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1 minute read
17 Jan 2019
9:23 am

UN to investigate DRC inter-communal ethnic violence massacre


Approximately 890 people were killed in violent clashes between the Banunu and Batende communities in December.

President of the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Joseph Kabila, has agreed to step aside after nearly two decades in power. AFP/John WESSELS

An investigation has been launched into a massacre that killed almost 900 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in December, according to the UN.

Approximately 890 people were killed in the December 16 to 18 massacre, where violent clashes between the Banunu and Batende communities took place in four villages in Yumbi territory, in Mai-Ndombe province, said the UN in a statement on Wednesday.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that most of the area’s population had also reportedly been displaced. As a result of the violence, the December 30 presidential poll was postponed in the Yumbi area.

At least 82 people were also injured in the attacks, according to reports received by OHCHR, and some 465 houses and buildings were burned down or pillaged, including two primary schools, a health centre, a health facility, a market, and the local office of the independent electoral commission, known by its French acronym, CENI.

Both the OHCHR and national judicial authorities have launched investigations into the reported attacks.

At the beginning of January, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR reported that 16,000 people from DRC had arrived in neighbouring Republic of the Congo – also known as Congo-Brazzaville – after fleeing deadly inter-communal clashes.

According to the UNHCR, this represents the largest influx of refugees in over a decade since 2009, when 130,000 people were forced to seek shelter amid ethnic clashes in DRC’s former Equator Province.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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