The government has promised to investigate after a video surfaced which appears to show the FARDC  (Armed Forces of the DRC) killing at least 20 unarmed people.  US State Department Acting Spokesman Mark Toner condemned the video footage which appeared to show armed troops summarily executing civilians, including women and children. “Such extra-judicial killing, if confirmed, would constitute gross violations of human rights and threatens to incite widespread violence and instability in an already fragile country,” Toner said in a statement.

Congolese forces have been battling an uprising by the militia in central Congo’s Kasai provinces, which was triggered when they killed its leader Kamwina Nsapu in August 2016.

The United Nations said this week it had reports the army had killed at least 101 people in clashes in the region between 9 February and 13 February, including 39 women.

YouTube has been deleting these viral videos so the above link may not last long.  For BensInCongo e-mail followers, you must go to the website to use video links.  The graphic footage is filmed from slightly behind the roughly dozen men wearing Congolese military uniforms and shows them advancing on foot towards a group of men and women on a dirt road.

They open fire for 45 seconds then advance closer to inspect the more than 10 dead and wounded, including at least two women.

“This one here isn’t dead,” one of men says in the western Congolese Lingala language, referring to a bloodied young man lying in the grass. Another uniformed man then shoots him in the head.

Several of the men who have been shot have slingshots and wooden batons. None appears to have been carrying a gun.

Meanwhile, in North Kivu province, 25 Hutu citizens were hacked to death with machete by Mai-Mai militia around the village of Kyaghala, a Hutu dominate area.

Nande, Hunde and Kobo people largely regard Hutus and Nyaturu as foreigners, while the migration north of Hutu farmers, forced to abandon their southern territory due to rising land prices and under pressure from powerful landowners, has added to the strain.

This latest attack is reported to be a revenge attack after 3 Nande were killed and 13 kidnapped earlier in the week.

A responsible FARDC, now discredited by the Kasai video, is logically the best hope to stop the cycle of violence, but now appears to be in a weaker position to do so.