The province of North Kivu in eastern Congo witnessed the end of a bloody week during which villages were attacked and battles broke out between the army and militias. At least 35 civilians have been killed in the violence.
The death toll on Sunday was 22 people, but it was announced yesterday that 13 more Hutu civilians were killed at the hands of Nande militia during an attack in the south of the above mentioned province. The new chapter of the tragic conflict between the Hutu and Nande militia coincided with Christmas.
Mai Mai Mazembe, a predominantly Nande militia, attacked the town of Nyanzale early on Sunday morning three days after 13 Nande civilians were killed at the hands of Nyatura, an ethnic Hutu militia, in the village of Bulanda which is located approximately 80 km north of Guma.
Alphonse Mahano, a local official, said that the militia “killed 13 people, using machetes or guns… all the victims are from the Hutu”. Three of the attackers were also killed when the military intervened, whilst the army said that six members of the militias were killed according to Agence France-Presse.
African and Western powers fear the violence could spark another major conflict in the massive central African nation where millions died between the years 1996 and 2003 during regional wars and which has never experienced a peaceful transition of power.