UN: 300,000 flee fresh ethnic violence in northeastern DRC

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More than 300,000 people have been forced to flee their homes amid fresh violence in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday.

Numerous attacks and retaliations between Hema herders and Lendu farmers compounds reports of intense fighting between the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) and non-state armed actors in Djugu territory. UNHCR spokesperson, Babar Baloch, told journalists in Geneva the situation has drastically worsened in recent days.

People fleeing attacks in Djugu

People are fleeing attacks and counter attacks in Djugu Territory, with reports of both communities forming self-defence groups and being involved in revenge killings”, Mr Baloch told journalists on Tuesday.

“The details we are receiving from our partners, and also some of the displaced”, he said, included reports of “brutalities against civilians, killings, sexual violence, and other extreme forms of violence against civilians,” he added.

In response to fears the situation could escalate further, the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) has established three temporary military bases in Djugu and Mahagi.

Featured image: By DFID – UK Department for International Development – Refugees in transit from the border with DRC to Rwamwanja, Uganda, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30786741

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.