‘At least 500 killed’ in DR Congo attack

By Mary Harper

The UN says the killing of more than 500 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo last December may amount to crimes against humanity.

General Bernard Commins, MONUSCO Force Deputy Commander, in Yumbi, where clashes between Batende and Banunu communities last December caused the deaths of hundreds, and the displacement of many others. The joint mission also visited the site where collective and individual graves had been discovered.
General Bernard Commins, MONUSCO Force Deputy Commander, in Yumbi, where clashes between Batende and Banunu communities last December caused the deaths of hundreds, and the displacement of many others. The joint mission also visited the site where collective and individual graves had been discovered.

UN human rights investigators said the killings over three days, in the western region of Yumbi, were planned and executed with the support of customary chiefs.They said the state failed in its responsibility to protect the population.

The violence started when members of the Banunu ethnic group tried to bury one of their chiefs on land belonging to the Batende people.

Some reports put the number of dead at nearly 900.Some 465 houses and buildings were burned down or pillaged, including two primary schools, a health centre, a health post, a market and the office of the country’s independent electoral commission, the UN said in an earlier report in January.

The displaced residents included some 16,000 people who sought refuge by crossing the Congo river into neighbouring Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, it added. BBC News.