North Kivu Governor Carly Nazanzu Kasivita said the attack took place in an area where the Democratic Forces had long been working for the liberation of Rwanda, but an investigation was ongoing. The group is one of the largest foreign armed groups in the country, a rebel group with links to the 1994 genocide in Ravana.
Referring to the language spoken in Rwanda, the governor said in a telephone interview that “according to the preliminary investigation, why they were killed by a group of six people speaking Yerwanda.”
The convoy was heading from Goma to Rutsuru town, on a road that would have taken vehicles through Virunga National Park, from where the route was unclear, although it is not clear what caused the attack. The World Food Program said many more people were injured in the attack.
The attack has sparked a wave of violence in the area in recent weeks, with six people killed last month in a deadly attack by different forces in Virunga National Park.
Virunga, Africa’s first national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known as the region’s most famous, and home to terrifying, mountain gorillas. But, the North Kivu region has also been the scene of regular violence, as the conflict between the government and military groups, as well as the consequences of neighboring conflicts, have arisen there.
Another attack in Virunga last year killed 17 people, the deadliest in the park in recent years, believed to have been carried out by Democratic Forces for the liberation of Rwanda.
After brutal colonial times, in the years since independence in 1960, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been engulfed by civil wars and decades of successive regimes of corrupt dictators.