Militia in Eastern DRC agrees to stop attacks

Monday August 24 2020

DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi on February 5, 2019. The Democratic Republic of Congo announced a coalition government on August 26, 2019, seven months after the president's inauguration. PHOTO | AFP


An armed group in the eastern DR Congo has agreed to President Felix Tshisekedi's appeal to suspend attacks on its ethnic rivals, the militia and government said Sunday.

UN officials have blamed massacres they say are akin to "crimes against humanity" on the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (Codeco), which draws its members from the mainly farming Lendu people who have historically clashed with Hema traders and herders.

"We are stopping the acts of violence as the head of state is asking," Codeco spokesman Basa Zukpa told AFP.

"We are ready to seize his outstretched hand. That's why we are telling our units to respect this process, to be calm."

It was not clear when the ceasefire was agreed.

Codeco was most recently blamed for killing 19 civilians in attacks on August 9 on three villages in the troubled eastern province of Ituri.


The ceasefire was signed through the mediation of a group of former warlords in Ituri, who were sent by Tshisekedi to convince Codeco to stop its attacks.

"Since the ceasefire was signed, Codeco's acts of violence have decreased," said Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, spokesman for the national army in the region.