(Kinshasa, February 9, 2022) – Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have failed to fully investigate the killing of at least 66 Indigenous Iyeke people in the Bianga district of Monkoto territory in February 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Congo’s National Assembly voted during 2021 for a law that would for the first time protect and promote Indigenous peoples’ rights, but the bill remains stalled in the Senate.
From February 1 to 3, 2021, hundreds of ethnic Nkundo assailants killed several dozen Iyeke villagers, including at least 40 children, 22 men, and 4 women, and wounded many more in eight villages. The assailants also burned down more than 1,000 houses as well as schools, churches, and health centers, according to survivors, witnesses, civil society groups, and provincial officials. The authorities initially opened an inquiry but did no field investigation. A year on and no one has been charged for the killings, which have gone largely unreported in the media. Two people were tried and acquitted on lesser charges and the case closed.
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