12 Feared Dead as Rebels Attack a Gold Mine in Eastern Congo

A civil society organization reported Thursday that militants killed at least a dozen people and kidnapped 16 others at a mining facility in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

On Wednesday, rebels from the CODECO armed group assaulted a gold mine near Djugu in Ituri province, according to Vital Tungulo, director of Mabendi, a local rights group. “We are outraged by this enemy attack,” he went on to say.

Violence has escalated in eastern DRC, where hostilities have been raging for decades. More than 120 armed factions are fighting in the region, with the majority vying for land and control of mines containing precious minerals, while others attempt to defend their villages.

CODECO is an informal coalition of militia groups, largely from the Lendu ethnic farming population. Since 2017, she has been fighting with Zaire, a self-defense militia comprised primarily of Hema ethnic herders.

CODECO assaults killed approximately 1,800 people and injured over 500 in the four years leading up to 2022, according to the African Center for the Study and Research on Terrorism.

CODECO is well-known for its focus on gold and mineral-rich areas. In September, its fighters raided a community in Ituri province, killing 14.

Congo boasts some of the world’s largest reserves of rare earth minerals, including cobalt and copper, which are in high demand for the production of electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels.

On Thursday, military commander Yves Kadjena expressed disappointment with the attack, particularly because CODECO signed a peace accord with other militias at the end of January, promising to halt fighting and rescue the prisoners.

Commander Kadjena stated that the army was taking steps to end the violence.

Written by PH

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