Ethnic massacre in the DRC: 5.8 million people displaced
Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) witnessed more bloodshed this weekend. Accordingly, a new ethnic massacre by CODECO and government clashes against the M23 took place.
Eastern parts of the DRC are blighted by ongoing ethnic, political, and religious violence. For example, some forces like CODECO and M23 are ethnically based – while the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is an Islamist terrorist group.
5.8 million people are now internally displaced in the DRC. At the same time, over 1 million people fleeing regional conflicts have entered the DRC to burden an already horrendous situation further.
Voice of America reports, “In Ituri province, CODECO militants — a group claiming to protect the Lendu community from another ethnic group, the Hema — was accused of targeting five villages in Mahagi early on Saturday.”
While CODECO was carrying out a massacre of 15 people in one village (Ituri province), the ADF Islamists killed at least 10 people in another area.
The dead in the CODECO massacre were mainly women, children, and the elderly who couldn’t escape. It is feared that the death toll will increase.
In North Kivu, fighting erupted again between M23 insurgents and government forces. ADF and M23 also connect the regional nations of Uganda and Rwanda. Therefore, the spiral of violence is never ending – and anything between 120 and 130 different militias exist in the DRC.
France 24 reports, “According to the UN experts’ report, Rwanda’s military intervened to “reinforce” the M23 as well as to combat the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) — a descendant of Rwandan Hutu extremist groups that carried out the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda.”
President Felix Tshisekedi welcomes outside military support. However, others oppose foreign intervention.
The former prime minister Augustin Matata Ponyo, the Nobel winner Denis Mukwege, and the politician Martin Fayulu issued an important communique that denounced the role of foreign armies.
The communique said, “Instead of providing the country with an effective army, the government has prioritized externalizing national security, (placed in the hands of) foreign forces and, even worse, of countries which are behind the destabilization of this country.”
UN News reports – despite 5.8 million people being displaced in the DRC – “It is also one of UNHCR’s most underfunded operations worldwide. For 2023, UNHCR is asking for $232.6 million to assist internally displaced people and refugees in the DRC. As of today, the DRC operation is only eight percent funded.”
G7 nations are fixated on Ukraine despite many international problems on several continents.
It remains to be seen if a solution can be found that stabilizes the dire situation.
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