Kinshasa, DRC — NINE people have been killed following clashes between two factions of a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Five of those killed as a result of the infighting in the Nduma Defence of Congo (NDC-R) in the territory of Walikale in the North Kivu Province are militants.
They were killed in the locality of Pinga where three civilians were also wounded.
Four civilians were killed in the surrounding village of Lukweti.
Panic has gripped the affected areas, forcing people to seek refuge in the bush.
The clashes linked to a leadership conflict have led to systematic looting in the affected areas.
The two enemy factions are said to be strengthening their positions in the Pinga area, where the DRC Armed Forces (FARDC) has a limited presence.
"This situation risks reviving inter-community tensions and exposing populations to reprisals," said a humanitarian spokesperson.
These tensions risk affecting humanitarian access, which had already been constrained for several years due to insecurity and dilapidated infrastructure.
The few humanitarian organizations present in the area are at risk of seeing their activities hampered by the intensity of the fighting.
Humanitarians also warned this crisis could also worsen the protection situation and increase the vulnerabilities linked to population movements while contributing to the outbreak of new inter-community tensions.
"In addition, it could lead to fighting in areas beyond this area, increasing the vulnerabilities of a population already facing many constraints," a humanitarian said.
Ndume is one of the numerous armed groups operating in northeast DRC.
DRC is faced with multiple crises such as coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, measles, cholera and Ebola.