AOAV: all our reportsExplosive violence by Islamic State

17 killed and 20 injured in ADF attack on a church in North Kivu, 15 Jan

At least 17 people were killed and 20 injured in a bomb attack in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province. The attack, targeting a church in Kasindi, has been attributed to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan armed group affiliated with Islamic State.

Since 2010, AOAV has recorded 40 incidents of explosive violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and 336 civilian casualties. Civilians account for 72% of all 464 casualties recorded in the DRC in that time. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 65% (218),  have been caused by ground-launched weapons, in particular shelling (86 civilian casualties), grenades (69), artillery shells (23), and mortars (20). IEDs caused 25% (83) of civilian casualties.

43% of (144) of civilian casualties of explosive violence in the DRC have been attributed to non-state actors, while 10% (33) have been attributed to state actors and 47% (159) to actors of unknown name and status. 

Of the civilian casualties attributed to non-state actors, 28% (41) were reportedly caused by the ADF, and 34% (49) by M23 rebels. 

80% (32) of recorded incidents of explosive weapon use in the DRC were recorded in populated areas, as were 99% (332) of civilian casualties. Specifically, urban residential areas accounted for 25% (10) of incidents and 32% (109) of civilian casualties. The five most affected locations for civilian casualties of explosive violence in the DRC are urban residential areas, entertainment venues (51 civilian casualties), multiple urban locations (45), places of worship (42), and police stations (36). 

AOAV’s casualty figures represent the lowest of estimations in terms of the number of people killed and injured by explosive weapon use. In an effort to quantify the explicit harm caused by specific explosive weapons, AOAV solely records incident-specific casualty figures, as reported in English-language media.

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. All actors should stop using explosive weapons with wide-area effects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.