Published On: Tue, Oct 3rd, 2017

Refugees escape clashes between DRC security forces and militia groups in Congo

More than 3,000 people have fled to Zambia in the past month to escape escalating violence in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to the United Nations. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said in a statement on Tuesday that unrest in parts of southeastern DRC has driven more than 3,360 refugees into northern Zambia since 30 August – the largest influx of its kind in the past five years.

People “are escaping inter-ethnic clashes, as well as fighting between Congolese security forces and militia groups”, Andrej Mahecic, UNHCR spokesman, told reporters in Geneva.

Those arriving in Zambia described escaping “extreme brutality, with civilians being killed, women raped, property looted and houses set alight”, he said.

The majority of those fleeing come from the northern Katanga and Tanganyika regions.

In recent years, these areas have been the scene of multiple deadly clashes between the Pygmies and Bantus from the ethnic Luba group.

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