The United States is deeply concerned by the brutality and the increasingly frequent attacks on the civilian population of Beni territory, North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DRC. Machete and gun-wielding attackers have targeted several villages in the region, leaving almost 200 dead in the last 45 days.
The illegal Ugandan armed group the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, and possible others allegedly perpetrated these attacks, which included reported beheadings, mutilations, and rape. The ADF is a rebel group founded by a Ugandan radical Islamist sect in the 1990s. The attacks appeared to target civilians the rebels suspect are providing information about rebel movements to government and United Nations troops. The attacks are the latest in a series of massacres in the region. These atrocities should not go unpunished.
The United States calls on the government of the DRC to initiate a prompt, thorough investigation and hold all responsible to account. The U.S. supports urgent, intensified efforts by the Armed Forces of the DRC with United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC support to protect civilian populations and to eradicate all illegal armed groups in eastern Congo. This includes the ADF and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.
The United States will continue to support the government and the people of the DRC, as well as the United Nations, in their combined efforts to consolidate peace, security, and stability throughout the country.