African Press Association

Thousands massacred a year into DRC disaster

From JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – MORE than 2 600 people have been killed and 62 mass graves discovered in the worsening conflict in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The revelation comes at the conclusion of a joint mission by nongovernmental organisations.
Caritas and Cordaid, which carried out the mission during the month of July, recorded 2 623 deaths. Some 2 767 houses and 30 churches had been destroyed during the skirmishes.
Education has come to a halt with 140 schools destroyed while some 28 health centres have been damaged during the crisis.
The clashes are between militants loyal to the slain tribal leader, Kamuina Nsapu, and the Armed Forces of the DRC.
The army and police are accused of severe reprisals.
Displaced populations have abandoned their fields, food supplies and basic necessities.
They have found refuge in the bush and neighboring provinces or in the neighbouring Angola.
Humanitarian organisations raised concern at young people and children being enlisted in the militias.
Areas in the Kasai region worst affected by the bloodshed include Lunkamba, Lunyanya, Masangu Anayi and Nganduambulu.
Militias are protesting the killing of Nsapu last August. They also demand the resignation of beleaguered President Joseph Kabila.
CAJ News