Democratic Republic of Congo armed groups have killed more than 1,300 people in the first half of 2020, three times more than in the same period in 2019, according to a report by the United Nations published on Wednesday.
According to the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO), fighters of all armed groups were responsible for a summary of executions or arbitrary killings of at least 1,315 people including 267 women and 165 children between January and June 2020.
The rise is a result of a deterioration in the human rights situation in provinces where conflict is common, particularly Ituri, North and South Kivu and Tanganyika, UNJHRO said.
The population in Eastern Congo has been terrorized by dozens of militia groups that are majorly the legacy of two major wars.
Violence in the gold-mining region of Ituri has raged since December 2017.
The flare-up has pitched the Hema ethnic group, who are predominantly herders, against the Lendu community, who are mostly sedentary farmers.
The two communities were embroiled in a bloody conflict between 1999-2003 that triggered concern across southern-central Africa and led to the European Union’s first foreign military mission, the short-term Operation Artemis.
The UN warns that some of the latest attacks could amount to crimes against humanity.
DRC army launched operations at the end of October 2019, against all armed groups in the eastern part of the country however the massacres of civilians have not ceased.
The UNJHRO report also noted that the number of violations committed by state agents decreased slightly during the first six months of 2020.
State agents were responsible for 43 percent of documented human rights violations, including the extrajudicial executions of at least 225 people, including 33 women and 18 children, throughout DR Congo, according to the report.