ITURI, 03 June, 2020 / 3:15 am (ACI Africa).
The reported increase in violence in the Province of Ituri of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is worsening an already dire humanitarian situation in the region, which is covered by the Catholic Diocese of Bunia, an official of Malteser International (MI) has cautioned.
“The precarious security situation is putting additional pressure on the already stretched humanitarian services in the region and we are very concerned for the safety of our staff,” the head MI’s Africa Desk, Roland Hansen has reported.
“Many of the displaced persons have told horrific stories of extreme violence,” the official has added in a report published May 29 and continued, “More and more people with machete wounds and other severe injuries are arriving for treatment at our medical facilities.”
A gold-rich area, Ituri, located in the Northeastern part of DRC has borne the brunt of the country’s worst violence with a report indicating that thousands of people died between 1999-2007 after power wrangles between militias mutated into inter-ethnic conflicts between Lendu farmers and Hema herders.
Tensions have been high in the region since December 2019 following the launch of a government-led military operation against various armed groups operating in the area, coupled with inter-ethnic conflicts between Lendu farmers and Hema herders.