Three Killed In DR Congo Over Fight For Food

Three people have been killed in scuffles over food aid at a displaced persons' camp in the troubled eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, sources said on Friday.


DR Congo flag.

 

Three people have been killed in scuffles over food aid at a displaced persons’ camp in the troubled eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, sources said on Friday.

Local officials on Thursday brought food to Kanyarucyinya camp, a facility housing around 17,500 people near the city of Goma, but decided to distribute the aid the following morning, camp chief Theo Musekura said.

The decision angered some of the displaced people, provoking scuffles in which three people were killed, he told AFP.

Some of the displaced were shot and others trampled, Musekura added.

Two displaced people at Kanyarucyinya also confirmed that three people had been killed, explaining that police officers had opened fire in a bid to disperse the crowd.

A security official who requested anonymity said that two people had been shot dead and one trampled to death, and five wounded, he added.

Some witnesses said the scuffles broke out because people were trying to steal the food.

AFP was unable to independently confirm the death toll. Colonel Patrick Molengo, the local police administrator, did not respond to questions.

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Many of the camp’s residents have fled fighting between the M23 militia and the army, with rebels capturing swathes of new territory in recent weeks and displacing tens of thousands of people.

A mostly Congolese Tutsi group, the M23 first leapt to prominence in 2012 when it briefly captured Goma before being driven out.

After laying dormant for years, the group resumed fighting in late 2021, claiming that the DRC had failed to honour a pledge to integrate them into the army, among other grievances.

The rebels have won a string of victories against the Congolese army in North Kivu in recent weeks, dramatically increasing the territory under their control.

Their resurgence has destabilised regional relations in central Africa, with the DRC accusing its smaller neighbour Rwanda of backing the militia.

An estimated 183,000 people have been displaced in North Kivu since October 20, according to the UN’s humanitarian agency OCHA.

AFP