At least 50 people have reportedly been killed in intercommunal clashes near Bunia (Ituri province) as of Thursday, June 13. Local officials indicated that fighting began in multiple localities across Ituri province on Friday, June 7, and continued through Wednesday, June 12. According to local sources, at least 50 people were killed in Djugu, Tche, and Irumu over several days; authorities cautioned that the death toll will likely rise.
Similar intercommunal clashes are possible in the area over the near term.
The government's limited presence in the DRC's eastern provinces, as well as the presence of numerous armed groups and local self-defense militias, have led to continued insecurity in the area. Although unconfirmed, local sources indicate the latest clashes may be attributed to renewed fighting between Hema and Lendu ethnic groups. Tens of thousands died in the Ituri Conflict, a major conflict between the two communities between 1999-2003. Violence has flared up in recent years, with large attacks recorded in 2017-2018.
Individuals in Ituri province are advised to remain vigilant, monitor developments to the situation, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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