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New outbursts of violence in North Kivu

· More than a 100 dead and 60,000 evacuees in the tormented eastern region of the Congo ·

More than 100 people were killed in further explosions of violence last week in North Kivu, the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, between the Mai Mai militia groups and the Democratic Forces for the :Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). The two armed groups in the region have retaliated after various attacks on each other. The Mai Mai have killed “mostly with knives and machetes” all those whom they claim have collaborated with their rivals, said Omar Kavota, coordinator of civil society which includes the social and religious groups of North Kivu Province. The victims were mainly women and children of the Batembo race.

At the same time, in the past few days the clashes between the regular army and the mutineers of the so-called “March 23 Movement”, led by Colonel Sultani Makenga, have occurred mainly on the hills round Runyoni.

Those who pay the highest price are the tens of thousands of fleeing civilians who need aid urgently. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the past few weeks at least 60,000 people, the majority of whom are women, elderly people and children, have sought refuge in the border countries where the promiscuous living conditions in the refugee camps risk causing a humanitarian and sanitarian emergency.

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