More than 70 men and women have been summarily executed in the restive eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN mission in the country (MONUSCO) said on Thursday.
“The reports received by MONUSCO suggest that the summary executions were allegedly committed mainly by armed groups to spread terror among the population. The majority of the victims were killed with machetes,” MONUSCO said in a statement.
The killings happened late last month and early this month, a MONUSCO spokesman said.
They took place in the Nyamaboko villages I and II in the resource-rich northeastern North Kivu Province where armed groups regularly attack civilians over ethnic or commercial disputes.
In December last year, MONUSCO’s intervention force, whose mission is to neutralize all the armed groups active in the troubled country, boosted its presence in the area.
Government troops struck a rare and striking military success when, backed by the UN brigade, they defeated the powerful M23 rebel group in November.
MONUSCO said it was in the process of verifying the information about the mass executions on the ground.
“MONUSCO shall spare no efforts to neutralize all the armed groups responsible for such acts,” it said in the statement.
Mission chief Martin Kobler expressed “serious concern over the allegations of the gross human rights violations deemed unacceptable.”