The spokesperson of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye, on Thursday, May 11, confirmed that FDLR militiamen are responsible for shooting at cattle in eastern DR Congo.
A graphic video has been making rounds on social media platforms showing armed men shooting at dozens of cattle.
While responding to claims that UPDF soldiers carried out the cruel act in Uganda, Kalayigye said it was FDLR elements “who attacked cows belonging to the Masisi people,” in eastern DR Congo.
In the video, Kinyarwanda-speaking armed men are shown shooting dozens of cows at close range and leaving them to die.
The M23 rebel group in eastern DR Congo said the incident happened on May 2 and more than 200 cows were killed, while more than 150 were wounded on the Kalengera-Tongo road.
In a May 3 statement, the M23 spokesperson, Lawrence Kanyuka, said the government coalition, composed of militias like the FDLR, Nyatura, CODECO and Mai Mai, was responsible for killing the cattle.
It is understood that the cows belonged to Congolese Tutsi herdsmen.
Congolese Tutsi communities in eastern DR Congo have been targets of ethnic violence at the hands of the FDLR and the Mai Mai militia.
This targeted violence against communities like the Banyamulenge and their cattle has been documented by the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention, which first warned of genocidal violence in November 2022. The UN office says the genocidal militia FDLR is still active in eastern DR Congo.
On May 4, Kanyuka said the Congolese government army also killed 17 people in Kizimba, in Masisi territory, on May 3.
The UN summit on DR Congo held in Burundi on May 6 called for an independent investigation into the Kizimba massacres.