Two lakh displaced by ethnic clashes in DR Congo
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.