Militants kidnap 25 youths in northern DR Congo

AFP , Tuesday 28 Feb 2023

Unidentified militants have kidnapped 25 young people in the northern Democratic Republic of Congo, an administrative official said on Tuesday, during attacks on several villages in the region.

Congolese army
File Photo: Congolese army soldiers and United Nations peacekeepers patrol the area of an attack near the town of Oicha, 30 kilometers from Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, July 23, 2021. AFP


Gunmen raided three villages in the Banda area of Bas-Uele province in the early hours of Tuesday morning, said Marcellin Mazale Lekabusiya, a local government administrator.

Details about the attack are hazy, but Lekabusiya said the militants kidnapped 25 people aged between 12 and 18 years old. Seven of those abducted were girls.

In a telephone interview, the administrator also explained that the gunmen had released adults they had captured.

AFP was unable to independently confirm the account.

Banda lies 180 kilometres (112 miles) from the border with the Central African Republic -- a volatile country that remains scarred by a 2013 civil war.

Violence in CAR has become less intense since 2018 but rebel groups continue to control swathes of territory.

The north of the DR Congo has been mostly peaceful for years -- suffering little of the militia violence that has plagued the east of the vast nation for decades.

The Lord's Resistance Army rebel group was once active in Bas-Uele.

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