DJUGU, Democratic Republic of Congo — The resource-rich but deeply troubled Democratic Republic of Congo is the positioning of a few of Africa’s longest-running conflicts — and the world’s largest peacekeeping mission.
About 20,000 United Nations peacekeepers function in Congo, Africa’s second-largest nation by land mass, attempting to maintain its residents secure from the tons of of armed teams that disguise in and strike from its hills, particularly in its east.
Violence is nothing new right here, but a latest wave of brutal combating has damaged out in the province of Ituri, on the border with Uganda, elevating issues a couple of humanitarian catastrophe. More than 260 individuals have died and greater than 200,000 have fled their houses since December in a battle began by a scuffle between youths from two native ethnic communities, the Lendu and Hema.
The United Nations peacekeeping mission introduced this previous week it had found 5 suspected mass grave websites close to a number of the villages attacked in February and March, when the violence peaked.
The Lendu and Hema in Ituri stay as neighbors, marry each other and converse the identical language — but in addition they share a historical past of bloody battle.
A dispute over land, practically 20 years in the past, escalated, and Ituri turned the epicenter of a significant regional conflict, involving overseas neighbors like Rwanda and Uganda, which backed completely different militias in their very own battles for affect in Congo. Some of these foreign-backed militia leaders later turned the primary males convicted of conflict crimes on the International Criminal Court.