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Iran Press TV

Rebels execute 70 in east DR Congo: UN mission

Iran Press TV

Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:50PM GMT

The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) says more than 70 men and women have been killed in the country's restive east.

In a statement on Thursday, the mission said the victims were summarily executed and that most of them were killed with a machete.

'The reports received by MONUSCO suggest that the summary executions were allegedly committed mainly by armed groups to spread terror among the population,' said the statement.

A spokesperson for the UN peacekeeping force said the killings were carried out in late January and early February in the Nyamaboko villages I and II in the resource-rich northeastern North Kivu Province.

MONUSCO said it was in the process of verifying the reports about the mass executions in the area, vowing to "spare no efforts to neutralize all the armed groups responsible for such acts."

The UN special envoy to the DR Congo, Martin Kobler, also expressed 'serious concern over the allegations of the gross human rights violations."

In November 2013, the DRC claimed 'total victory' over the powerful March 23 Movement (M23) rebel group. This came after Congolese troops, backed by MONUSCO forces, launched a major offensive that led to the capture of the group's remaining hilltop positions north of the eastern city of Goma.

Despite the demise of the March 23 rebel group, the Central African country continues to host a multitude of rebel groups mostly operating in the mineral-rich east.

The DR Congo has been also grappling with grinding poverty and crumbling infrastructure over the past few decades.

MRS/AB/SS



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