After a moment of relative calm, fifteen people were reported to have been killed on Sunday in two separate attacks in Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Local sources have accused Codeco militiamen of perpetrating the massacre.
In the locality of Mabanga, in Djugu territory (Ituri), militiamen "burned houses, looted shops and killed six people, including four women", said Ngandjole Assani, a local civil society leader.
Researchers from the Kivu Security Barometer (KST), a Human Rights Watch organisation reported "nine deaths in Kokonyangi/Mumu", and also said that several other civilians had been injured.
At the time of the massacre in these Ituri localities, there were no soldiers from the DR Congo's armed forces, according to members of civil society in the province.
A parliamentary commission of enquiry visited Ituri and North Kivu between October and November 2021. In one of the recommendations made, the commission stated that Ituri province, 65,658 square kilometres in size, is more than twice the size of Rwanda and "needs more soldiers".
The eastern provinces of the DRC have a multitude of armed groups, some of which were created by local communities for their own protection in case of community conflict or rebel attack.
Codeco is an armed group structured around a religious sect in Ituri, where it claims to defend members of the Lendu tribe against armed groups from and against the Hema tribe. These two tribes often have bloody conflicts.
More than protecting its community, the Codeco militia is accused of perpetrating violence and massacres on several civilians in Ituri.