Terrorist groups the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ( ISIL or ISIS) has claimed the responsibility of carrying out out its first ever attack in mineral rich Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Thursday, and declared it the “Central Africa Province” of the “caliphate,” after two Congolese soldiers and a civilian were killed in a gunfight.
At least three soldiers were killed following the attacks on Tuesday in Bovata, near the town of Beni few Kilo metres to Uganda boarder.
According to the United Nations peacekeeping mission and a civil society leader, the town and the surrounding area have been simultaneously beset by armed violence and an Ebola epidemic.
The claims but ISIL could not be independently verified but the Islamic group its Amaq news agency maintained that, they have presence in DRC.
There are more than a dozen different armed groups and criminal outfits operating in this area of eastern DRC. ISIL also claimed a higher toll of five soldiers killed and three wounded.
The UN source and a local civil society leader, David Moaze, said witnesses at the scene of the attack had blamed an armed group called the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which may have links to ISIL.
A report by New York University’s Congo Research Group and the Bridge way Foundation in November said the ADF had received money from a financier linked to ISIL, suggesting tentative ties between the Congo fighters and other armed groups in Africa and beyond.
Eager to woo “anti-terrorist” support from Western powers, Congolese authorities have blamed the ADF for a series of massacres in the last two years in the east of the country, usually without producing any evidence the group was responsible.
Rival armed groups control parts of eastern Congo, long after the official end of a 1998-2003 war in which millions of people died.
During his campaign in December, president Felix Tshekedi had pledged to ensure that the militant groups are flushed out though this seems to be far from reality.