DR Congo Villagers Fleeing Inter-communal Clashes Find Temporary Solace, Need Urgent Help

The villagers were running from their homes following inter-communal clashes between the Teke and Yaka communities which have led to the displacement of at least 5,000 people, according to one administrator.

Internally displaced persons fleeing the inter-communal conflict between the Teke and Yaka communities in Kwamouth, DR Congo, now live under precarious conditions in Bolobo territory in the Mai-Ndombe province.

The administrator of Bolobo territory, Nestor Mbangi, has called for humanitarian assistance for them.

“They live with family members, in hotels, schools, churches and in the secondary hospital of Lediba where a building has been allocated to them. People who are displaced following an attack live under tough conditions. The government must assist them. They lack food and clothing because they have lost everything. They need mosquito nets, food and money, too,” Nestor Mbangi said.

According to the administrator, “there are twenty people hospitalised, 244 houses razed and more than five thousand displaced persons. The sick persons, some of whom are wounded, are being taken care of in Lediba village.”

The governor of Mai-Ndombe province, Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, supported displaced persons admitted to the Lediba secondary hospital with medicines and money to the displaced, according to the head of its communication unit.

Since the beginning of clashes between the Teke and Yaka communities on Aug. 3, 2022, at least 28 persons have been reported killed and thousands displaced, besides the five thousand recorded in Bolobo territory.

There has been some relative calm since Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, when 200 soldiers dispatched from the capital Kinshasa arrived at Bolobo.

The original cause of the conflict between the Teke and Yaka communities was a disagreement over customary royalties on what to pay to local Teke authorities by the non-origins (the Yaka).

The conflict has since morphed. Mai-Ndombe’s Yumbi territory has been witnessing communal clashes since Dec. 2018. 

Earlier violence which pitched members of the Ntende ethnic group against the Nunu, resulted in the deaths of at least five hundred persons, according to the United Nations.

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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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