Kinshasa, 10 May 2022 (TDI): 38 civilians, including women and children, have been killed in deadly attacks by Cooperative pour le DĂ©veloppement du Congo (CODECO) at the Blakete-Plitu mining site.

The group has reported rape attempts on six women. More civilians were reported missing and displaced when the attackers set fire to Malika village. The situation has been called a “provisional troll” as more bodies are expected to be thrown down the mining shafts.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed his deepest condolences to the victims’ families and wished a swift recovery to the injured.

He also stressed the investigation of attacks in Djugu Territory, Ituri Province, by the armed groups, said Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric in an official statement.

He called on the Congolese authorities to investigate these incidents and bring those responsible to justice. The UN Chief has also called for a halt to “callous attacks” on civilians by all armed groups in DRC.

The Secretary-General also urged the authorities to ensure immediate, free, and unimpeded access for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or MONUSCO to the areas of the attacks to facilitate efforts to protect civilians.

The statement also urged combatants to participate unconditionally in the political process and lay down their weapons through Demobilization, Disarmament, Community Recovery, and Stabilization Programme.

Antonio Guterres underlined the UN’s continued support to the Congolese Government and people in their efforts toward peace and stability in DRC. After a medical evaluation, the UN group MNOUSCO has reported severely injured civilians in Bunia.

Earlier, CODECO has been blamed for several ethnic massacres in the province of Ituri. Nearly 1.5 million people have been internally displaced due to violent attacks by CODECO militant groups.

According to the local media resources, the 29 bodies from the gold mines have been retrieved from the site, while six burnt bodies have been found buried. A four-month-old baby is included in the list of victims.

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