The United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has launched an investigation into the killing of 16 civilians, primarily women, during an attack on 6 October in South Kivu Province, near Burundi, a UN spokesman said today.
The murders apparently occurred the same day some 65 people were killed near the northeastern city of Bunia. A separate group from the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) has been dispatched to investigate that massacre.
The Mission reported Friday that in the South Kivu attack some 20 people who spoke Kirundi, the national language of neighbouring Burundi, assaulted residents of the town of Ndunda with axes, machetes, clubs, knives and other crude weapons, spokesman Fred Eckhard said.
The Mission reported that two survivors were being treated at a hospital, and four other persons remained missing.
Some of the witnesses told MONUC that they believed the attackers belonged to Burundi's Forces for the Defence of Democracy, reported to be active in the area, Mr. Eckhard told a press briefing in New York.
In a statement issued Friday, the UN Mission "strongly condemned this act and reaffirmed the commitment of the international community to bring an end to impunity in the DRC."
Last week the UN reported that some Lendu-speaking people attacked the village of Kashele, some 70 kilometres northeast of Bunia. At least 65 persons were killed, mostly women and children. Some 23 of the victims were found in a church, MONUC said.