Dr Congo – Over 30,000 People Flee Kwamouth After Fresh Violence

More people fleeing violence between the communities of Teke and Yaka are fleeing their homes as the conflict spreads

The number of displaced persons fleeing from the ethnic clashes between the Tekes and Yakas in Kwamouth territory to other parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo has continued to increase by the day. 

So far, 30,652 displaced persons have been received in Kwilu province while 6,936 others have been welcomed in Bandundu town and Fatundu in Bagata territory.

“The problem of taking care of the displaced persons continues to be acute. Up until now, no humanitarian actors have come to the aid of these displaced persons”, the Director of Cabinet of the Kwilu provincial Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Jeremie Bikele has revealed.

“The living conditions of these displaced persons are not at all favourable. There is some support given by the provincial governor but up until now, there are no humanitarian actors active on the ground to respond to this situation which prevails in the town of Bandundu and in Kwilu province as a whole”, Jeremie Bikele said.

The lack of assistance to the displaced persons was brought to the knowledge of the DR Congo head of state, President Felix Tshisekedi on Friday October 7, 2022 by the governor of Bandundu who solicited for financial assistance to facilitate the evacuation of displaced persons who have expressed the desire to return to their villages of origin.

Meanwhile, three people were killed Sunday 9 Oct. during new clashes between armed assailants from Kwamouth and the inhabitants of the village of Kimpana Mwanango in the Bagata territory of Kwilu province.

More than 20 houses were burnt down and two persons were taken hostage by the assailants, according to the chief of Wamba sector, Martin Gabia.

“Two boys were captured by these assailants who are hiding around the sand dunes. We also killed three persons and until now, there is no police presence in that area, in fact, there are no people there now”, Chief Martin Gabia revealed, adding that the assailants were joined by neighbourhood delinquent youths who looted local farms.

“There are children, brigands who are associated to the assailants. They are area boys who have become thieves who steal corn in the farms and eventually sell it”, the chief said.

The civil society in Kwilu has called for the extension of military operations launched in Kwamouth to Bagata territory in order to ensure durable peace.

“We call on government to start re-establishing peace in Kwamouth and to also extend military operations to Bagata territory, if not, the conflict would continue and we will continue counting the dead. We have followed the instructions of the governors who have asked for reinforcements and if they have asked for reinforcements, it means they know the profundity of the problem and know that the interventions so far have not been enough”, Placide Mukwa, second vice president of the Kwilu civil society declared.

These new clashes come after about three weeks of relative calm following the assassination of the traditional ruler of Bukusu village in Bagata territory. The army has since arrested twenty-two assailants in Bagata territory and transferred them to Bandundu.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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