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DRC: 12 civilians killed and 20 injured in shell blasts on two encampments in North Kivu

On Friday 4th May, twin shell blasts killed at least 12 civilians and injured 20 others in two camps for displaced people, the Lac Vert and Mugunga camps near the city of Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu province.

Congolese army spokesman Lt. Colonel Ndjike Kaiko blamed the two attacks on the rebel group known widely as M23, who have alleged connections to Rwanda. However, the group M23 has denied any role in the attacks in a statement published on X, formerly known as Twitter, and instead placed the blame on the Congolese forces.

Action on Armed Violence has documented 53 incidents of explosive weapons use in the DRC since 2012, with 26% (14) involving the M23 group as perpetrators, and resulting in 25% (134) of the total civilian casualties recorded. Furthermore, AOAV has recorded that non-state actors were responsible for 52% (280) of civilian casualties recorded between 2012 and 2024 in the country.

YearIncidentsCivilian Casualties
2012364
201316124
201410
2016337
201913
2021325
2022826
20238137
20249118
Total52534

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.