DR Congo violence forces thousands from homes

UN says increase in fighting has forced 100,000 people to flee their homes as officials find empty and burned villages.

     The spike in violence could be related to the disputed recent elections, the UN says [EPA]

    An increase in violence involving government troops and armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has forced 100,000 people from their homes since November, the UN refugee agency said.

    The cause of the spike has not yet been established, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said, but it follows fraud-tainted elections in November.

    Attacks between rival armed groups in North Kivu's Walikale and Masisi territories are thought to have left 22 dead and an unidentified number of women raped, according to the agency.

    It said 35,000 had fled their homes to escape the violence,

    Humanitarian officials who visited the affected areas last week found empty and burned villages, Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the UNHCR, said.

    Clashes in Shabunda, in South Kivu, have meanwhile forced an estimated 70,000 from their homes since November.

    The UNHCR said government troops, the Rwandan rebel group FDLR and local defence groups were behind the violence.

    "We are trying to get a sense of what the reason is for this upsurge," Edwards said. "We are obviously in the aftermath of elections - it may be related to that."

    Joseph Kabila, the president of DRC, fought off rigging accusations to secure a presidential second term following the November 28 polls.

    The full results of legislative elections held the same day will be released later this month, the country's electoral commission said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.