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500 Congolese Nationals Flee Fresh Clashes in Eastern DRC

Peter Kyasimire, the LC 2 Chairperson Nkondo parish in Kyangwali Sub County who is part of the team receiving the Congolese at Sebigoro reception center, says they expect the number to double by Monday evening because the situation is still tense.
Some of the Congolese Nationals arriving at Sebigoro landing site on Sunday afternoon.

Audio 4

Hundreds of Congolese nationals have fled into Uganda following renewed clashes in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC. 

The fresh clashes erupted on Saturday at Muvaramu landing site in Ituri province in Bunia between the Lendu and the Bagegere claiming dozens of lives and injuring several others, according to the survivors who have since crossed into Uganda.

The displaced persons mostly women and children, started arriving in Kikuube district through Lake Albert over the weekend. They are being received at Sebigoro reception center by officials from the United Nations High Commission for Refugee-UNHCR.

The more than 500 Congolese nationals are from Muvaramu, Mboki Bunia, Kasenyi, Tchomia Beni and Joo. Mande Therezi, 60, one of the survivors from Mboki village told Uganda Radio Network at Sebigoro reception center that she lost two of her sons to the machete wielding Lendu on Saturday night. 

She escaped and board a boat to Uganda. Therezi says she isn't certain whether her husband is alive or dead since they took different directions.

//Cue in: "Mina Kimbya tuvita…

Cue out…Wezi rudiavile Congo,"//.

Elango Bandho, 30, another refugee from Joo Landing site, says fresh clashes forced him to separate with his wife. According to Bandho, armed Lendus attacked them on Saturday night forcing him to escape leaving behind his wife and their two children.

//Cue in: “Minatoka ku Joo…

Cue out:…Pata salama tu."//.

Ariel Machozi from Tchoima Landing site says the renewed tribal clashes are too tense. She says several people have been displaced since Saturday.

//Cue in:" Waringo Lwiny ni…

Cue out:…Kacaku Tongo dhanu,"//.

A source at Sebigoro reception center who spoke to URN on Condition of anonymity since he is not allowed to speak to the press before they are vaccinated.

Peter Kyasimire, the LC 2 Chairperson Nkondo parish in Kyangwali Sub County who is part of the team receiving the Congolese at Sebigoro reception center, says they expect the number to double by Monday evening because the situation is still tense.

 

//Cue in:"Ba Congo bakyaija…

Cue out:…Tutungire abantu bandi."//.

 

UNHCR was making arrangements to transfer the Congolese nationals to Kyangwali Refugee settlement area by the time of filing this story. Thousands of Congolese refugees have flocked Uganda since December last year following tribal clashes between the Lendu and Bagegere in Eastern DRC. 

UNHCR officials haven't commented as they could neither pick nor return calls from our reporter.