Congolese Ethnic Violence Worsens
Posted on Oct 31, 2008
The chaos in the Democratic Republic of Congo escalated Friday as a refugee camp of 50,000 people reportedly was looted and burned, probably by Tutsi rebel groups. The violence is rooted in the colonial ethnic divisions that led to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
The UN says it has credible reports that camps sheltering 50,000 displaced people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have been destroyed.
Reports suggest the camps were forcibly emptied and looted before being burned, the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, said.
Aid groups say they are struggling to reach an estimated 250,000 people in the region fleeing fierce fighting between government and rebel forces.
Intense diplomatic efforts are under way to end the crisis.
A ceasefire is holding in and around Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, but aid agency chiefs say the situation remains highly volatile.
bbc.co.uk / Kate Eshebly
A large refugee camp—similar to the Kusasi camp in Rutshuru, Democratic Republic of Congo, pictured above—was burned and looted, aggravating food and water scarcity issues in the region.