Armed ViolenceNews

Hundreds Displaced As Army, Rebels Clash In DR Congo’s South Kivu

Hundreds of families have been displaced following clashes between the Democratic Republic of Congo army and militias in Alenga, Fizi territory within the Tanganyika sector of South Kivu.

The clashes which started on Sunday, August 9, 2020, have created a very dramatic humanitarian situation in Mutambala with several villagers thrown into disarray as the Mai-Mai rebels clashes with the DR Congo armed forces continue.

The traditional ruler of Alenga, Umbelwa Bitengya says more than 370 families now live under very precarious conditions.

“Since Monday, we have been welcoming several displaced persons here in Alenga. We are a small village which does not have the capacity to receive such a high number of displaced persons.

“Moreover, there are no houses here for them to live I; so many of them pass the nights in the open air. Others are still hiding in bushes. We call on humanitarian organisations to come to our assistance,” declared the village chief.

The security situation in the Fizi Region has worsened recently because of inter-communal violence which persists since 2016. Local communities have constituted themselves into self-defence groups which frequently clash resulting in deaths and displacements.

Humanitarian organisations recorded 128 civilian deaths between February 2019 and June 2020, including 21 women and seven children following clashes between armed groups and members of the DR Congo armed forces.

There were also attacks against civilians in the region of Uvira Upper Plateau, Minembwe and Itombwe which targeted villages and displaced persons camps, according to the Joint Bureau of the United Nations Human Rights.

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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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