MNA International Desk: Militiamen from the Democratic Republic of Congo Nande ethnic group have killed 25 civilians in the country’s violence-torn east, almost all of them hacked to death with machetes, local officials and activists said Saturday.
‘In total 25 people were killed, decapitated by machete by the Mai-Mai Mazembe in and around the village of Kyaghala,’ Francis Bakundakabo, the local representative of the governor of North Kivu province said.
‘All of these people were Hutu civilians,’ he said, adding that the killings took place between 4:00am and 8:00am on Saturday morning.
Tensions between the Nande and Hutu communities have been growing worse for more than a year, with a series of village attacks by militia groups on both sides in the centre of North Kivu. The province, like much of eastern DRC, has been riven by conflict for more than two decades.
Since December, the DRC’s political crisis has also worsened, with President Joseph Kabila refusing to step down despite his mandate coming to an end.
The international community has urged government and opposition parties in the country to restart deadlocked talks to set up a transition regime ahead of elections due later this year.