Rising violence in Eastern Congo

UN forces in the region of South Kivu UN forces in the region of South Kivu Crispin Kyala/Reuters

Increasing violence and atrocities have signed the last two months in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, with thousands of fled people.

The past two months have seen a new, increasing rate of violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Thousands of people have fled their hometowns, with dozens of villages burnt and massive killings throughout the all region. But what can seem only a local conflict could well be a more complex, multi-regional war, involving many surrounding states, and potentially triggering a new, disastrous ethnic cleansing. The central point of it is a long-time division between the tribes of Babembe, Bafuliru and Banyindu, which account for the main part of the population of Congo, and the community of Banyamulenge, a cattle-herding group of Rwandan origin, often derided as outsiders. Though the situation has been one of always difficult coexistence and frequent clashes, only the last two months have seen a consistent increase in the number of attacks by the first three tribes against the Banyamulenge community. And what is even more relevant is that, for the first time, those tribes, usually divided by other internal disputes, united together against the last, with increasingly frequent raids on their villages and deliberate mass killings and executions, thus pushing the Banyamulenge in a rapidly decreasing strip of land in South Kivu. Though the UN Peacekeeping Force in Congo (MONUSCO) and the Congolese forces respectively reinforced their positions, the situation hasn’t changed at all. What’s more, rebel groups from some of the neighbouring countries (above all, Rwanda and Burundi) united their forces with the Babembe, Bafuliru and Banyindu, lending them additional amounts of weapons, men and logistics. 



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Author: Pasquale Candela

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