a revival of a communal conflict between Lendu farmers and Hema breeders that killed tens of thousands of people between 1999 and 2003 in Ituri.
The army added that terrorists” had killed five people in the territory of Beni in neighbouring North Kivu province, as the government seeks to return farmworkers to land taken back from armed assailants.
“Five civilians were killed by terrorists on Thursday in reprisal for reverses inflicted on them by the army,” regional military spokesman Mak Hazukai told AFP.
“This residual group will be very quickly eradicated” by the army, Hazukai added.
The five Beni killings were attributed to the ADF which is accused of killing over 1,000 people in the Beni region since October 2014.
Agricultural work had resumed in an area taken back from the ADF.
Many towns and villages in Beni have been abandoned by residents due to the unrest.
About fifteen villages of the Tongo group in Rutshuru territory, formerly occupied by fighters of the Nyatura armed group, have now come under the full control of the Congolese army.
The resumption of these villages took place at the end of a military operation launched towards the end of November in the zone.
During this offensive, the FARDC managed to neutralize the Nyatura fighters of the Baruhutse Dominique group, known as Nyatura-Domi, in these fifteen villages distributed in the localities Butsuru, North Rubwe and South Rubwe.
According to his testimony, two mass graves were discovered in two former Nyatura positions at Rubwe North and Rubwe South.
During this military operation, at least fifty Nyatura fighters surrendered to the FARDC. 21 Ak 47 weapons were recovered.
It was during these operations that the FARDC neutralized on Wednesday, December 4, Colonel Gaspard AFRICA, one of the strong men of the Rwandan FDLR-FOCA rebels.
Congo’s army said it killed one of the top leaders of a Ugandan rebel group, hours after rebels killed 13 civilians.
“Congolese soldiers killed Mouhamed Mukubwa– one of the top leaders of the Allied Democratic Forces [ADF] group during fighting on Friday in Mapobu [forest]”, army spokesman Richard Kasonga said on Twitter about the clash in North Kivu province’s in the Beni region.
The killing of one of the three top ADF leaders demonstrated the army’s capacity to end rebellion in the area at the start of December.
Mukubwa’s dead comes weeks after another senior commander of the group, Nasser Abdullayi Kikuku, was killed.
More than 100 civilians have been killed in attackers since November 5 in the Beni area, according to authorities.
13 people were killed in Kukutama, a village about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Oicha after another 28 people were killed in Oicha.
Protestors accuse UN peacekeeping force MONUSCO and government forces of failure to protect civilians.
US has placed sanctions against five members of the Ugandan rebel group Allied Democratic Forces [ADF] including the leader of the movement, Musa Baluku.
Other targeted five key ADF members who have materially assisted the ADF through recruitment, logistics, administration, financing, intelligence, and operations coordination include; Amigo Kibirige, Muhammed Lumisa, Elias Segujja, Kayiira Muhammad and Amisi Kasadha.