Two feuding communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo are causing chaos.
What We Know:
Two ethnic groups, the Hema and the Lendu, have clashed in the Ituri province of the DRC causing destruction and hundreds of fatalities.
- These two groups have a long history of conflict. Between 1999-2007 about 50,000 people were killed due to disputes over political representation to land disputes.
- After a period of peace, fighting between the two groups started again in 2017. An estimated 300 people died.
- Last week, four Lendu people were killed, believing the Hema people were responsible, they staged an attack on their village shortly after. This incident reignited the conflict between the two. The Lendu retaliated by burning homes in the Hema villages and killing people with machetes.
- The United Nations reported that over 300,000 others have fled their homes in the wake of the violence.
- This area of the country is also battling an Ebola outbreak. The increased migration raises the risk of spreading the disease to new areas.
The recurring violence between these two groups is deeply troubling. Hopefully, officials will find a way to restore peace in their province.