Washington, DC - The United States is deeply concerned by the brutality and the increasingly frequent attacks on the civilian population of Beni territory, North Kivu, that have left almost 200 dead in the last 45 days, including women and small children. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this horrific violence.

The illegal Ugandan armed group the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and possibly others allegedly perpetrated these attacks, which include reported beheadings, mutilations, and rape. These are terrible atrocities that should not go unpunished.

We call on the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to initiate a prompt, thorough investigation and hold all responsible to account. We urge urgent, intensified efforts by the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) with United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) support to protect the civilian population and to eradicate all illegal armed groups in eastern Congo, including the ADF and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). The United States will continue to support the government and the people of the DRC, as well as the United Nations, in their combined efforts to consolidate peace, security, and stability throughout the country.