re posted from Presstv
Clashes in eastern DR Congo claim at least 15 lives
More than a dozen people have lost their lives in clashes between armed groups in the troubled eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where ethnic tensions have surged in recent weeks.
Local authorities in DR Congo said some 15 people were killed after an ethnic Nande militia group attacked the village of Mukeberwa in North Kivu Province on Monday.
Clashes then erupted between the assailants and the Hutu rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, who are in control of the village.
“According to information that I have, between 15 and 30 people have been killed,” said Bokele Joy, the administrator of North Kivu, adding that he could not be more precise as there are no army troops or national police in the area.
The developments come as the UN peacekeeping mission to the DR Congo has reported of a rise in inter-ethnic tensions since early-January killings at the Nande village that claimed some 17 lives.
The FDLR includes Rwandan Hutus, who are thought to have taken part in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, which claimed the lives of at least 800,000 people, mainly from the Tutsi minority.
A large number of the Hutu rebels fled to the neighboring DRC in fear of retaliation by Tutsi people when Paul Kagame, the current president of Rwanda, ended the genocide in July 1994, and rose to power.
The rebels are also accused of carrying out attacks in DR Congo and committing serious human rights violations, including recruiting child soldiers and rape.
Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades such as grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure and a war in the east of the country that has dragged on since 1998 and has left over 5.5 million people dead.