KINSHASA Democratic Republic of Congo (Xinhua)
-- At least 26 people were killed on
Saturday in inter-ethnic fighting in eastern Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC), according to security sources on site.
The sources said the
fighting involved members of the Hema and Lendu community in
Ituri province, where a Hema village located a few kilometers
from the city of Bunia was attacked.
Sources from the
provincial government of Ituri also confirmed the incident,
saying that some villagers were killed and several houses were
burned during the attack.
Police and soldiers
were dispatched to the spot to prevent the spread of violence,
which followed days of tension between the two ethnic
communities in the region.
between Hema and Lendu have made it difficult for the two
communities to coexist for several years in the province of
Ituri. Between 2001 and 2006, at least 60,000 people died in
clashes between the two in Ituri.
UN supports return of 15 South
Sudanese ex-combatants living in DRC
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
At least 15 South Sudanese ex-combatants
loyal to former first vice president Riek Machar arrived in Juba
on Friday after a sojourn in the neighboring Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC).
The former fighters
arrived in the capital ahead of next week’s regional peace
revitalization meeting aimed at restoring stability in the
Director of Haman Rights, Gender, Child and Social Welfare in
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the 15 ex-combatants on
behalf of the government.
She thanked the UN
Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for facilitating the evacuation
of the group to Juba.
“We are so delighted
to receive our returnees that fled to the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) in July 2016 as conflict escalated,” said Oswaha.
She said her
government will provide support needed to cater for the welfare
of the ex-combatants as they wait to be integrated into the army
and encourage warring factions to lay down arms.
“It is a sign of
peace that demonstrates the government’s effort to restore hope
and trust among people in the country, “Oswaha said.
Sadam Paru Manyang,
team leader of the returning ex-combatant thanked the UN mission
in DRC (MONUSCO) for feeding and clothing them throughout their
stay in the camp.
“We are here today
as citizens of this country because Juba belongs to all of us
and we are ready to work for the stability and development of
this nation,” Manyang said.
Spokesperson for the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in
the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) told Xinhua by email
that the UN mission sponsored the 15 former rebel forces by
plane from Goma to Juba and handed them over to the South Sudan
She revealed that
the group was part of a larger group of opposition elements that
have been hosted in MONUSCO camp in eastern part of DRC on
humanitarian ground since August 2016.
that 350 opposition elements are still in the camp whereas
around 280 have already left the country.
descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute
between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar
led to fighting between mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to
Kiir against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.
The 2015 peace
agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016
when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital Juba
forcing Machar to flee into exile.
The conflict has
killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions that
have sought refuge in neighboring countries.
EU offers emergency aid funds
for Congo refugees in Uganda
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
The European Union has announced a 100,000 Euros
humanitarian funding towards Congolese refugees in Uganda.
“Following a recent
influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
into Uganda, the European Commission has made an initial 100,000
Euros in humanitarian funding available for the International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC),” EU
announced on Wednesday.
Emmanuel D. Gyezaho,
the Press and Information Officer at EU in Uganda said the
funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to IFRC’s
Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) and will allow the Uganda
Red Cross Society to assist 6,000 newly arrived Congolese
refugees from Djugu in Ituri province.
EU said majority of
these refugees form Congo are reaching Uganda in rickety fishing
boats across Lake Albert before being transferred to Kyangwali
Refugee Settlement. “However, many of the fleeing Congolese are
unable to pay for the journey across the lake. An estimated 65
percent of the refugees are children,” added the communication.
Since December 1
2017, 13,970 refugees have arrived from DRC’s Ituri and North
Kivu provinces, bringing the total number of Congolese refugees
in Uganda to over 242,000. The refugees reportedly fled a new
cycle of intercommunal violence which saw armed groups killing,
looting and torching houses.
“EU funding is being
released to increase the safe water supply and improve
sanitation, hygiene and health services. It is crucial that we
provide dignified living conditions and prevent disease
outbreaks,” said Isabelle D’Haudt, Head of Office for EU Civil
Protection and Humanitarian Aid in Kampala.
Old and new
conflicts in DRC have driven an estimated 4.4 million Congolese
from their homes. The vast majority, 3.9 million people, are
internally displaced in DRC. The remaining half a million are
refugees in neighbouring countries.
UNHCR alarmed by surge of
violence in DRC
GENEVA (Xinhua) --
United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said
Tuesday it was alarmed by a recent surge in violence in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that had driven large
numbers of people to flee eastwards to neighboring Burundi,
Tanzania and Uganda.
children, women and men have abandoned their homes, in the midst
of intensified military operations against Mai Mai armed groups
in South Kivu province,” said UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch at
a UN briefing.
Since last week,
almost 7,000 people have crossed to neighboring Burundi and an
additional 1,200 to Tanzania.
It is believed that
many more are displaced inside South Kivu in difficult
“Refugees we have
spoken to say they fled forced recruitment, direct violence, and
other abuses by armed groups. Others say they fled in
anticipation of military operations and out of fear,” said
spokesperson said it was imperative that people fleeing the
violence were allowed safe passage, as well as humanitarian
Refugees seeking to
reach Burundi are mainly crossing Lake Tanganyika on small
conditions at Nyanza Lac and Rumonge where they arrive are
sparse, with extremely limited shelter, drinking water, and
food, said UNHCR.
Refugees are being
transferred to already-crowded transit centers and camps in
Burundi’s north and east.
UNHCR said was
grateful to neighboring countries for hosting the DRC refugees,
and urged them to keep their borders open to those fleeing