28 December 2018

Congo-Kinshasa: 45 Dead in Congolese Tribal Conflict

Kinshasa — CLASHES between rival tribes have left at least 45 people dead in the western Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

More than 60 people have been wounded following the skirmishes between the Banunu-Bobangi and Batende tribes in the city of Yumbi in Mai-Ndombe Province.

Over 4 000 people have been forced to flee their homes, mostly seeking refuge in the neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville

The violence allegedly broke out when members of the Banunu wanted to bury one of their customary chief on the lands of the Batende community.

Caritas, the non-governmental organisation, bemoaned the several material losses during these clashes.

Dozens of homes have been burnt and shops looted.

Local authorities have also linked the violence to the impending elections in the DRC.

The Banunu-Bobangi, a majority tribe, and the minority Batende have previously clashed during polls held in 2006 and 2011.

DRC is set to hold long-delayed polls on Sunday.

Polls, which were initially set for 2016, were again deferred last Sunday.

Caritas said "precarious calm" characterised Yumbi in the wake of the latest clashes.

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