Tribal conflicts uproot thousands in DRC

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from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) MORE than 650 000 people have been forced to flee their homes after renewed violence between rival ethnic groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Women, children and the elderly are among those most affected by the clashes between the Batwa, also known as Pygmies, and the Bantu, mainly of the Luba ethnic group.

They are villagers and hunter-gatherers respectively, with a decades-long history of tensions.

Their clashes have exacerbated a severe humanitarian situation in the south-east province of Tanganyika.

Dozens of people have been killed and wounded during brutal clashes between groups, armed mainly with axes and machetes.

Villages have been burnt and fields destroyed, sparking the massive population displacement.

Sébastien Sujobert, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) sub-delegation in Tanganyika, said the effects of this outburst of violence were still visible a year since the crisis recurred.

He said the situation remained volatile and threatened to flare up again at any moment.

ICRC has carried out almost 7 000 consultations at the Manono General Hospital and a mobile clinic over the past year.

Displaced families are facing increasingly critical food shortages.

“Against the backdrop of a steadily worsening food crisis, the ongoing tensions between the two communities are worrying,” Sujobert said.

– CAJ News

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Posted by on Jan 5 2018. Filed under Africa & World, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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