KINSHASA (Reuters) – More than 100 people have died in clashes between rival ethnic groups in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo this week, local activists said on Wednesday.
The fighting in Mai-Ndombe province is some of the worst to hit the normally peaceful area in years and comes days before Sunday’s long-delayed presidential, legislative and provincial elections, which many fear could turn violent.
The fighting between the Batende and Banunu ethnic groups broke out on Sunday over the disputed location of a Banunu chief’s burial, said Jules Bango, an activist in the town of Yumbi, on the banks of the Congo River.
“Today we have identified almost 120 deaths, and there are 71 others wounded in the hospital,” Bango told Reuters. Many people had fled across the river into neighbouring Congo Republic, he added.
Mai-Ndobe’s governor did not respond immediately to requests for comment.