SADC: 16 civilians killed by M23 rebels

In a statement released by the South African Development Community (SADC), at least 16 people were killed in

In a statement released by the South African Development Community (SADC), at least 16 people were killed in what it said was a deliberate target of innocent civilians by the M23 rebel group.

“The Southern African Development Community (SADC) strongly condemn the horrific attacks by M23 rebels on the Mugunga Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp on 3rd May 2024 in Goma, which has caused the death of at least 16 civilians and wounded around 30 civilians,” a statement read from the SADC.

The SADC Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIDRC) confirmed that the attacks affected innocent civilians, many of whom were women and children.

“The deliberate targeting of innocent civilians is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and human rights laws and principles,” part of the statement reads.

According to the SADC, the attacks by M23 rebels have triggered massive displacement of the population, blocking supply routes to Goma, and worsening the humanitarian situation.

“Meanwhile, the main roads to Goma, which are crucial for the movement of civilians, goods, and humanitarian aid, have become impassable due to armed groups’ atrocities, further restricting access to essential services and supplies.”

The SAMIDRC were deployed early this year after the Democratic Republic of Congo declined to renew the mandate of the East African Regional Force that ended in December last year.

Kinshasa accused the East African Community Forces of failure to execute their mandate, which it said was to fight the M23 rebels.

The M23 rebels has since 2022 escalated violence in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, leading to hundreds of thousands of Congolese people displaced while hundreds lost their lives.

DRC accuses Rwanda of supporting the rebel group that has continued to destabilize the eastern part of the country. Allegations that Rwanda has denied.


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