Massacre after Congo livestock dispute

SALEH MWANAMILONGO
Last updated 07:29 08/06/2014

Relevant offers

Africa

Egypt's former leader Hosni Mubarak freed, six years after overthrow - lawyer Unicef: Life in South Sudan just got tougher Unicef: Starving to death in South Sudan as the world watches Religious TV channel in Senegal accidentally airs porn US hospital takes on rare surgery to help baby born with four legs All 49 passengers, crew survive 'miraculous' crash landing in South Sudan Falling tree kills at least 18 at Ghana waterfall Former Burundi street child helps heal civil war divisions Mandela's granddaughter turns her back on scandal-hit ANC David Shearer swaps Parliament for 'perfect storm' in South Sudan - and he loves it

Armed fighters have attacked a town in eastern Congo, massacring at least 34 people including women and children who were at a local church, officials say.

Provincial interior minister Jean Julien Miruho said that the violence in Mutarule on late Friday (Saturday, NZT) also left at least 27 others wounded.

Miruho said the identity of the assailants was unknown, though he believed the violence stemmed from livestock disputes in the area, about 70 kilometres from Bukavu.

"We cannot say exactly who these attackers were, but we will put together a commission of inquiry that will go to the site Sunday," Miruho said. "It is clear that this attack was linked to the theft of cattle."

Survivors blamed a rebel group from Burundi known as the FNL for the attack, though the claim couldn't immediately be verified.

Eastern Congo is home to a myriad of armed groups and militias, many vying for control of the region's vast mineral resources. Many of the rebel groups sowing unrest there originate in other countries in the region, including Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda.

Congo's military successfully sidelined one major rebel group - M23 - in eastern Congo last year with the help of a UN force with a stronger mandate. Congo's military is also working with a Rwandan Hutu militia group known as the FDLR to finally disarm after two decades of violence.

In Congo's North Kivu province, General Delphin Kahimbi said the government was giving the FDLR rebels a 30-day notice to voluntarily disarm. An estimated 1400 FDLR fighters remain in eastern Congo, according to government estimates.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content