A group of human right organizations have strongly denounced the massacre of 46 indigenous Bambote from Irumu territory, located in Ituri Province, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to Indigenous Peoples Rights International (IPRI), Alliance Nationale d’Appui et de Promotion des Aires et territoires du Patrimoine autochtone et Communautaire. (ANAPAC-RDC), and the Programme Intégré pour le Développement du Peuple Pygmée (PIDP) 46 indigenous Bambote were killed, including 36 women and girls, 15 of whom are children between 3 months to 16 years on on January 14.
ANAPAC-RDC issued a statement on 1 February informing that “armed groups have targeted the Bambote people for their rich ancestral lands and forests.”
“On January 14, armed groups forcibly occupied Abembi village and killed 46 individuals. That resulted in the forced evacuation of 209 households.
The 209 households that “were displaced need urgent assistance and security.” Said ANAPAC-RDC.
Those human right organizations have demanded “justice for all the victims and the protection of the victims’ families.”
They have urged the government of DRC to immediately clear the area from the control of armed groups and implement measures that ensure the safe return of the displaced Bambote people to their homes.
“We appeal to the government of DRC to legally recognize the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the Bambote, in DRC, and to undertake measures for the long-term resolution of conflicts in their territories as paramount to the collective survival, well-being, and dignity of Indigenous Peoples.” The human right organizations added.