UNICEF says 76 people killed in ethnic strife in northeast DR Congo

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday said 76 people have been killed during ethnic violence gripping northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since December.

UNICEF made this known in a statement that “majority of those killed in the north-eastern province of Ituri were women and children.

“In addition to the killings, over 70 villages were set on fire during recent violence which forced many to flee their homes to surrounding areas including neighbouring Uganda.

“At least three health centres and seven schools have been looted or burned, depriving children of health care and education,” the statement said.

The Fund estimated that following the violence, over 100 schools stopped classes, depriving 30,000 children of schooling.

It noted that inter-ethnic conflicts rose sharply in December between the Hema and Lendu, two tribes that coexist with difficulty in Ituri.

Between 2001 and 2006, no fewer than 60,000 people were killed in fighting between the two tribes.

In a recent report, the UN stressed that the situation in the DRC is one of the most complex crises in the world, and it has deteriorated due to the escalation of several local conflicts.

In early 2018, more than five million Congolese were forced to leave their homes, including 4.35 million within the country and 674,879 refugees arriving in other African countries.

(Xinhua/NAN)


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