Suspected CODECO rebels blamed for killing at least 22 people in Democratic Republic of Congo's gold-rich Ituri province.

Ituri and neighbouring North Kivu provinces have been under a state of siege since May 6.
Ituri and neighbouring North Kivu provinces have been under a state of siege since May 6. (Reuters Archive)

A new attack on the Ivo displaced people's camp in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed the lives of 22 civilians, an aid worker said.

Red Cross coordinator Mambo Bapu Mance told AFP news agency that 20 people were buried immediately, then another two who died of their wounds later. 

The same camp was attacked a week ago, when 29 people were killed.

Bapu accused the armed group Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) of carrying out the attack.

The Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a respected US-based monitor of violence in the region, cited the same death toll.

The army spokesman in the region, Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, said the CODECO rebels were repelled, but did not elaborate.

Region under state of siege 

Gold-rich Ituri province has been plunged back into a cycle of violence since late 2017 with the rise of the CODECO militia, which has since split into rival factions.

Ituri and neighbouring North Kivu have been under a state of siege since May 6, an exceptional measure to combat armed groups including CODECO and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

Civilian authorities have been replaced by military and police officers.

Two other attacks took place overnight on Saturday elsewhere in Ituri, leaving a total of nine civilians dead, civil society leader Isaac Nyakuklinda told AFP.

Source: AFP