Dozens killed in DRC violence

More than 33 people have been killed in a fresh outbreak of ethnic violence
in the Democratic Republic of Congo, authorities say. Unrest broke out between the Hema
and Lendu communities in the northeastern province of Ituri.
A UN-sponsored broadcaster said the assailants were eventually forced back by
security forces. More than 100 people have been killed by violence in the province since mid-
December. Th e unrest between the Hema cattle herders and Lendu farmers of the Ituri
region is one of several conflicts in DR Congo which have produced a huge amount of refugees and internally displaced people over the past two years. Some 200,000 people are estimated to
have been forced to fl ee their homes as a result of the violence in Ituri alone. Local army spokesman Jules Ngongo told Reuters news agency that state forces had separated the two sides.
“It was a case of reprisals by the two communities. According to our information, there were cases of people being decapitated,” he said. Some charities put the death toll at 49 or more. Thousands died in fighting between the two groups between 1997 and 2003, a time when DR Congo was at the centre of what some observers call “Africa’s world war”, as several other countries were involved. Fighting was fuelled by DR Congo’s vast mineral wealth. Th e war claimed up to six million lives in total, either as a direct result of fighting or because of disease and malnutrition

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