The UN voiced alarm Friday at accounts of “barbaric violence” in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, warning conditions for the 150,000 people returning to the area after fleeing the intercommunal strife are “grim”.
The UN refugee agency said its staff had recently been able to access the Ituri region, following months of conflict between the Hema and Lendu ethnic groups there.
“Conditions are grim,” spokesman Charlie Yaxley told reporters in Geneva.
“Our team heard numerous, harrowing reports of barbaric violence, including armed groups attacking civilians with guns, arrows and machetes, entire villages razed, and farms and shops being looted and damaged beyond repair,” he said.
A UN report last month estimated that more than 260 people had been killed in the recent intercommunal violence.
The troubled province is caught in a cycle of violence between the Hema and Lendu communities, cattle herders and farmers who for decades have long fought over land.
Source : News Agencies