Two lakh dis­placed by eth­nic clashes in DR Congo

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ABOUT 2,00,000 peo­ple have been dis­placed in eth­nic clashes since midDe­cem­ber in the north­east­ern Ituri prov­ince of the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo, a hu­man­i­tar­ian source said on Tues­day.

An­other hu­man­i­tar­ian source said on an av­er­age 800 peo­ple are ar­riv­ing daily in Bu­nia, the main city in the re­gion, due to fight­ing be­tween the Hema and Lendu com­mu­ni­ties. Hema herders and Lendu farm­ers have been locked in vi­o­lence in Ituri for decades, with tens of thou­sands killed from 1999 to 2003.

The UN in Kam­pala said over 22,000 refugees had fled to Uganda re­cently to es­cape vi­o­lence has left sev­eral dead and vil­lages torched.

At least four refugees drowned while cross­ing the wa­ters of Lake Al­bert be­tween the two na­tions, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said. Last week, over 22,000 Con­golese crossed Lake Al­bert to Uganda in three days, bring­ing the to­tal num­ber of peo­ple from the DRC ar­riv­ing in the coun­try to about 34,000 since the be­gin­ning of the year, UNHCR said on Tues­day.

The refugees use small ca­noes or over­crowded fish­ing boats, of­ten car­ry­ing more than 250 peo­ple and tak­ing up to 10 hours to cross.

Refugees cross­ing to Uganda talk of grow­ing at­tacks against civil­ian pop­u­la­tions, as well as killings and de­struc­tion of pri­vate prop­erty, the UN state­ment read. The lat­est vi­o­lence comes amid un­cer­tainty over the fu­ture of Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila, who has ruled since 2001. AFP

22k refugees fled to Uganda to es­cape vi­o­lence


Hema and Lendu com­mu­ni­ties in Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo locked in vi­o­lence since decades.

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