Ethnic clashes claim 200 lives in northeast DR Congo

Kigali- Rwanda (PANA) -- Ethnic clashes in the region of Bunia in northeastern DR Congo since late last week have claimed more than 200 lives, human rights and UN sources reported Sunday.
According to UN sources in the area, the fighting between ethnic Lendu farmers and Hema pastoralists broke out last Thursday at a locality called Kparanganza, 25 km north of the town of Bunia.
The Kampala-based daily, The Monitor, Monday confirmed the killings saying the Ugandan army based in Beni town sent reinforcements to the affected areas to quell the fighting.
Last year, scores of people were killed in similar clashes blamed on Uganda army officers, said to have fuelled inter-ethnic tension by training and arming Lendu militiamen.
The area is controlled by the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD) led by Mbusa Nyamwisi and supported by Uganda.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch has blamed the on-going killings on the Uganda, charging that it which wants to keep control of that part of Congo to plunder resources including timber, gold and diamonds.

18 february 2002 21:22:00

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