21 Killed in Democratic Republic of Congo

At least 21 Hutu rebels killed in east Congo violence, says the UN At least 21 Hutu rebels killed in east Congo violence, says the UN © Reuters

9 February 2016
Raised concern over ethnic violence after 21 people killed, 40 others injured, and 70 houses burned down in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.


On February 8th the United Nations announced that 21 people were killed, 40 others injured, and 70 houses burned down over the weekend as a result of escalating inter-communal violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. There has been ongoing conflict since January 2016 between the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Rwandan Hutu militia operating in eastern Congo, and other local groups after authorities accused Hutu militia of killing Nande ethnic group in North Kivu province. The region has seen dozens of rebel groups arise out of decades of ethnic rivalries, foreign occupations, and competition for natural resources, resulting in an alarming level of large-scale violence and displacement of civilians.

The fighting broke out after a Nande militia attacked Mukeberwa, held by Hutu rebels of the FDLR and based in eastern Congo for two decades. The FDLR is said to be composed of perpetrators involved in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. “We have also received reports on massive displacement of civilians, looting, abductions and of at least three rapes during the past few days,” said the UN mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).

Last year, the Congolese army launched a military offensive against FDLR that triggered escalated tensions between Hutu and neighbouring communities, displacing fighters and Hutu civilians. Last month, up to 17 people were killed by suspected Rwandan Hutu rebels in Miriki. The Nande oppose the return of displaced Congolese Hutus, accusing them of conspiring with FDLR.

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