DRC: More than 30 killed in Ituri province as ethnic clashes continue
More than 30 people have been killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri province during the latest round of ethnic violence in the country’s northeast.
More than 100 people have been killed in Ituri since mid-December, prompting the United Nations to place a “high alert” status on the province. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled Ituri in recent years, many of whom risk their lives to cross into neighbouring Uganda.
More than 30 killed
The latest outbreak of ethnic violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) occurred between Hema and Lendu communities in Ituri. Some charities say at least 49 people were killed in the clash while the confirmed number of deaths so far stands at 33.
Army spokesman Jules Ngongo told Reuters that some victims were decapitated during the clash.
“It was a case of reprisals by the two communities. According to our information, there were cases of people being decapitated,” he said.
Hema cattle herders and Lendu farmers are involved in an ongoing conflict that dates back to the Second Congo War, which claimed more than six million lives. Thousands died among the two groups between 1997 and 2003 and the two communities have continued to fight over land long after the war ended.
The DRC is one of Africa’s richest countries in terms of natural resources yet remains one of the world’s poorest.
Featured image: By MONUSCO Photos – Aveba, ditrict de l’Ituri, RD Congo : une fillette conduisant son vélo-jouet en bois émet un sourire confiant au passage d’une patrouille de casques bleus de la MONUSCO, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46294020