Fighters from the Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO) militia have killed over 20 civilians in a raid on Hema village in Ituri province in the northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Sunday, May 17.
The latest attack is in a surge of ethnic violence in DRC, killing hundreds this year and forcing 200,000 people from their homes in two months. Clashes of several armed groups in the region have made the government response to the coronavirus pandemic and Ebola epidemic more difficult.
CODECO members are mainly made up of fighters from the Lendu ethnic group, who are predominantly farmers and clash with the Hema community of traders and herders in Ituri.
Ituri province is endowed in natural resources, including gold, diamonds, and coltan, and it is the site of fierce fighting between rebel groups Hema and Lendu and the army. In this regard, all non-essential travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo should be avoided or you should address a professional risk management company due to the current political and security situation in the country.