Two mass graves with dozens of bodies found in eastern Congo

Two mass graves containing dozens of bodies have been found in eastern Congo, a local human rights activist said Friday, adding they appeared to belong to people who had been kidnapped by one of the armed groups operating in the region.

The mass graves were discovered in Buleusa village in North Kivu province.

One of them contained 36 bodies belonging to young people from Buleusa and five other villages, Georges Katsongo said.

They had been abducted a few days earlier by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), according to the human rights activist. The Hutu rebel group from neighbouring Rwanda opposes Tutsi influence in eastern Congo.

Katsongo said the number and identity of the bodies in the other mass grave was not yet known.

Local official Joy Boleke confirmed that two mass graves had been found, but declined to give more details until an investigation had been carried out.

Farmers found the mass graves after noticing a smell and insects there, Katsongo said.

The victims were thought to belong to the Nande ethnic group which the FDLR accuses of supporting a rival militia.

Dozens of armed groups have remained active in eastern Congo since the 1996-2003 Congo wars, sparked by more than 1 million Rwandans flooding into the region after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Last update: Fri, 22/01/2016 - 15:46

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