Wednesday, May 11, 2022

What is in a name?

The Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO) is such a benign-sounding name for a ruthless murderous political-religious sect that claims to represent the interests of the Lendu ethnic group. 

In its latest atrocity, the militia killed at least 14 people, including children, in an overnight attack on a displaced person camp in Djugu in Ituri province, eastern DRC.

 It was accused of staging another attack on a nearby artisanal gold mining site on Sunday that killed at least 35.

Last month it killed 18 people at a church and slaughtered another 60 at a displaced persons camp earlier in the year in February.

Jules Tsuba, president of an association of civil society groups in Djugu, said most of the victims in Monday’s attack were children.

“It’s shocking to see children chopped up by machetes,” he told the AFP news agency. Photos showed children splayed on the ground, covered in blood.

The CODECO group is only one of several armies wrangling over land and resources in Congo’s mineral-rich east – a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions during the past decade.

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