Beni, North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo
Kambale Muskiti had finished working in his plantain field and was returning to the settlement of Vemba. As he rounded a corner he saw about thirty of his neighbours sat on the ground with their arms tied behind their backs. He saw eight men armed with AK-47s with large steel-handled axes strapped on their backs. He made a run for it to a nearby thicket where he hid. From there he saw the men tie up his younger brother. The leader of the group then shouted: 'The work starts now!' Kambale watched as they took out their axes and began cleaving their prisoner's heads open, including that of his younger brother. Some say as many as 100 people died during the Vemba massacre. FARDC soldiers told family that the victims have been buried in a mass grave. They have cordoned off the area and have prevented farmers and journalists from entering. In October 2014 a series of massacres began in the Beni area (North Kivu). There have been about 19 since then leaving around 300 civilians dead. Some of the massacres have taken place a stone's throw from the bases of UN peacekeepers and Congolese army (FARDC) bases. The official line is that the ADF-NALU, an Islamic rebel group, are behind the killings but no one on the ground believes that (not even the UN) s the ADF-NALU have long been a spent force. Civilians in the Beni area are living in fear, with the UN seemingly unable to protect them, many locals suspect that FARDC are involved in the ongoing massacres. Survivors and witnesses have reported hearing the killers speak in Luganda and Kinyarwanda. Languages from Uganda and Rwanda respectively. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the killers have links with M23, the rebel group defeated just over one year ago. All indications are that this is the beginning of a new war in the DRC.